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Somiki for aquarium

maintenance, care, compatibility

Representatives of the family of somobods inhabit fresh water all over the planet, and are quite rare in the seas. A distinctive feature of the catfish is the lack of scales, although nature has taken care of some species, having presented them with armor or bony plates.

In total, there are about 30 families of catfish and about 2,000 species, 800 of them are lovers of domestic fish who successfully maintain and breed in an aquarium. In most catfish in aquariums, they prefer the lower and bottom layers of water, and also lead an active lifestyle in the twilight and dark time of the day.

Adult dwarf catfish reach 2 cm, and catfish giants – 5 m. Among the somobods there are aggressive and peaceful species, herbivores, predators and omnivores, poisonous, crawling over land, with electric organs, as well as possessing various other features of the whole bony group. .

Over the past 20 years, mail soms have acquired the greatest popularity in aquarism, and it is supported by new imported species of previously unexplored species. To eliminate confusion and convenience, the differences in their species began to be numbered in the order of appearance with the index L (from lat.

Loricariidae – chain catfish).

Previously, the universal favorites were small, armored (from the Latin. Callichthyidae) soma, distinguished by their peaceful nature and diverse colors.

This squad of soobraznyh must be kept in groups.

Many types of shellfish (catfish, catfish, shellfish), are amenable to simple in comparison with the chain mail breeding in the aquarium. Crabfish often lay their eggs on plants and other structures, after which they stop caring for them. The female mail catfish lays eggs in the grottoes, snags, pipes, burrows, hollows, where the clutch protects the male.

In some species of mail catfish, until the appearance of fry, males wear spawn behind an enlarged lower lip.

Life expectancy in aquarium catfish of some species reaches 15 years. Depending on the conditions of maintenance and care, catfish in an aquarium live on average from 5 to 10 years.

For novice aquarists, the main thing to remember is that catfish are not eaters of garbage and waste, they are not scavengers. They, like other aquarium dwellers, need care.

Special food, soft soil in the aquarium, places where you can hide from the bright light, the necessary water parameters will provide aquarium catfish comfortable living and breeding conditions.

Before releasing acquired catfish into the aquarium, it is necessary to take into account a number of factors affecting their livelihoods:

  • soil at the bottom of the aquarium;
  • water parameters;
  • the presence of vegetation;
  • shelters and scenery;
  • compatibility with other types of fish.

Aquarium soil is part of the decor of any aquarium. It is worth knowing that many members of this family love to dig in the ground for food residues, young shoots of plants.

Therefore, if the soil fraction is 3-5 mm, then a large amount of bottom mud will be formed, which can be removed using a powerful filter.

Constant digging in the ground of 8-10 m, leads to an audible rustling. Small soma 5-6 cm in size move stones and pebbles of medium size, as well as light purchased structures.

It is better not to lay coarse gravel on the bottom of the aquarium, since some types of catfish can damage the soft and delicate tissues of the belly and antennae, which leads to infection. And damage to the antennae threatens the loss of taste buds.

For keeping catfish in an aquarium, ordinary fresh water with a temperature of 18 to 26 ° C and hardness of 6-12 ° will do. Acidity should be neutral, with possible small deviations.

Plants are mainly artificial. A good root system will ensure survival of living plants in a catfish aquarium.

Suitable vegetation such as cryptocaryn or ehindorus.

Somiki prefer a secluded lifestyle, with a muffled light. In order for them to feel comfortable, they need shelters, roots of grapes, stones, where they could lead a solitary life, have a rest or sleep, and also snags, which are a source of edible cellulose.

If there is a bright light, catfish can not be seen at all, they will constantly hide in the thickets of plants or snags.

If you make an aquarium without shelters, then the catfish will be uncomfortable and their life expectancy will decrease dramatically.

Somoobraznye mostly peaceful, with neighbors do not conflict, but can sort out the relationship between themselves. In this case, it is extremely rare for a stronger and more powerful catfish to kill his relative.

Choosing catfish for an aquarium, you must take into account the mores of other inhabitants. If the rest of the fish are not large, then herbivorous catfish species are best suited.

If the neighbors are aggressive and large, the new inhabitants of the aquarium should be powerful so that they can stand up for themselves.

