Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Freshwater Bottom Feeders

Related Articles: Freshwater Algae & Control, Tips for BeginnerspH, alkalinity, acidity, Treating Tap Water, Freshwater Aquarium Water Quality

Related FAQs:  Freshwater Maintenance 1, Freshwater Maintenance 2, Freshwater Maintenance 3Freshwater Maintenance 4, Freshwater Maintenance 5, & Freshwater Aquarium Water Quality, Treating Tap Water for Aquarium Use, pH, Alkalinity, Acidity, Freshwater Algae Control, Algae Control, Foods, Feeding, Aquatic Nutrition, DiseaseFreshwater "Scavengers",  


Bottom feeders, FW sel.      12/23/12
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". Any recommendations?
P.S I have sand substrate and several live and artificial plants.
Sincerely, Aaron
<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 community tanks.
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. Cheers, Neale.>
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 thrive.>
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 Eels.
Affected fish develop reddish or whitish marks along their flanks. Cheers, Neale.>
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 safe.
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 enjoy.
Plain vanilla smooth silica sand (often sold as pool filter sand) is very cheap.>
If not what can?
<If you use an abrasive sand ("sharp sand") like Tahitian Moon Sand, you're limited to midwater fish species.>
Sincerely, Aaron
<Cheers, Neale.>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: