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Somiki in the 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.

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.

Somiki are a very large group of aquarium fish. They are quite popular with aquarists and can be easily purchased at any pet store and markets. Somics have a special structure.

Their bodies are bare, without scales or covered with bony plates. Several pairs of whiskers are the hallmark of this group of fish.

Many species have a fatty fin.

Despite such features, catfish are very diverse. They are huge and tiny, peaceful and predatory, able to live in different conditions, parasitize, shock and even crawl over land.

Often catfish in the aquarium play the role of “orderlies” who pick up various residues from the bottom. However, do not expect that they will do all the dirty work for the aquarist.

Picking up the remains of food from the bottom of the aquarium catfish raise a terrible slime. Therefore, a powerful filter is required in the aquarium.

Buying catfish should be aware that you will not constantly admire his cute attractive face. Many of them are nocturnal and during the day hiding behind snags and in other shelters.

The only exception is speckled catfish.

Also catfish mostly have a protective coloration and completely merge with the surrounding ground.

Many fish of this group grow to very large sizes and are predators. Therefore, aquarists sometimes miss the small inhabitants of the aquarium: guppies or neons.

Somiks are molar and multiply quite simply.

In nature, these fish mostly live in fast flowing rivers. Therefore, catfish in an aquarium need a flow of water through aeration and filtration.

They are also demanding for water quality, but do not tolerate the replacement of its large volume.

They require a large number of shelters, otherwise they will fight.

It is easy to feed catfish, they eat any food, including ice cream, flakes and pills. As food can perceive fry and small fish.

Choosing catfish, you need to pay attention to their appearance. If the color of the fish is juicy, and the skin and fins are not damaged, then this is a young and healthy specimen. Young fish should be no more than 5 cm in length.

And at the aquarium you need to buy at least six catfish.

Before launching to all the fish, catfish should be quarantined for five days.

The acidity of water for them does not play a special role, if only it was not salty. Reinforced aeration is not necessary for them either.

Enough general conditions of the fish.

Somiki love algae, but they should not be too much, enough 5-6 branches per 50 liters of water.

One of the most popular aquarium species is catfish antsistrus, which is 15 cm long. They are most active in the evening or with a sharp decrease in atmospheric pressure.

The rest of the time they sit in caves or between stones.

On the body, ancytrus wears rows of wide bony plates. Coloring has from light gray with a yellowish shade to dark gray and black with a light specks.

Over time, may “turn pale.” The mouth of the catfish Ancistrus has the appearance of a sucker with elongated lips.

With this mouth, he constantly “vacuums” the walls of the aquarium and stones in search of small green algae. For this he is often called catfish stuck.

These are unpretentious fish and easily adapt to any water with a temperature of 17 to 30 degrees.

They feed on any dry and live food, like tender green algae growing on the glass of an aquarium. Also eat up leftover food.

You can feed scalded nettle leaves, lettuce or cabbage – they are immersed for one minute in boiling water.

These catfish, reproduction of which occurs independently, lay eggs in the general aquarium, somewhere in the gap or behind the filter. The offspring is mainly taken care of by males.

The female lays a bunch of large bright orange eggs, and immediately after that, the male begins to incubate them, fan them with fins, regularly cleans it with its mouth and protects it from enemies and even from the female.

If the goal is breeding, then it is better for manufacturers to resettle into a separate aquarium without plants and soil, but with ceramic or bamboo tubes or suitable driftwood for laying eggs. Readiness for reproduction is determined by the degree of thickness of the female.

Catfish stuck usually spawns at night. It is better to sow the female immediately, leaving the male to nurse the offspring.

The male is deposited after the larvae hatch. They are fed dry food for fry.

They grow up to 11 months.

Ancistrus can be kept with almost any fish.

This is another popular type of aquarium catfish, growing to 16 cm. Two rows of bone plates go along the sides of the catfish tarakatum. On the wide head there are three pairs of whiskers, the male’s pectoral fins are pointed and extended, the first ray of a reddish color.

This cat has extra intestinal respiration and needs to float to the surface for air.

Tarakatuma are kept in the lower layers of water near the bottom, in the shade. They like to rummage in soft soil without damaging the plants.

They are most active with the advent of twilight.

The aquarium containing the catfish tarakatum must be covered with a lid so that the fish do not jump out. For a pair of tarakatum need an aquarium of 100 liters.

It should be a lot of shelters and thickets of aquarium plants.

They feed on dry and live food, finely chopped meat. Basically, they collect food from the bottom, raising deposits.

Somik tarakatum reaches its sexual maturity by 9 months. You can breed it in the general aquarium and in the spawning.

To stimulate spawning, they raise the temperature by a couple of degrees in the aquarium and regularly replace water. For spawning, the Tarakatum needs an imitation of a leaf floating on the surface.

To do this, you can use a piece of foam not thicker than 2 cm and 15 by 7 cm in size. It is fixed to the surface of the water in the shaded corner of the aquarium with the help of a sucker.

These catfish make a nest under the “sheet”: the male builds it from foam, and the female glues the eggs. The male takes care of clutch and does not eat fry.

This representative of the aquarium world, perhaps the most common of somobraznyh. It has a high fin on its back, a pinkish-golden abdomen and a pale brown head, a back and fins with dark spots.

Although there are albinos. This is a shellfish aquarium catfish with plates on the body.

Somik speckled (or corridor) in length grows no more than 7 cm. It is a peaceful fish, active even during the day and preferring to live in a flock.

Therefore it is better to start at least six individuals.

They can be safely kept together with non-aggressive fish – discus, barbs, molly, tetras, danios, guppies, swordtails, dwarf cichlids, scalars, plecostomus, rasborami.

The conditions of keeping catfish speckled are not demanding. They can live in water from 2 to 35 degrees, but a comfortable temperature is 20-25 degrees.

But they are sensitive to the salinity of the water, because they can not be treated with salt.

This is a real survivor among aquarium fish and with proper care it can live up to 15 years.

These fish are capable of intestinal respiration and they need to periodically float to the surface for atmospheric air.

As a soil, speckled prefers coarse sand or fine run-in pebbles. Along the side and rear walls need to plant broadleaf plants.

Not interfere with floating vegetation, snags and various shelters. At the same time there should be enough space for swimming.

This catfish feeds on plants, alive (bloodworm, corelet, tubule) and combined food. Can eat up the remnants of feed after other fish.

Motley catfish love to dig in the ground in search of food, making the water in the aquarium muddy.

For spawning of corridor producers, they are deposited in a separate aquarium up to 50 liters. Can be without soil, but with a plant that is pressed a pebble. The water temperature should be about 18-22 degrees – it is its lowering that stimulates reproduction in this species of catfish.

They will also like the addition of 50% of the volume of fresh water and the first morning rays of the sun.

In the spawning fish placed in the evening. On one female there should be 2-3 males.

They are often fed live food.

The males first actively chase the female, then from one of the males, she picks up milt in a well-lit place on the milt glue the eggs. This process is repeated several times.

So that breeding is more successful, spawning is repeated in 7-10 days.

Manufacturers are deposited immediately after spawning. After 5-6 days, fry appear, which are fed live dust, rotifers, small zooplankton.

By the age of one month, the fry already reach 1 cm or more.

First of all, you need to understand that the catfish in the aquarium are not scavengers and scavengers at all, although they do the work of orderlies with success. For them, as well as for other inhabitants of the aquarium, you need proper care.

And before buying and launching a representative of the family of catfish into the aquarium, you need to take into account such parameters as soil at the bottom, the presence of shelters, vegetation, compatibility with other fish.

Aquarium soil is mandatory for keeping catfish. In the process of searching for food debris, catfish will make some noise by moving pebbles at the bottom of the aquarium.

It is undesirable to lay coarse gravel so that catfish will not damage the abdomen and antennae.

The water temperature in the aquarium should be at 18 … 26 ° C, with neutral acidity and hardness of 6-8º. As for plants, mainly artificial ones are used for keeping catfish.

Echindorus or cryptocaryn is suitable as living vegetation.

Somics prefer a secluded lifestyle and low light. For a comfortable stay they just need shelters – the roots of grapes, stones, shells, where they can hide during the day.

Speaking about the maintenance and care of aquarium catfish, it is impossible not to mention their livability with various fish. For the most part, somas are peaceful and have little conflict with their neighbors.

However, sometimes they are trying to figure out the relationship to the point of killing a weaker relative.

A considerable place in the maintenance and care of the catfish is their proper feeding. They are omnivorous, because their basic ration may consist of bloodworms, pipemaker, cortex, black bread, daphnia, lean meat, dry food.

To ensure good nutrition, sometimes they need to be fed spirulina tablets.

