SPOTLIGHT ON THE OTOCINCLUS CATFISH

Spotlight on the Otocinclus Catfish
Also known as oto cats, otocinclus catfish are some of the smallest aquarium fish out there and also some of the best algae eaters. Read on to learn more about them!

You may know of them as oto cats, but the full name is Ocotinclus. Otocinclus are a genus of catfish native to South America and some species are quite common in the aquarium hobby. These catfish are known for eating algae and for being much smaller than some of the other more popular algae-eating species of fish. They are, however, a little bit tricky to keep.

The otocinclus may be small, but it is a powerful algae eater and an all-around friendly addition to the community tank. Read on to learn more about this small but mighty species.

 

Basic Facts on the Ocotinclus

 

The name Otocinclus applies to an entire genus of catfish belonging to the family Loricariidae. These fish are native to South America where they are commonly found in small to medium-sized streams with moderate water flow. They tend to spend their time in areas of marginal vegetation, particularly among grasses with plants with small leaves, but can also be seen in shoals swimming in open water.

Scientists have identified around 20 species of Ocotinclus, though some are more common in the aquarium trade than others. Here is a list of those species:

  • Otocinclus affinis
  • Otocinclus arnoldi
  • Otocinclus batmani
  • Otocinclus bororo
  • Otocinclus caxarari
  • Otocinclus cocama
  • Otocinclus flexilis
  • Otocinclus hoppei
  • Otocinclus huaorani
  • Otocinclus juruenae
  • Otocinclus macrospilus
  • Otocinclus mangaba
  • Otocinclus mariae
  • Otocinclus mimulus
  • Otocinclus mura
  • Otocinclus tapirape
  • Otocinclus vestitus
  • Otocinclus vittatus
  • Otocinclus xakriaba
Otocinclus catfish are also known as oto cats, though some species have their own names. Two of the most common species in the aquarium trade are Otocinclus vittatus and Otocinclus macrospilus. Otocinclus cocama is known as the zebra oto, Otocinclus affinis as the golden oto, and Otocinclus mariae as the dwarf oto. Most species look very similar with the only minor differences being tail markings.

Generally speaking, oto cats remain very small, topping out around 2 inches in adulthood. Most species have a muted gray or brown coloration, often with a dark horizontal stripe running the length of the body. Like most algae eaters, these fish have sucker mouths and they also possess unique biological adaptations that enable them to breathe air.

 

 

Tank Requirements and Care

 

The otocinclus catfish is very difficult to breed in the wild, so many specimens available in the aquarium industry are wild caught. This may contribute to the fact that they can be somewhat tricky to care for. However, this is more likely due to the fact that they are very small, so even minute changes in water quality and tank parameters can be significant.

The best tank environment for otocinclus catfish is a planted tank with low stocking density and high water quality. These fish do best in very clean water with no measurable ammonia or nitrite and very low nitrate levels (0 to 20ppm). Water chemistry is less critical, though they tend to prefer a neutral to slightly acidic pH and slightly soft water with an ideal temperature of 72°F to 82°F.

Because oto cats are so sensitive to water quality, you should plan to perform weekly water changes of 25% to 30% your tank volume. Oto cats don’t tend to feed on detritus, so be sure to use a gravel vacuum when performing water changes. You’ll also want to install a powerful filtration system and make sure the tank runs for at least 2 weeks to cycle before you add your otocinclus. Ideally, your filtration system should be capable of turning over the aquarium volume at least three times per hour.

When it comes to feeding your otocinclus, remember that algae will make up the majority of their diet. Keep in mind, however, that these fish have very small teeth and they have trouble breaking down plant tissues. Once your oto cat eats all of the algae in the tank, you’ll need to feed it something else. Wild-caught otocinclus can be a little picky, but many enjoy a variety of commercial and frozen foods including sinking tablets, algae wafers, and blanched vegetables like spinach and zucchini.