Somiks can be kept in the same aquarium with shrimps, except for obvious aggressive and predatory species, and the neighborhood of crayfish and crabs is best avoided.

For breeding catfish suitable aquarium from 30 to 70 liters – spawning. If a specific aquarium, then catfish can be bred right in it. Spawning equipped snags and plants.

Lighting should be muted, twilight. Enhanced aquarium aeration is also provided.

Spawning can be generally without soil and plants, with natural light.

It is necessary to maintain the water temperature from 17 to 25 ° C, and it should be not acidic and clean. Two to three males are recommended per female, with several females in the tank for spawning, males should be 1.3–1.8 times larger.

To stimulate spawning produce:

  • changing the temperature regime in the aquarium, increasing or decreasing the temperature by 2-3 ° С per day, in the range from 17 to 25 ° С;
  • water change up to 50% of the total spawning volume within 2-3 days (once a day);
  • increase the aeration and perform air purging with air.

The composition of water in spawning is not much different from the main composition for permanent residence. The main thing is that the acidity is neutral. The most favorable for reproduction is water with a temperature of 18 to 20 ° C.

For new spawning, the female becomes suitable in 7-10 days.

After spawning, somiki parents are deposited in a common aquarium, and the water temperature in the breeding ground is maintained at 19-21 ° C, while leaving natural light or slightly shading the spawning ground. 8-12 days after laying, the larvae emerge from the eggs and then eat the residual yolk sac of their former place of residence.

It is recommended to feed fry with infusoria or dry food for fry (specialized or regular, ground into dust). After 7-10 days, the diet can be expanded with artemia, nematode, or crushed other live food (bloodworms, pipemaker).

The adult coloring of the fry is formed after eight weeks and finishes its formation on the tenth, then it changes slightly in the process of life.

Catfish reach sexual maturity at the age of 8-12 months.

Due to the large number of species of catfish, many lovers assume that the conditions of detention for all catfish are the same, and the fish becomes the victim of improper care. Before acquiring somics it is extremely important to study the reference literature on the acquired species.

Each of them needs individual care and maintenance, although in comparison with other representatives of the aquarium, they are unpretentious and undemanding.

Video: catfish share territory.

Aquarium catfish are one of the most ancient fish that existed on Earth many millions of years ago. Distinctive features of aquarium catfish from other fish are the presence of a mustache and the complete absence of scales. The body of the catfish is covered with smooth skin, sometimes with bone plates.

These fish are mostly nocturnal, and during the day they prefer to hide in the decor of the aquarium and algae thickets.

Care for catfish

If we consider how whimsical aquarium catfish, they can be attributed to simple species. But, first of all, it should be borne in mind that these fish grow very quickly and can reach rather big sizes.

For most species of aquarium catfish, the temperature regime should be in the range of 22-26 ° C. The acidity of water is neutral, the hardness is 6-120 dH.

Types of aquarium catfish have about 2000 species.


Quite simple in the care of the fish, but is an infrequent guest in the collections of aquarists. Som shy, prefers to hide in secluded corners.

To food is not picky. Reaches 12 cm in length.


Aquarium catfish Antsistrusy are very popular because of their characteristics – the mouth of a catfish resembles a sucker. He moves, as if jumping from place to place, holding himself with the help of a sucker on various objects, algae in an aquarium.

And growths on the body of antsistrus perfectly clean the decor from various types of fouling. They also established themselves as aquarium catfish sticky.

Feather catfish

The homeland of these catfish is Africa. A distinctive feature of all peristose catfishes is the triangular shape of the body, 3 pairs of whiskers, a semicircular mouth and spiky extreme fins.

One of the most unusual fish, the cod-shifter, belongs to this family.


These large catfish cleaners can reach 50 cm in length. They constantly gnaw the aquarium décor and walls, eat algae. Fry for rapid growth can be fed with live food.

You can also use dandelion, lettuce, spinach, and cucumbers as a top dressing.


These soms are also called ghosts or transparent catfish. The body of the catfish is really transparent, and through it the spine and internal organs are fully visible.

