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Somik antsistrus: care and breeding aquarium cleaner

Catfish in the aquarium play the role of cleaners, picking up the remnants of food from the bottom and clearing the walls of algae. Any experienced aquarist necessarily contains these fish. Somik antsistrus (antsistr) is a well-known representative of chain catfish.

It is often called sticky or sucker. This aquarium laborer today contain around the world and love for simplicity and livability.

The size of the Ancistrus catfish in an aquarium does not exceed 15 cm in length, while females grow larger than males. In males, peculiar mustaches are formed as they mature, which can be up to 2 cm long.

The fish have a flat head shape and the same front part of the body. The sides are covered with bone lamellar growths.

The dorsal fin is high, there is a pair of pectoral and pelvic fins.

The mouth is round, there are corneous suckers on the lips, which give Antsistrus a funny and slightly intimidating look. They can hold them on a rocky bottom of fast flowing rivers. The oral sucker resembles the structure of a grater and serves to scrape algae from plants and other objects.

It is precisely the various fouling that serve as food for antsistrus in nature.

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Aquarium catfish Ancistrus may have different colors:

  1. Antsistrus ordinary – the most common in the aquarium species with a dark body, which are scattered small bright specks.
  2. Albino is catfish with a genetic mutation fixed in the course of selection; they have yellowish body and red eyes. Like all albinos, they have poor health, which is why they are more demanding of their conditions.
  3. Yellow – a species similar to albino, but differs in black eyes and smaller sizes. The maximum length of this fish does not exceed 8 cm.
  4. Red is a very bright fish that prefers well-warmed water (27–30 ° C). It is only 4 cm in size.
  5. Stellate – almost black Ancistrus, the body of which is dotted with white dots. Received its name for the similarity with the starry sky. It has standard sizes, prefers warmer and softer water with low acidity.

The usual dark variety is sometimes called the blue antsistrus. In nature, these fish prefer streams and fast rivers of South America, but they can be found in small swamps, ditches of the same area.

When maintained in an aquarium, they are able to live up to 7 years if they are provided with suitable conditions.

Some believe that since these small fish are small, they need a very small aquarium, but this is not so. Ancistrus active at night, and in the afternoon they prefer to sit in a shelter. It is better if their home is a volume of 80 liters. The exception is made by red antsistrusy, they need a 50-liter aquarium for one pair.

A mixture of sand and small gravel is ideal as a soil.

Blue catfish antsistr requires the following water parameters:

  • temperature – 20−28 ° C;
  • hardness – up to 20 ° dH;
  • acidity – 6-7.5 pH.

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Aquarium for these fish must be equipped with a powerful filter and aeration. As shelters, you can provide snags, other elements of aqua design. Fish are considered non-aggressive, however fights are possible between males, therefore it is important for catfish to have a place to hide.

It is great if the snag is natural, not ceramic. Ancistrus wood is used as a source of cellulose., which improves their digestion.

Given the fact that catfish love to dig the ground, It is better to plant the plants in pots, but you should not completely abandon them. Fish can use herbs as an additive to the main feed. In addition, living plants produce oxygen in the aquarium and participate in the formation of the proper balance of the aquatic system, absorbing nitrates.

Ancistrus lighting does not play any role due to nocturnal lifestyle, in this matter you need to focus on the needs of their neighbors.

Somiki love clean ponds. Water changes should be weekly, updating 1/5 of the entire volume at a time.

At the same time, it is necessary to siphon the soil with a special device, clearing it of excrement. Once a year it is advisable to do a spring-cleaning in the aquarium. with full washing of soil, scenery and plants.

Large aquatic systems can not be disturbed for several years.

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Antsistrusy themselves – peace-loving fish, but they can become a victim of aggressive neighbors. It is better not to keep them with cichlids and other large fish. Due to the special structure of its mouth, ancistrus can stick to scaleless fish or slow “scrofs” and cause skin damage to them.

Intraspecific aggression will manifest itself only in an aquarium of a small volume with an insufficient number of shelters.

Fed catfish in the evening, before turning off the light. Considering that these are bottom fish, special pills are bought for their food.

Food goes down to the bottom, antsistrus finds it and eats. Although this catfish prefers plant food, its diet should include 20% protein.

This may be frozen bloodworm or coretr. The larvae are pre-thawed and thrown into small tanks in small portions.

As a plant food, catfish can be offered slices of zucchini and cucumbers, broccoli, and lettuce leaves. Carrot or pumpkin slices are pre-scalded with boiling water to make them softer.

Remnants of uneaten vegetables from the aquarium should be removed the next day so that they do not spoil the water. Upstairs the ancistrus may simply not see the feed.

Aquarists recommend piercing a cucumber or zucchini with a fork and, in this form, lowering it to the bottom so that the vegetable is kept there.

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Spawning catfish sticking should occur in a separate aquarium. Antsistrusy, as well as some other species of fish, have an interesting feature. In the absence of a male, one of the females can change their gender to the male to be able to reproduce the offspring.

Sometimes antsistrusa lay eggs and in the general aquarium, if the area allows and arrange conditions. For this, the female uses a high stump or snag.

In the spawner they install a specially designed tube for this.

In natural waters, the beginning of the rainy season is the signal for spawning for the Ancistrus. In an aquarium, such conditions can be simulated by increased aeration and more frequent water changes.

When the couple chooses a place for spawning, the male cleans it with his sucker and the female begins to spawn.

Each of the eggs has a diameter of about 2−3 mm and a bright orange color. The male fertilizes the clutch and starts caring for it.

After spawning, the female should be transplanted from the spawning back to the general aquarium.

The role of the male is reduced to the protection of masonry and fanning the eggs with fins. Thus, catfish increases aeration in order to provide eggs with plenty of oxygen. Fry hatch after 5−6 days and immediately hide in the shelter.

When they begin to swim out from there, you should start feeding them and remove the male from the spawning ground.

Juveniles are fed with special food for fry three times a day. To keep the water clean, daily changes of 1/5 of the volume of water are necessary.

In such conditions, small fish will quickly grow and develop. Ancistrus can produce offspring up to 6 times a year.

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