 

Pros and Cons for Otocinclus

 

Now that you know a little bit more about these tiny algae eaters, you may be wondering whether the good things outweigh the bad. All aquarium fish species have their benefits and drawbacks, so consider the pros and cons of otocinclus catfish before you add one to your tank:

Pros for Oto Cats:

  • Small species, doesn’t require a large tank
  • Very peaceful by nature, not aggressive
  • Affordable to purchase and keep
  • Does very well as an algae-eating species

Cons for Oto Cats:

  • Can be sensitive to changing tank conditions
  • Require very clean water, frequent water changes
  • Ideally kept in groups of 6 or more of the same species
  • Vulnerable to predation by large or aggressive fish

Whether the pros outweigh the cons depends on your aquarium setup. If you have an established planted tank with a low stocking density and you’re simply looking for an algae eater, the otocinclus could be the perfect choice. If you have a fully stocked tank with large or aggressive fish, the oto cat may not be the ideal choice for you. Read on to learn about recommended tank mates for otocinclus.

 

 

Recommended Tank Mates

 

Otocinclus catfish are very docile and peaceful by nature, so they may do well in a community tank. Keep in mind that they are a shoaling species, so they may be most comfortable when kept in a group with 6 or more of their own kind. They also tend to thrive in an Amazonian biotope tank with slow-moving species of peaceful fish.

Here are some recommendations for otocinclus tank mates:

  • Angelfish – These fish are native to the tropical region of South America, so their tank requirements are very similar to those of the otocinclus catfish. Angelfish are a beautiful sight to behold and they can grow fairly large, so be mindful of overstocking your tank.
  • Corydoras – A popular group of bottom feeders, Corydoras are another type of catfish but they tend to feed on detritus and decaying plant matter rather than algae. Corydoras are very peaceful and they tend to prefer soft water with a low pH, like otocinclus.
  • Discus Fish – Known for being some of the largest and most brightly colored tropical aquarium fish, discus fish are also native to the Amazonian region. These fish prefer warm, soft, and slightly acidic water and they are very peaceful fish by nature.
  • Gouramis – There are a wide variety of gourami species, but most are peaceful by nature. They are naturally found in a very different part of the world than otocinclus, but they are very adaptable to different tank parameters as long as they are given time to acclimate.
  • Livebearers – Guppies, platies, swordtails, and mollies are the most popular types of livebearing aquarium fish. Most species remain small, growing to no longer than 2 to 3 inches, and they come in a wide range of colors and patterns as well.
  • Rasboras – Schooling fish belonging to the family Cyprinidae, most rasboras remain fairly small and they are peaceful fish known for their bright colors. Rasboras are very hardy fish as well, though their native habitat has soft, slightly acidic water conditions.
  • Tetras – Another group of schooling fish, tetras belong to the family Characidae. These fish are calm, colorful, and active fish that make great choices for beginning aquarium hobbyists.

 

Final Note: Because many otocinclus catfish in the aquarium industry are wild caught, it is particularly important that you quarantine new fish before adding them to your tank.

If you’re no longer sure that an otocinclus catfish might be the right choice for your tank, don’t worry – there are plenty of other options! Siamese algae eaters, bristlenose catfish, and Plecostomus are also valid options if you’re looking for an algae eater. Check out our guide to different algae eaters or choose one by the type of algae you have in your tank.

 

comments powered by Disqus
Spotlight on the Apple Snail
Spotlight on the Apple Snail
Also known as the mystery snail, apple snails are a popular addition to the freshwater tank.
Breeding Freshwater Fish
Breeding Freshwater Fish
Learn how to succesfully breed freshwater fish.

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

Spotlight on the Otocinclus Catfish
SPOTLIGHT ON THE OTOCINCLUS CATFISH
Also known as oto cats, otocinclus catfish are some of the smallest aquarium fish out there and also some of the best algae eaters.
What Are GloFish and How Do You Care for Them?
WHAT ARE GLOFISH AND HOW DO YOU CARE FOR THEM?
If you've ever seen those fluorescent fish at your local pet store and wondered what they are, you'll learn everything you want to know in this article.
The Ideal Tank Setup for Oscars
THE IDEAL TANK SETUP FOR OSCARS
Oscars are a type of cichlid and they are a very amusing species of freshwater fish to keep in the home aquarium.