Pimelody catfish

These fish need good water filtration. In nature, they live in fast-flowing reservoirs. They eat almost any kind of food, and can also take for food the small inhabitants of the aquarium.

They have a sharp spike on the dorsal fin, which can be hurt by inaccurate transplantation.


Calm peace-loving aquarium catfish, reaching 10 cm in length. They are predominantly nocturnal, like to rummage in the ground, so it’s better to equip an aquarium with various snags and other shelters for the fish.

Soil should choose a coarse.


This is a predatory fish, leading a secretive lifestyle. Hunting, they can even dig in the ground.

The color is quite modest and is an excellent disguise. The care is quite whimsical, very sensitive to the quality of water.

Platydorasy striped

The unusualness of these fish is that they are nocturnal. They love to explore the aquarium and a lot of time out of their shelter.

These fish have black stripes on the back. On the dorsal and pectoral fins sharp spines are located, and on the sides are small curved ones.


Aquarium catfish corridors are characterized by a short body, the presence of two pairs of whiskers, as well as bone plates. These catfish are one of the most popular among aquarists, as they are very peaceful creatures that can get along with any other fish.

A variety of catfish in nature, and in the aquarium is simply amazing. Whenever you come to the market or to the pet store, there will always be selling one or another kind of som.

Today it can be small and active corridors, and tomorrow already huge fractocephalus. The fashion for catfish is constantly changing, new species are on sale (or old ones, but well forgotten), are caught in nature and take root until now.

But if you look at aquariums, both amateurs and pros, you can see that catfish are one of the most common and popular types of aquarium fish.

When you will once again wander around the bird market, you can meet an unfamiliar look of catfish and buy it yourself. However, they are very different and desirable, at least in general, to imagine what this or that species requires.

Such a presentation will save you from many mistakes and disappointments.

With some types of aquarium catfish you will encounter often. But to face, but it means to know, and it is better to imagine what the corridor with the panda, the bronze catfish and the speckled catfish differ from each other. Synodontis are also very popular.

These catfish perfectly adapt to the conditions of the aquarium, but you must consider the size to which they can grow, and this is from 10 to 30 cm, depending on the species. And they are different in behavior and content. Do you want a catfish that will live beautifully in the general aquarium?

Or do you need a catfish that will eat all the fish that you can get to? Of course, not about every type of catfish you can find information, but using different sources – books, the Internet, other aquarists, sellers, you can find a lot of interesting things even for those species that have just recently appeared on sale.

The main parameters to which you need to pay attention when buying aquarium catfish:

Aquarium fish somiki: corridors and the smallest catfish

The presented types of corridors should be grouped in 5-20 pieces. The size of a specific aquarium for catfish should be at least 54 liters, with the content of the same flock in the general aquarium, the volume should be at least 160 liters, except for panda cats that need a smaller volume of the total aquarium – 112 liters.

Females are distinguished by a larger size and width of the back. And only two species have other, more pronounced differences – the males of the corridor are more miniature than the females and have a clearer pattern, while the males of the speckled catfish are much smaller and sleeker.

The diet for all presented types of corridors is recommended to be made from dry, frozen and live food.

The most popular among the dwarf catfish received:

  • catfish sparrow (eye-tailed catfish, crescent armor);
  • catfish pygmy;
  • catfish habrosus (corridor-baby).

These representatives are the types of carapace corridors found in South America.

It is better to keep the smallest catfish in flocks of 10-30 pieces, the volume of a specific aquarium is 40 liters, and the total – 54 liters, while good aeration and water filtration should be ensured.

When creating the interior of the aquarium, it is necessary to plant plenty of plants, add shelters and snags. As the soil, you can use fine-grained stones without sharp edges, coarse sand.

The maximum size of catfish reaches 3 cm. This type of corridor prefers middle layers of soft water with a temperature of 24 to 26 ° C. With catfish pygmy is allowed to contain many small types of tetras and other types of small fish.

In a regular diet, it is better to add medium-sized or finely chopped live or frozen food.

Reproduction in the species aquarium with a large number of plants is most effective. One female lays up to 50 very small eggs that are scattered throughout the aquarium.

The gestation period lasts four days, after which the larvae appear, which feed on the yolk sac for the first three days, and then the fry successfully eat the ciliates or larvae of Artemia.