Improper maintenance and care of aquarium catfish can lead to their illness. Excess salt and nitrate in water leads to poor health. They become lethargic, barely move, refuse to eat, their antennae fall away.

In this case, they should be immediately removed from the aquarium and provide enhanced care – frequent water changes, increased aeration, and avoid feed rot.

The speckled catfish, or straw crustacean (Corydoras paleatus), is a fish of the class Lucheperye, belongs to the family Carapace Catfish. Quickly gained popularity among aquarists, for which he received another nickname – “catfish common.” Its habitat is the South American estuary of La Plata with its freshwater bodies of water.

The corridor, or speckled catfish, is a calm and harmless fish that breeds easily and adapts quickly to home conditions. It first appeared in aquariums at the beginning of the twentieth century, although it was discovered in the middle of the 19th century.

The first fry were bred in Parisian private aquariums in the 1870s.

A bit of history – during the expedition of Charles Darwin in 1830, the corridor was discovered in Argentine and Brazilian rivers. From Latin, the name of the fish literally translates as “ash helmet-leather”.

The maintenance of the corridor and their care is not difficult. It can adapt to large and small aquariums, where there is a company of the same catfish.

His neighbors in the home can be such fish as barbs, kilfish, danios, dwarf cichlids and tetras, live bearers, guppies, neons, swordtails (floating in the middle and upper water layers). The speckled catfish feels comfortable in cool water, so the warm-water inhabitants of the underwater world will not take root with it.

Do not tolerate the neighborhood with a large and aggressive fish, which is not averse to hunt him.

The speckled catfish lives in the lower layers of water, at the bottom. The content assumes the presence of fine soil, sand or dark-colored gravel.

In the aquarium, you can put live or artificial vegetation, floating plants and snags, which would scatter the light and provide good shelter.

Care of the corridor implies a constant temperature regime. Corydoras paleatus are cold-loving fish, the optimum temperature for which is 22-25 ° C, so the water should be cooled in summer.

They can tolerate water hardness above pH 7.0, although soft water is preferable, with low acidity up to 10Gh. Requires moderate aeration of the aquarium.

These fish do not like frequent replacement of water, once a week is enough. For 3-4 individuals the capacity of the aquarium is 25 liters and more.

Due to an excess of salts and nitrates in the water, food rotting at the bottom of the aquarium, temperature changes, speckled catfish can get sick. The main condition – a regular change of fluid for fresh, cleaning the bottom of the aquarium.

If you notice a sick catfish, immediately remove it from the general aquarium, temporarily moving it to another, isolating it from healthy fish.

Look at spawning speckled catfish.

Somics are usually representatives of relatively small species. Most of them are quite unpretentious in content and easily reproduce in captivity.

These fish from those that any experienced breeder will advise a novice aquarist. But when acquiring such a pet, it is worth remembering that catfish are fish that prefer twilight or dark time of the day.

Suitable conditions for keeping these fish in an aquarium are not difficult to create. They are quite suitable temperature from 22 to 27 degrees. But the short-term temperature jumps most species endure quite well.

Acidity is neutral, and water hardness is 2 – 12 °.

Look at how a pair of white-spotted agamixis looks for remnants of food at the bottom of the aquarium.

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.

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.

Before you start a fish, you need to know what to feed the catfish-sticky. It will suit the green tender algae, which very often cover the glass of aquariums. You can also feed: boiled leaves of cabbage, nettle, lettuce.

Somik is best to feed in the evening when the lights are turned off, and the rest of the fish fall asleep. At the same time, the ancistrus retains its activity for quite some time, crawling along the bottom of the aquarium and finding tubers or moths abandoned by them.

In addition, you can use the pellets, which very quickly reach the bottom, which means they go specifically to these fish.

They can adapt with ease to living in any water. The size of the catfish is directly dependent on the volume of the aquarium.

So, the bigger it is, the more the fish will become with age. But, basically, they select aquariums, the volume of which is 100 liters and more.

Somiki are usually not active during the day, and “come to life” either at night or when the pressure in the atmosphere changes. Therefore, they need to have a rich filling in the aquarium – caverns, shelters, various plants, pebbles.

Somiki sticks in an aquarium usually occupy immediately the best cave in which they hide and rest during the day.

Fish diseases are associated with chemical poisoning or feed of animal origin, as well as gas in the stomach. Although in general they are quite unpretentious and get sick very rarely.

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. Glass catfish is noted by lovers of aquarium catfish (lat siluridae).

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