Bottom feeders, FW sel.
Hi. I have a 30 gallon freshwater tank with an albino bristle nose
Pleco, Madagascar rainbow fish, glass Headstander and 6 albino tiger
barbs. My favorite fish died recently (I had him for 3 years) a spiny
peacock eel. I would like a bottom feeder for my tank. I'm into oddball
fish, ones that make my friends point and say "what the heck is that".
P.S I have sand substrate and several live and artificial plants.
<Have you had a look at Whiptails? Great fish, easy to keep (eat
bloodworms and the like) and in groups quite lively. They'll breed in
Have a look at Rineloricaria and Sturisoma species. They like sand and
will dig in given the chance, a bit like flounders. My only worry is
that they're sitting target for nippy fish, so if your Tiger Barbs are
nippy, you might find your Whiptails lose their long fin extensions.
Re: Bottom feeders 12/23/12
I read about the whiptail. It's really cool! However, I read in an
article that they prefer sandy substances.
<Yes, they do, but it isn't essential. Fine gravel is okay. In a quiet
tank they'll happily sit on the substrate, and individuals interact with
each quite openly, the males guarding small territories. If you have the
space, keeping a group is well worth doing, though singletons can and do
I also read that colored sand could have lime in it.
I have black sand. Is this not good?
<Ah now, some black sands are "sharp", notoriously Tahitian Moon Sand.
These are glass byproducts, and best avoided with soft-bellied or
burrowing fish. Plain silica sand is ideal, and while it's bright
initially, it ages well, and looks very realistic, especially if mixed
with a bit of small, smooth pea gravel.>
Could this have killed my eel even after 3 years(he only had his head
exposed out of substrate except at night which he came out fully)?
<Yes indeed, scratches from sand/gravel can cause infections on Spiny
Affected fish develop reddish or whitish marks along their flanks.
Re: Bottom feeders 12/24/12
I was looking at various stores that carried whiptails. Some called one
type whiptail and the other called it loracia catfish (had no nose
extension) and some had whiptail catfish (nose like extension) which is
the one you were referring to?
<Do review these scientific names online: Rineloricaria, Loricaria,
Sturisoma. All three are good aquarium fish. Generally avoid Farlowella
unless you fully understand their very specific needs (fast, cool water
with lots of green algae to eat) and can provide an aquarium with the
right sort of tankmates (small, peaceful, non-nippy).>
Also do whiptails have soft bellies?
Can they tolerate my sand?
<I don't know what sand you have, so can't answer this. For what it's
worth, I'd replace any questionable sand with something known to be
After all, you're a fish-keeper, not a sand-keeper, and if you want fish
that live on the bottom, you'll need a sand that bottom dwellers can
Plain vanilla smooth silica sand (often sold as pool filter sand) is
If not what can?
<If you use an abrasive sand ("sharp sand") like Tahitian Moon Sand,
you're limited to midwater fish species.>