The development of young individuals occurs in the first three weeks at a very fast pace, after which it stops, and then they grow slowly. Fry of catfish pygmy strikingly differ from adult individuals.

The size of this species reaches 3 cm. Somik habrosus prefers bottom layers of soft and medium-soft subacid water with a temperature of 20 to 26 ° C and a weekly substitution of up to 30%.

The difference between the female and the male is in its larger size and greater width of the back. Habrosuses are peaceful and neighbors many calm fish with the same character and small size will approach them.

Nutrition of catfish Habrosus is from the bottom, prefers fresh or frozen food, allowed to feed dry food and spirulina tablets.

When breeding, the female lays up to 100 eggs in small bushy plants, Javanese moss and next to them. The larvae hatch after three days, the fry after two days begin to move freely around the aquarium and eat Artemia.

After six weeks, the young Habrosus begins to acquire adult color. The growth rate in the first two months is fast, and at this age their size reaches 1 cm, and then slows down.

Sexual maturity occurs in 10-12 months.

The size of this species does not exceed 3 cm. Soft, clean water with a temperature of 24 to 26 ° C, with good aeration and filtration, is necessary for a comfortable content in the aquarium of catfish of sparrows.

The female is different from the male in large size. By their nature, they are peace-loving and get along perfectly with their own kind in size and size.

They are not easily picky and consume live, frozen and dry food, as well as various substitutes.

Before spawning, the difference between the male and the female is obvious: the tummy is more arched and full, the dorsal fin is rounded in the female, and pointed in the male. During spawning, the female lays up to 80 eggs on the glass, the underside of the leaves of plants or another suitable place.

The ripening period of the roe lasts four days, after which the larvae appear, which after two days begin to move independently around the aquarium and can successfully eat the aquarium plankton (Artemia, etc.).

During the first month of life, the growth rate of the fry is fast (up to 1 cm in size), and then decreases. By the year of life reach the size of their parents and sexual maturity.

And quite a few videos about speckled catfish and the rules of its content:

Aquarium fish somiki: antsitrusy, brohisy, armor

Somiki are interesting, beautiful and useful inhabitants of a home aquarium. Kallichtovye species impose order: dig the ground, move buildings, helping the owner to create a unique design.

Kolchuzhnye – remove young algae from the walls of the aquarium, plants, snags and buildings. The variety of color and dissimilarity with other inhabitants made them the favorites of aquarists.

By origin, the Brochises come from South America and represent the family of the Kalich. There are six species of Brochis. The most popular among aquarists have gained the following:

  • the britzki (the body is cast pink, the fins are red or light brown, the back is blue-green with a metallic sheen);
  • nosy (catfish with a sharp nose, the main color is greenish-gray, head is yellowish, the belly is pink);
  • emerald (brilliant, emerald green) has a golden-green metallic luster, the abdomen is light, beige-yellow, dorsal, adipose and caudal fins are brown.

These catfish are peaceful, unpretentious and keep mostly in the bottom layers of water, looking for food at the bottom in the ground or in the bushes of plants. The most activity and playfulness is shown in twilight lighting.

The brochies have a volumetric head with three pairs of whiskers, an elongated mouth opening directed downward, which makes it possible to conveniently pick food from the bottom, a tall body, squeezed on the sides by two rows of bony plates. The adipose fin has a sharp spike.

The main difference of this genus of catfish from other species of the family is a greater number of rays on the dorsal fin – in the emerald brochis 10-12, in the noses and Britzks – from 15 to 18 rays.

Somiki brochies are quite large, about 8 cm in size, and require a spacious aquarium. Specific aquarium should be at least 112 liters, and the total – from 240 liters. On the aquarium you need to put a cover to avoid jumping catfish.

Brochies are schooling fish, and it is better to keep from 5 to 10 pieces, if there are less than five fish, then they will feel insecure and hide constantly in shelters.

Brochises spend all their time in search of food, digging at the bottom, which necessitates the presence of good filtration and selection of fine-grained, rounded soil in the aquarium.

Plants need to be chosen with a good root system and floating (create some shading in the aquarium).

