Catfish in a Ten Gallon Fish Tank
The choice of a bottom fish really depends on what you are planning to keep in the tank, not necessarily in fish alone, but in live plants as well. If there are no plants planned, chances of bringing in snails is minimal, so that problem is not a factor for consideration. For my most recent aquarium set-up, the Fluval Edge, which holds 6 gallons, I added a Botia lohachata.
The tank is well planted and snails were a good possibility. As a matter of fact, I found an empty snail shell floating under the top glass very soon after I added the fish! I tend to use either Botia striatus or Botia lohachata nowadays. They do fine in my high pH water and are not that common looking. The Botia Striatus I have kept for the longest, and they are invariably shy. It may be the tank they are in, which is the largest of my small community aquariums. Or, the fact that they found a great hiding place and prefer not to leave it except when they are hungry.
I have the Botia lohachata in two different tanks. One is in the Fluval Edge (a separate Hubpage on its set-up is here- ) and the other a classic ten gallon with two individuals as well as a pair of South Amercian Appistogramma aggasiz Cichlids. Thisis a heavily planted aquarium. In each, the Botia Lohochata are much more active. In the ten gallon tank, the two there feed even feed from the top!
If the pH is high, I also tend to include a Plecostomus, but be careful, they do not do well in acid water. When kept in high pH, one will help control algae formation in almost any tank. Right now one is doing quite well in the Tropiquarium where it was placed after the biological filter matured. The tank has quite number of African Cichlids and it is doing quite well in spite of hese agressive tank mates
If the tank is new, and everything was recently purchased, chances are you don't actually need to put in a catfish just yet. Let the tank begin to add some wastes as the tank matures for the first six to eight weeks. Only after the Nitrogen Cycle has been started and matured would I normally consider adding bottomfish of any kind. The tank doesn't need the added fish load, and the filter is so clean it should be able to handle the wastes while everything settles and gets into balance.
Bottomfish for the ten gallon aquarium
For most common community aquariums, I use one of the various Corydoras sp.
armoured catfish as the bottom feeder of choice. Thereis a huge variety
of choices in these drwf catfish that wil make oneo fthem the perfect
complewment to a smaller aquarium community. You can pick between
solids, stripes, blotches, albino and a lot of other possibilities.
These are scaleless catfish. If you should have a problem with Ich or
other diseases and need to treat, read the directions on any medication
very carefully. Remember that they are quite vulnerable to many of the
medications typically used to kill many parasites. Generally half doses
are the maximum with these fish in a tank - ut always follow the
written directions to be safe.
One of the main problems new aquarists face is the presence of algae. I have kept fish for forty years or so, and I have grown quite used to seeing it in the tank and accept it as natural. Many people don't. They try to use a bottomfish to eliminate it. As mentioned, the variuous Plecostomus types are the very best of these. They are so ugly; they are interesting. Personally I enjoy them immensely. The problem is that many areas use the water in the acid range, and this is deadly to alkaline loving Plecostomus. When placed in acid water they often turn white and die, so be careful and only use them in know alkaline pH.
One of the natural ways to remove algae is to ask a bottomfish, like the Plecostomus to eat it as part of his diet. This by no means a thorough way to eliminate the growths, but it can help keep the growths in check. Chinese Algae Eaters (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri), the Siamese Flying Fox (Crossochelius siamensis) and the more common Flying Fox (Epalseorhynchos kallopterus) are also used to help try to control the algae. I prefer either of the flying foxes which seem to prefer to eat algae most of the time.
The Siamese Flying fox is known to be a better algae eater – especially when this fish is kept in small schools. The Chinese Algae Eater will eat some algae when it is quite young, but often turns aggressive towards other swimming inhabitants and will try to eat the protective slime coating off their sides as a free meal, preferring to be lazy rather than work on algae as meal.
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