Catfish is an amazing fish, which, depending on the species, can weigh up to 200 kilograms, and some aquarium individuals do not exceed two centimeters in length. The uniqueness of pets lies in their resistance to external conditions, which allows them to feel comfortable in the wild both in swamps and in fast-flowing rivers. When placed in an aquarium, catfish become real orderlies, eating all the garbage and food debris for other fish. Consider the features of keeping these pests at home and figure out how to feed the aquarium catfish.
Features of the feeding behavior of the species
Fish of large breeds in their natural habitat, going out to fish, can easily catch a duck that has crouched in the water or a pigeon that has come too close to a reservoir. Catfish have an amazing reaction, they very sharply and accurately rush to the victim, sucking it into themselves, grabbing it with their teeth, and pulling it to the bottom. For this reason, this breed of fish has gray, brown, and beige colors, which allows them to camouflage, merging with the substrate.
There are many varieties of catfish that can be bred and raised as aquarium fish. There are about 1200 species of decorative species alone. The most frequently purchased are the Ancistrus (sticky catfish), belonging to the chain mail or loricariid family. Other breeds are also brought up at home:
- speckled corridor;
- muttering catfish;
- brocade pterygoplicht;
- striped mystic;
- ototsinklus, etc.
All representatives of the order have similar external features and have similar eating behavior. Most of them feed on waste left over from other fish – pieces of shrimp, shellfish, and fish that lie at the bottom of the reservoir. In some cases, catfish attack small waterfowl, as they are excellent hunters.
In order for an inhabitant of the aquarium bottom to eat well, one should remember its specific biorhythm. In the daytime, the hunter rests, and at night, when everything calms down, he goes out in search of food. Therefore, it is best to feed the catfish at night, including special lighting for it. This will avoid situations where other fish eat all the food, and the Ancistrus are left without food.
Considering all the positive aspects of keeping stuck, it must be remembered that they are aquarium orderlies. That is why they are most often planted with other fish. The omnivorous pet has suction cups, with the help of which the Ancistrus catfish cleans the walls of the water tank, removing the remains of food. Thus, tablets or other food can be applied to the sides of the aquarium under the internal filter to create a comfortable environment. They need to be glued, as it were so that in the future the hunter can collect everything on his own.
Feeding catfish in a home aquarium tank
It is important to figure out how to feed the catfish sticky by placing it in the aquarium. These are very unpretentious fish in care, which are suitable even for novice aquarists and hobbyists. The pet will always find food for itself by sucking on aquarium glass, bottom, driftwood, and algae in the tank. Some owners do not buy special food for these catfish, since they eat up what other inhabitants have not eaten, but this approach is wrong.
Stickers can eat fish pieces, frozen food, tablets, cereals, and even other inhabitants of the aquarium, especially fry, without any twinge of conscience. For this reason, the preparation of food for the pet will not be a problem. You can buy ready-made food, or prepare it yourself by slicing seafood, algae, spirulina and freezing them.
Ready-made food for catfish
Catfish food requires special attention from owners. Often, bottom fish (especially in a shared aquarium) remain deprived, as they feed on the remnants of the food of their relatives eating on the surface. Ready-made specialized feeds are developed in accordance with the characteristics of the lifestyle of the species. They are fast sinking and usually come in fairly large and hard forms. This is a protection against being eaten by other fish because allows the feed to sink to the bottom immediately after falling asleep and soften gradually.
So, what can you feed catfish in an aquarium:
- Tetra TabiMin is a basic mix for fish living on or near the bottom (catfish, bots, barbs). It is in the form of light green tablets. Tablets TabiMin contains a complex of vitamins, micro-and macronutrients, and a special component to attracting fish (helps prevent malnutrition and stunting). It is sold in packs of 120, 200, 500, 1000, and 4000 tablets;
- Tetra Wafers Mix is a mixed sinking food for different types of catfish living in the same aquarium. The packaging contains granules of different contents, some for herbivorous species with spirulina, others for predators with shrimp meat. It is offered to customers in 100, 250, and 1000 ml jars;
- Tetra Pleco Wafer is the best choice for herbivorous catfish species, represented by dense plates that slowly dissolve at the bottom and do not pollute the water. In addition to the regular base feed, PlecoTablets Min tablets are available with a high content of spirulina;
- Sera Vipagran is a versatile staple food for mixed community aquariums. It can also be used for catfish. But it should be remembered that the pellets sink slowly, so they need to be poured in enough to feed both surface fish and catfish.
Natural food for catfish
Aquarium catfish will not refuse live and plant food (depending on the species). Bloodworms, daphnia, cyclops, tubifex, live-bearer, etc. will be an excellent treat for the inhabitants of the aquarium. Along with the general health benefits, such nutrition stimulates spawning and promotes the rapid appearance of eggs. Only the catfish born into the world will not give up their first complimentary food – ciliates. For active growth and development, it is advisable to give fry micro worms and brine shrimp.
It is allowed to give catfish boiled chicken meat, slices of black bread, treat with a cucumber. But it is worth remembering that such food leads to water pollution, unlike purchased tablets and granules. A snag with bark should be placed in the aquarium – representatives of the species will gladly eat rotten places, bringing it to shine.
Features of feeding in a shared aquarium tank
For a comfortable life of bottom fish, it is necessary to properly organize their neighborhood in conditions of common aquarium keeping with other species. It should be remembered that some representatives of catfish are aggressive predators and can attack smaller inhabitants. If catfish are not the only inhabitants of the aquarium and behave in a dangerous manner, it is not necessary to replant them right away. It is important to pour several types of food into the water at once: for other fish, and separately a specialized composition specifically for catfish. Representatives live on the bottom, so their food usually goes down exactly where it is most convenient to consume, while food for other fish remains floating on the surface.
It is also necessary to ensure the flow of live food (bloodworms and tubeworms) – some of the worms, when falling asleep in the water, sink to the ground and burrow, and the catfish will like to get them. Live plants in the aquarium (for example, Anubis) are a source of plant food for fish, so additional feeding is not required. With sufficient attention to the inhabitants of the bottom, conflicts will not arise.