FRESHWATER AQUARIUM ARTICLES

STOCKING THE TANK

The fish you choose to stock your tank is not a decision that should be made lightly. The articles in this category will help you understand the basics of fish compatibility and will provide you with other information you need to make an informed decision when stocking your tank.

What Are the Best Cichlids for a Community Tank?
What Are the Best Cichlids for a Community Tank?
Cichlids are some of the most beautiful fish in the world, but they can also be the most aggressive.
The Ideal Tank Setup for Oscars
The Ideal Tank Setup for Oscars
Oscars are a type of cichlid and they are a very amusing species of freshwater fish to keep in the home aquarium.
The Top 5 Shrimp for the Freshwater Aquarium
The Top 5 Shrimp for the Freshwater Aquarium
Freshwater shrimp make an excellent addition to your cleanup crew - keep reading to learn more about the top 5 species!
Compatible Tank Mates for Freshwater Angels
Compatible Tank Mates for Freshwater Angels
Angelfish are one of the most popular species of freshwater aquarium fish.
Everything You Need to Know About Freshwater Angelfish
Everything You Need to Know About Freshwater Angelfish
Angelfish are a species of freshwater cichlid and they are one of the most popular species of tropical aquarium fish.
Keeping Dwarf Gouramis in the Freshwater Tank
Keeping Dwarf Gouramis in the Freshwater Tank
The dwarf gourami is a small but brightly colored freshwater fish that makes an excellent addition to the community tank.
African Cichlid Aggression - How to Reduce Aggression
African Cichlid Aggression - How to Reduce Aggression
Learn about the causes of cichlid aggression and methods for reducing it.
The Top Choices for Stocking a 10-Gallon Tank
The Top Choices for Stocking a 10-Gallon Tank
Maintaining a thriving 10-gallon tank can be a challenge but it will help if you are careful about how you stock it.
The Top 10 Worst
The Top 10 Worst
If you are interested in cultivating a peaceful tank full of multiple species, don't choose these fish.
Larger Tetras for the Community Tank
Larger Tetras for the Community Tank
Many tetras are known for their small size and peaceful nature, but there are some larger tetras that can be a good choice for the community tank.
The Top 6 Freshwater Goby Species for Your Tank
The Top 6 Freshwater Goby Species for Your Tank
Most of the gobies kept in the home aquarium are saltwater fish but there are still a few freshwater gobies that make excellent additions to the home tank.
Stocking Fresh Water Fish Tanks
Stocking Fresh Water Fish Tanks
Learn how to select the right quantity and combination of fish for your freshwater aquarium.
Choosing the Right Algae-Eater by the Type of Algae in Your Tank
Choosing the Right Algae-Eater by the Type of Algae in Your Tank
There are many different types of aquarium algae and not all algae eaters will eat every type.
Jewel Cichlid Species Profile
Jewel Cichlid Species Profile
Jewel Cichlids are a group of brightly colored cichlids from Africa.
Choosing the Right Barbs for Your Tank
Choosing the Right Barbs for Your Tank
Barbs are incredibly popular among freshwater aquarium hobbyists and there are a number of species to choose from.
South American Cichlid Species for Beginners
South American Cichlid Species for Beginners
Cichlids are not for everyone, however, and certain species can be quite challenging to keep.
The Most Popular Catfish for Freshwater Tanks
The Most Popular Catfish for Freshwater Tanks
Catfish are an extremely diverse group of fishes and many of them fare well in the home aquarium.
Stocking Your Tank with Schooling Fish
Stocking Your Tank with Schooling Fish
Adding a school of colorful fish to your tank can take it from drab to fab -- read on to learn more about schooling species.
Common Myths About Bettas
Common Myths About Bettas
Discover five common myths about the beautiful betta freshwater fish.
Caring for the Plecostomus in the Freshwater Tank