The water temperature should be maintained at a level of from 24 to 26 ° C, with low softness, and also weekly replace up to 30% of the volume of the aquarium.

Good aeration and a small flow will be useful when setting up an aquarium.

Snags, large stones, grottoes or other shelters will be excellent shelters, without which brochises in an aquarium are uncomfortable.

For feeding, it is better to use live and frozen food: a pipe maker, bloodworm, etc. Brochises are very voracious and require abundant nutrition, but not choosy in food.

Bronzer (dorade), armor or sidewalk catfish are a separate family of catfish, characterized by the presence of large bone plates that cover the entire body of the catfish, except for the abdominal area. A line of bone spikes stretches along the entire body, along the sides.

Some fins also have hard bone rays. Also, this family is interesting for its ability to make different sounds, so that some species are called singing.

Aquarium fish somiki: glass, shifters, Tarakatum

The genus of glass catfishes comes from Indochina, Sumatra, Fr. Sri Lanka and has 13 known species. The habitat of this species is fast-flowing water bodies, which during the rainy season spill over into fields where catfish lay eggs. Only one of the species reaches 80 cm, the rest – from 8 to 15 cm.

Lovers of aquarium catfish marked glass catfish (lat siluridae).

The flip-flops belong to the family of the fringed family of catfish. The bare catfish (missing shell, scales, bone plates, etc.) has strong dorsal and pectoral fins with prickly spikes.

Three pairs of whiskers are used to search for food in the bottom layer. The color of the upper torso is gray-green in spots, the belly has a darker color.

The peaceful and calm nature of the fish allows you to side with other aquarium species. Life expectancy is about 10 years.

The size of a voile catfish shifter is up to 20 cm, and a multi-spotted one is up to 25 cm.

When keeping catfish floundering catfish, an aquarium should be equipped with shelters made of stones, snags, grottoes and plants with a good root system. In order for shifters to get air from the surface, it is necessary to leave on it a part of the space free from floating plants.

As for other somobrazny soil it is necessary to choose a medium-sized with well-rounded edges.

Water should be soft, in the temperature range from 22 to 27 ° C.

The volume of the species aquarium for Cidontes Voiley is 80 liters, and that of the multi-spotted one is 100 liters. For the general aquarium, the volume should be not less than 100 liters for the voile and 120 liters for the multi-spotted Sidontes. Due to the large size of the shifters, large groups of catfish can be kept only in bulk tanks.

Soma is eaten alive, frozen and dry food, as well as various additives in the form of tablets or granules.

According to the content, these types are undemanding.

Somik speckled – the most popular catfish in the aquarium

The speckled catfish Corydoras paleatus is one of the most common and well-known aquarium fish. The mottled corridor is a peaceful catfish, hardy and easy to get divorced.

Contained in aquariums for more than 100 years, it was first opened in 1830. He is one of the first fish that he managed to breed in captivity; for the first time, the fry was obtained in 1876, in Paris.

The first message about successful breeding dates back to 1876.

The speckled corridor, better known as the speckled catfish, is the most popular and widespread catfish of the entire genus. Competition to it can make unless Corydoras aenus or a bronze corridor and still catfish. Catfish grow small, males up to 6.5 cm, and females up to 7.5 cm.

The body is squat, covered with bony plates, from which its scientific name derives. On the upper jaw there are two pairs of whiskers with the help of which the catfish finds food at the bottom.

The body color is pale olive with a green or blue iridescent sheen. A scattering of dark spots is scattered throughout the body, and is never repeated in two individuals at once. The fins are transparent, on the dorsal fin a dark stripe running along the first ray.

Various albino and golden forms are derived. Catfish caught in nature have greater contrast in the spots, and brighter colors than those that are divorced in the aquarium. This is due to prolonged maintenance in other conditions and cross-breeding with relatives.

Life expectancy on average from 3 to 5 years, but depends on water temperature. The higher it is, the faster the metabolism and shorter life.

An interesting feature of this species is that catfish can make sounds due to the movement of their pectoral fins. As a rule, young people make sounds when scared, or a couple during spawning.

Like other corridors, speckled sometimes rises to the surface to get oxygen. They can breathe atmospheric oxygen, capturing it from the surface and dissolving it in the intestine.

