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 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...
Also known as the mystery snail, apple snails are a popular addition to the freshwater tank. Read on to learn more about common species and their care.
Keeping the water quality in your aquarium is one of your most important responsibilities as an aquarium hobbyist. Your fish require clean, clear water and that means removing detritus from the tank before it can negatively affect your water quality. Rather than performing daily water changes, consider adding a cleanup crew to your tank to do the work for you – apple snails are a great choice.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the apple snail and its role in the home aquarium. We’ll explore some of the more popular species and provide tips for how to care for them.
The Basics About Apple Snails
The apple snail is the largest freshwater snail species and a popular addition to the home aquarium. Unlike pond snails which are a nuisance, apple snails are welcomed by aquarium hobbyists for their scavenging habits. Often included in an aquarium cleanup crew, apple snails feed on algae and other detritus in the aquarium, helping to keep the tank clean.
Though apple snail is the most common name, these freshwater snails are also known as mystery snails. They belong to the family Ampullariidae in the class Gastropoda. The snails in this family are unique because they have a lung and a gill, so their mantle cavity is divided to separate these two respiratory structures. To put it more simply, apple snails have unique anatomical adaptations which allows them to be amphibious – they can live both on land and in water.
Cichlids are some of the most beautiful fish in the world, but they can also be the most aggressive. Keep reading to learn about the best and worst cichlids for your community tank.
Part of the fun of having a fish tank is stocking it. The challenge of finding the ideal combination of species to make your tank look its best without putting your fish at risk for predation or bulling is something every aquarium hobbyist loves. When it comes to keeping the peace in a community tank, many hobbyists assume that they are limited to placid species such as livebearers and tetras when that may not be true.
A community tank doesn’t have to be boring. With a little research and careful planning, you can find a group of species that will live together in harmony and turn your tank into a thriving aquatic paradise. Don’t assume that because many cichlids are aggressive that they must be omitted from the community tank. Keep reading to learn about the best cichlids for a community tank.
The Top 10 Cichlids for a Community Tank
When it comes to choosing fish for a community tank, you need to think as much about the size of your tank as the fish you plan to keep in it. Many cichlids grow to be fairly large fish, so keep that in mind when planning your tank. Here are the top 10 cichlid species for a community tank:
1. Agassiz’s Dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma agassizii) – A carnivorous species, Agassiz’s dwarf cichlids do well in community tanks as long as they aren’t kept with other Apistogrammas or fish small enough to be seen as prey. They prefer planted tank with open areas for...
The pet trade gets a bad rap for exploiting wild animals but sometimes the opposite is true.
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.