Caring for the Plecostomus in the Freshwater Tank
The plecostomus is one of the most popular species of algae eater for the freshwater tank.
Show Tank-Worthy Tankmates for Fancy Guppies
Show Tank-Worthy Tankmates for Fancy Guppies
Everyone knows that guppies are some of the most colorful freshwater fish while also being some of the easiest to care for.
Care Guide for Keeping Brackish and Freshwater Puffers
Care Guide for Keeping Brackish and Freshwater Puffers
The name "puffer fish" conjures an image of a balloon-like animal but these fish are so much more than their comical appearance.
Spotlight on the Otocinclus Catfish
Spotlight on the Otocinclus Catfish
Also known as oto cats, otocinclus catfish are some of the smallest aquarium fish out there and also some of the best algae eaters.
Spotlight on the Apple Snail
Spotlight on the Apple Snail
Also known as the mystery snail, apple snails are a popular addition to the freshwater tank.
Species Spotlight: Keeping Freshwater Crayfish at Home
Species Spotlight: Keeping Freshwater Crayfish at Home
Crayfish can make a unique addition to your freshwater aquarium.
Can You Keep Other Fish With Your Betta?
Can You Keep Other Fish With Your Betta?
The betta fish is an incredibly popular species that has a reputation for being aggressive.
What Are Good Freshwater Fish For Beginners
What Are Good Freshwater Fish For Beginners
What makes a freshwater fish a good candidate for beginners?
Tips for Keeping Shoaling Species in the Aquarium
Tips for Keeping Shoaling Species in the Aquarium
Nothing makes an aquarium stand out like a large shoal of colorful fish.
The Top 10 Worst Tank Busters
The Top 10 Worst Tank Busters
Find out which fish will rapidly outgrow your tank, and the smaller alternatives that are available.
Tips for Stocking Your Aquarium by Color
Tips for Stocking Your Aquarium by Color
If you want a thriving, brightly colored aquarium then consider picking your freshwater fish by color.
Species Profile: Blind Cave Tetra
Species Profile: Blind Cave Tetra
The blind cave tetra is unique among freshwater aquarium fish.
Cultivating a Tank for Red Bellied Pacus
Cultivating a Tank for Red Bellied Pacus
The red bellied pacu is a unique and beautiful aquarium fish.
The Basics of Freshwater Fish Compatibility
The Basics of Freshwater Fish Compatibility
Whether you are new to the aquarium hobby or not, there are a few things you should know about freshwater fish compatibility.
Cichlids - Understanding the Different Types
Cichlids - Understanding the Different Types
Have you ever considered adding a cichlid or two to your freshwater tank?
Species Spotlight: Keeping Arowanas in the Freshwater Tank
Species Spotlight: Keeping Arowanas in the Freshwater Tank
The Arowana is a very large but graceful fish that makes a very interesting freshwater tank inhabitant.
Corydoras Catfish: Community-Friendly Bottom Feeders
Corydoras Catfish: Community-Friendly Bottom Feeders
If you are looking for the perfect fish to add to your community tank, consider corydoras catfish.
Types of Freshwater Aquarium Snails
Types of Freshwater Aquarium Snails
When it comes to snails in the freshwater aquarium, not all of them are bad.
The Natural Environments of African and South American Cichlids
The Natural Environments of African and South American Cichlids
Learn about and how to recreate the natural environments of African and South American Cichlids
The Best Barbs for a Large Home Aquarium
The Best Barbs for a Large Home Aquarium
There are many different species of barbs but some of them are better than others for the larger home aquarium.
Algae Eaters for Freshwater Tanks
Algae Eaters for Freshwater Tanks
Are you looking for an easy way to help control algae in your tank?
What Every Aquarium Hobbyist Should Know About Livebearers
What Every Aquarium Hobbyist Should Know About Livebearers
If you're looking for some low-maintenance fish to add to your freshwater tank, consider some livebearers.