From time to time they rise behind it, but if this happens too often, it is possible that there is a low amount of dissolved oxygen in the aquarium and you need to turn on aeration.
Like many species of catfish, speckled ones have sharp spines under the eyes, below the fat fin, and on the dorsal. They prevent the larger fish from swallowing it.

However, when transplanting catfish they may get confused in the net, it is better to use a container or a net of dense tissue.

Catfish is very peaceful and active throughout the day, although it can sit in one place for a long time, looking for food. It is best to keep speckled packs, as they prefer to live in a group.

Suitable for both small and huge aquariums, speckled feels better in a flock of three to five individuals. Ideal neighbors for him are peaceful barbs, danios, viviparids, kilfish, small tetras, and dwarf cichlids such as Ramerez.

Remember that catfish love cool water, and avoid keeping them with warm-water species, such as discus. Also, do not keep speckled catfish with large and aggressive species.

Bottom fishes that spend the day looking for food among the soil, they need medium-sized soil, sand or fine gravel, preferably dark colors. Living plants will be perfect, but artificial ones can be avoided. Floating plants also do not interfere, catfish like soft diffused light.

It is necessary to have a lot of shelters so that speckled catfish can hide. A good option would be snags, they will decorate the aquarium and create shelters.
Water should be slightly colder than usual for tropical fish. Temperature 22-26C, or even lower.

Mottled does not like temperatures above 25 ° C, it is better to cool the water in this hot summer.

Soft water is preferable, but catfish live in any way without any consequences. They also tolerate a different pH to 7.0 and even higher.

It is only necessary to avoid very acidic water, and quick changes of parameters. The main thing is that the parameters of your water were stable, and speckled to them adapt.

As already mentioned, the breeding of speckled catfish is not difficult, in fact it is one of the first fish that it was possible to breed in the conditions of the aquarium. He can even spawn in the general aquarium.

Catfish puts off caviar, but can eat it, which means separate aquariums are required for spawning and for raising fry.

For breeding, you need a pair or a troika: a female and two males. Some breeders recommend even more males per female.

Producers should be fed live food – bloodworms, artemia, daphnia, pipemaker. It is a protein-rich diet that serves as a stimulus for spawning.

If you can’t get a living, you can feed it frozen.

The female ready for spawning will become noticeably thicker, and in general the fish will become more active. In the female, the belly may take on a reddish hue, and the first ray of the pectoral fin may also turn red. At this point, it is necessary to replace a large amount of water in the spawn (about 30%), with water at which the temperature is lower.

Replacing water with a temperature drop of 5 degrees simulates the rainy season in nature. And it serves as a trigger for spawning.

If spawning did not start within one to two days, repeat the process again.
Spawning speckled catfish is similar to how all corridors spawn.

Initially, the male stimulates the female with his antennae, tickling her on the back and sides. Then the male adopts the traditional T shape of the corridor.

In which his body forms a right angle with respect to the nose of the female. At this point, he releases milk. To this day, there are disputes about how the eggs from speckled fertilized.

Some believe that the female swallows milt, passes through the intestines and releases to the eggs, which holds in the ventral fins.

Others believe that the milt is released into the female’s mouth, and she, passing it through the gills, sends along the body to the calf.
As soon as the egg is fertilized, the couple splits and the female glues the egg to the surface that she chose and cleaned. It can be glass, filter, plants.

As soon as the egg is laid, the male begins to stimulate the female again and the mating ritual repeats. This continues until two or three hundred eggs are fertilized and glued in the aquarium. Spawning lasts an hour or so.

As soon as spawning is over, parents should be removed from the aquarium, as they can eat caviar. Approximately 6 days the caviar will ripen, although the term depends on the temperature, the warmer the water, the faster.

Cool water can extend up to 8 days.


As soon as the fry starts hatching, it can be fed with very small feeds: cyclops, Artemia larvae, a microworm, or branded feeds ground to dust. It is important to keep the water clean by regular changes.

Speckled catfish are disease resistant. Of the features, sensitivity to the content of nitrates in water can be noted, with an excess, they begin to die off the antennae.

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