Species Spotlight: Archerfish
Species Spotlight: Archerfish
Looking for a unique species to add to your tank?
Top Freshwater Aquarium Bullies
Top Freshwater Aquarium Bullies
Some species of freshwater fish are simply more aggressive than others.
Keeping Goldfish
Keeping Goldfish
In this article you will find information about keeping goldfish as pets and how to prepare for your own goldfish tank.
Freshwater Fish Article Database
Freshwater Fish Article Database
Articles on dozens of different freshwater fish and appropriate care.
Read more articles (45) Aquarium Setup (16)
What is an Unfiltered Tank and How do I Cultivate One?
What is an Unfiltered Tank and How do I Cultivate One?
An unfiltered tank is a unique challenge - you will learn the basics for how to get started in this article.
An Overview of Fish Bowls
An Overview of Fish Bowls
An overview of keeping fish in a fish bowl.
Cultivating a Healthy Discus Community Tank
Cultivating a Healthy Discus Community Tank
Discus fish are a joy to keep in the home aquarium and a discus community tank is even better!
Wall Mounted Fish Tanks
Wall Mounted Fish Tanks
Advantages and disadvantages to a Wall Mounted Fish Tank.
All About Tropical Fish Tanks
All About Tropical Fish Tanks
An overview of tropical fish tanks, what they are, and the pros/cons of keeping one.
Acclimating Fish - Drip Method
Acclimating Fish - Drip Method
Learn how to properly acclimate your fish to your aquarium using the drip method.
When and How to Upgrade to a Larger Tank
When and How to Upgrade to a Larger Tank
If you participate in the aquarium hobby for long enough, there may come a time when it becomes necessary to upgrade to a larger tank.
Cultivating an Amazon Biotope Tank
Cultivating an Amazon Biotope Tank
If you are looking for a challenge, consider cultivating an Amazon biotope tank.
Tips for Aquascaping a Tank for Large Freshwater Fish
Tips for Aquascaping a Tank for Large Freshwater Fish
Keeping large species of freshwater fish in a community tank can be challenging but, with proper planning, you can be successful.
How to Select the Best Location for Your Tank
How to Select the Best Location for Your Tank
Before you even begin to set up your freshwater fish tank you need to decide where to put it.
Questions to Ask Before Starting a Freshwater Fish Tank
Questions to Ask Before Starting a Freshwater Fish Tank
Before you go out and buy a freshwater tank, think about these questions so you are fully prepared.
Safety Tips for Freshwater Aquariums
Safety Tips for Freshwater Aquariums
Cultivating a freshwater aquarium can be an enjoyable experience but there are also a number of safety concerns to be aware of when keeping a fish tank.
What is a Biotope Tank?
What is a Biotope Tank?
Take your skills to the next level by starting a biotope tank.
FAQs for Novice Freshwater Hobbyists
FAQs for Novice Freshwater Hobbyists
As a beginner in the aquarium hobby you are likely to have many questions.
Moving - How to Prepare Your Tank for a Move
Moving - How to Prepare Your Tank for a Move
Moving can be a stressful process but moving your fish tank doesn't need to add to that stress.
How to Select a Tank for a Freshwater Aquarium
How to Select a Tank for a Freshwater Aquarium
If you want to have a thriving freshwater tank, you need to start by selecting the right tank.
Planted Tanks (9)
Diagnosing Problems with Aquarium Plants
Diagnosing Problems with Aquarium Plants
Cultivating a thriving planted tank can be a challenge -- this article will help you diagnose the most common problems.
Fish to Avoid for Planted Freshwater Tanks
Fish to Avoid for Planted Freshwater Tanks
Cultivating a freshwater planted tank is hard work and the last thing you want is to have all of that hard work destroyed by adding the wrong fish to your tank.
Tips for Rooting, Pruning, and Propagating Live Aquarium Plants
Tips for Rooting, Pruning, and Propagating Live Aquarium Plants
Live plants can completely transform the look of your aquarium.
Aquatic Mosses for Freshwater Tanks
Aquatic Mosses for Freshwater Tanks
If you like the idea of a planted tank but aren't ready to take on the extra work load, start off small with some aquatic mosses.
The Top 6 Species for the Planted Tank
The Top 6 Species for the Planted Tank
Some freshwater fish will eat their way through a planted tank in a matter of hours.
Step-by-Step Guide for Setting Up a Planted Tank
Step-by-Step Guide for Setting Up a Planted Tank
Cultivating a thriving planted tank can be quite a challenge and if you do not follow the proper procedure, you may not be successful.
The Importance of Carbon Dioxide in Planted Tanks
The Importance of Carbon Dioxide in Planted Tanks
Maintaining a heavily planted tank may require more than special substrate -- you may also need to supplement your tank's supply of carbon dioxide.
Introduction to Planted Aquariums
Introduction to Planted Aquariums
An overview of the different styles of planted aquariums.
Freshwater Plant Article Database
Freshwater Plant Article Database
Articles on different freshwater plants and appropriate care.
Aquarium Lighting (5)
Understanding the Basics of Freshwater Aquarium Lighting
Understanding the Basics of Freshwater Aquarium Lighting
Selecting a lighting system for your aquarium can be a difficult task.
Choosing the Right Lighting According to Tank Size
Choosing the Right Lighting According to Tank Size
Aquarium lighting systems come in all shapes and sizes - learn how to choose the right system for the tank size you have.
Types of Freshwater Aquarium Lighting
Types of Freshwater Aquarium Lighting
Choosing the right lighting system for your freshwater tank is a very important decision.
Understanding the Lighting Spectrum
Understanding the Lighting Spectrum
The key to finding the perfect lighting for your freshwater aquarium is to understand the basics of the lighting spectrum.
Finding the Right Balance with Aquarium Lighting
Finding the Right Balance with Aquarium Lighting
Installing the proper aquarium lighting system is essential in maintaining a thriving tank environment.
Heating and Filtration (6)
Properly Aerating Your Aquarium
Properly Aerating Your Aquarium
Learn the basics of aeration and how to properly aerate your aquarium.
Common Problems with Tank Filters
Common Problems with Tank Filters
Having adequate filtration is the key to maintaining a healthy freshwater aquarium.
Using Carbon in a Freshwater Aquarium
Using Carbon in a Freshwater Aquarium
Learn about the differing points of view and guidelines on using carbon in your aquarium.
Choosing the Right Filtration System for Your Aquarium
Choosing the Right Filtration System for Your Aquarium
Learn about the different types of filters for your freshwater aquarium.
Overview of Filter Media Types
Overview of Filter Media Types
Proper filtration is the key to keeping your freshwater aquarium healthy.
How to Make Your Own Sponge Filter
How to Make Your Own Sponge Filter
Sponge filters are a great option for hospital and fry tanks but they can also be used as a source of supplemental filtration for community tanks.
Nutrition and Feeding (7)
How to Culture Infusoria for Baby Fish
How to Culture Infusoria for Baby Fish
To raise baby fish successfully you will need to use the right food.
Constipation/Indigestion in Aquarium Fish
Constipation/Indigestion in Aquarium Fish
You may not realize that your fish can suffer from constipation.
The Pros and Cons of Live Food for Fish
The Pros and Cons of Live Food for Fish
The type of food you choose to feed your aquarium fish will have a major impact on their health.
Will Algae Wafers Make my Tank Water Cloudy?
Will Algae Wafers Make my Tank Water Cloudy?
If plan to keep bottom feeders or algae eaters in your tank you may need to supplement their diet with algae wafers.
The Top Commercial Foods for Freshwater Fish
The Top Commercial Foods for Freshwater Fish
The food you feed your freshwater fish will determine their health and vitality.
The Nutritional Needs of Freshwater Fish
The Nutritional Needs of Freshwater Fish
The key to keeping your aquarium fish healthy is to offer them a well-balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs.
How to Interpret Fish Food Labels
How to Interpret Fish Food Labels
If you want to select a high-quality commercial food for your aquarium fish you should understand how to interpret a fish food label.
Freshwater Fish Diseases (8)
What is Dropsy and How Do I Treat it?
What is Dropsy and How Do I Treat it?
When cultivating an aquarium, you are likely to run into a variety of freshwater aquarium fish diseases and conditions including dropsy.
Identifying and Treating the Most Common Cichlid Diseases
Identifying and Treating the Most Common Cichlid Diseases
Cichlids are one of the largest families of freshwater fishes and they are prone to developing several aquarium fish diseases.
Behavioral Changes and Problems in Aquarium Fish
Behavioral Changes and Problems in Aquarium Fish
Unexpected behavioral changes are often a symptom of disease in aquarium fish.
How to Deal with the Top Betta Fish Diseases
How to Deal with the Top Betta Fish Diseases
Betta fish are some of the most colorful and vibrant freshwater aquarium fish around.
How to Set Up A Hospital Tank
How to Set Up A Hospital Tank
No matter how careful you are, your fish are likely to get sick at some point during your time as an aquarium hobbyist.
Addressing the Shimmies in Live Bearers
Addressing the Shimmies in Live Bearers
Dealing with aquarium fish disease is a fact of life in the aquarium hobby.
Improving Color in Aquarium Fish
Improving Color in Aquarium Fish
The best part of keeping a freshwater aquarium is watching your tank inhabitants thrive and grow.
Common Freshwater Tropical Fish Diseases
Common Freshwater Tropical Fish Diseases
Learn about common fish illnesses and how to effectively treat them.
Aquarium Maintenance (18)
Properly Maintaining the pH in a Freshwater Aquarium
Properly Maintaining the pH in a Freshwater Aquarium
Learn how about pH and how to properly maintain it in a freshwater aquarium.
Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Your Tank Filter
Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Your Tank Filter
Your tank filter is perhaps the most important piece of equipment you have, so be sure to keep it clean as part of your routine maintenance schedule.
What to do About Aquarium Snail Infestations
What to do About Aquarium Snail Infestations
Though they may look harmless, one aquarium snail can quickly turn into dozens or even hundreds.
Can a Routine Water Change Kill Your Fish?
Can a Routine Water Change Kill Your Fish?
We've all seen it - fish die unexpectedly after a water change.
How to Fix Cloudy Tank Water
How to Fix Cloudy Tank Water
Cloudy tank water is a common problem in the freshwater aquarium.
Water Testing in Your Freshwater Aquarium
Water Testing in Your Freshwater Aquarium
How to test your aquarium's water, and what to look for.
Cleaning Algae off Tank Glass Properly
Cleaning Algae off Tank Glass Properly
Algae is a fact of life in the freshwater tank.
Choosing and Conditioning the Water in Your Aquarium
Choosing and Conditioning the Water in Your Aquarium
Learn about how to properly choose and condition the water you use in your freshwater aquarium.
Freshwater Fishless Cycling
Freshwater Fishless Cycling
Learn about new methods for cycling your freshwater aquarium without fish.
How to Make Your Own Tank Divider
How to Make Your Own Tank Divider
There may come a time during your career as an aquarium hobbyist that you need to divide your tank.
Preparing an Aquarium for Your Vacation
Preparing an Aquarium for Your Vacation
Learn how to prepare your aquarium for your upcoming on vacation.
The Process of Cycling a Fish Tank
The Process of Cycling a Fish Tank
What is "cycling" your fish tank?
Controlling Algae Growth
Controlling Algae Growth
Algae growth is an incredibly common problem with freshwater tanks.
Using a Gravel Vacuum in the Home Aquarium
Using a Gravel Vacuum in the Home Aquarium
Cleaning your tank is one of the most important parts of home aquarium maintenance.
Tips for Protecting Your Aquarium Against High Summer Temperatures
Tips for Protecting Your Aquarium Against High Summer Temperatures
During the summer months, it may become more of a challenge to keep your aquarium temperature stable.
Fish Tank Maintenance and Cleaning
Fish Tank Maintenance and Cleaning
In order to keep your tank clean and healthy for your fish, you will need to perform some basic daily and weekly maintenance tasks.
Summer Precautions for Freshwater Tanks - Keeping Your Tank from Overheating
Summer Precautions for Freshwater Tanks - Keeping Your Tank from Overheating
Keeping the temperature in your tank is extremely important for the health of your fish but it can be a challenge during the hot summer months.
Aquarium Water Test Kits
Aquarium Water Test Kits
The key to keeping your aquarium fish happy and healthy is to maintain high water quality.
Aquarium Decorations (5)
Adding Rocks and Wood to Your Freshwater Aquarium
Adding Rocks and Wood to Your Freshwater Aquarium
Adding wood and rocks to your aquarium can enhance its appearance and make it a better environment for your fish -- learn how in this article.
Choosing a Freshwater Aquarium Substrate
Choosing a Freshwater Aquarium Substrate
Learn about the factors you should consider when choosing a substrate for your freshwater aquarium.
Aquarium Decorations
Aquarium Decorations
Types of decorations.
Using Driftwood and Live Plants in the Freshwater Tank
Using Driftwood and Live Plants in the Freshwater Tank
One of the most attractive ways you can decorate an aquarium involves a combination of driftwood and live plants.
Selecting a Background for your Freshwater Tank
Selecting a Background for your Freshwater Tank
The way you decorate your tank makes a big difference in its appearance.
Breeding (11)
How to Raise Cichlid Fry to Maturity
How to Raise Cichlid Fry to Maturity
Breeding freshwater aquarium fish can be a rewarding but challenging experience.
Breeding Mouth Brooding African Cichlids
Breeding Mouth Brooding African Cichlids
Learn how to succesfully breed mouth brooding African Cichlids.
Tips for Breeding Gouramis in the Home Aquarium
Tips for Breeding Gouramis in the Home Aquarium
Gouramis are some of the best community fish around because they are peaceful, hardy, and lovely to boot.
The Top 5 Tetras for Breeding in the Home Aquarium
The Top 5 Tetras for Breeding in the Home Aquarium
Breeding aquarium fish can be tricky, but with the right tank setup and preparation it can be done.
Caring for Freshwater Angelfish Eggs
Caring for Freshwater Angelfish Eggs
Breeding freshwater angelfish can be a rewarding experience but raising the eggs to maturity may be a challenge.
Tips for Breeding Discus Fish
Tips for Breeding Discus Fish
Discus fish are one of the most colorful species of freshwater aquarium fish and they can be a joy to breed.
Tips for Breeding Silver Dollar Fish
Tips for Breeding Silver Dollar Fish
Silver dollar fish are a great addition to the community tank and breeding them can be a fun challenge.
The Basics of Breeding Bala Sharks
The Basics of Breeding Bala Sharks
Bala sharks are a very popular species of aquarium fish.
Breeding the Two Kinds of Betta Fish
Breeding the Two Kinds of Betta Fish
You may be aware that there are over 30 species of betta fish in existence but did you know that these species can be divided by their breeding habits?
Breeding Freshwater Fish
Breeding Freshwater Fish
Learn how to succesfully breed freshwater fish.
Breeding and Rearing Live-bearing Species of Fish
Breeding and Rearing Live-bearing Species of Fish
Live-bearing species of fish like guppies and swordtails are notorious for breeding in the community tank.

READ AQUARIUM ARTICLES