Sucker Fish

The Sucker Fish, also known as Plecostomus; got its name by its tendency to feed by sucking up plants and invertebrates. Its mouth is on the bottom of its head, allowing its lips to perform a sucking action. Suckers are freshwater fishes that live on the floors of slow moving streams and lakes. They are close relatives of the carp and Minnow. There are approximately 100 species of Sucker Fishes. They can live for 10 to 15 years in captivity and may grow to be 12 to 18 inches long.

The Sucker Fish can be considered to be a wise choice for addition to any fish tank or aquarium. Why you might ask? They serve as a built in clean up system as they eat algae found on tank surfaces and also food particles from the bottom of the tank. Their mild personalities makes them compatible with almost any tank mate.

How to Care for Them
You can provide a suitable home for your Sucker Fish by having a beautifully decorated tank, with just enough exposure to sunlight. The tank should be situated in an area that promotes the growth of algae to provide for the need of your Sucker Fish, who feeds on this algae. Add some driftwood and make certain there are lots of places to hide in the tank. Even though the sucker Fish likes to feed on algae; regular treats of fresh food are always a good idea.

To adequately care for a Sucker Fish, you might have to give them special considerations, such as: leaving a small space at the top of the tank. They often swallow air in order to help them float better. However, remember to keep the tank lid closed. Sucker Fishes have been known to escape their tanks. They can survive short periods without water. So if you discover one outside of the tank; just put it back and chances are it will be fine. You will also be happy to know that sucker fish are good tank mates with discus fish. They will help keep the algae under control.

Interesting Facts about the Sucker Fish

• It does not breed successfully in captivity even though it’s possible.

• A superstition surrounds its name: that saying its name or writing its name will cause the fish to die. Therefore, some pet owners refrain from doing so.

• It can survive adverse conditions, such as being out of water for up to 30 hours because of its ability to store large amounts of air in its intestines.

• It is considered an invasive species because it lives wild in several states of the United States of America; outside of its native territories.

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Discus Tank Mates

Discus Tank Mates

Discus Tank Mates make up an essential part of your discus fish aquarium. Discus fish are naturally not meant to exist alone. Discus fish are the type of fish that are slow moving schooling fish. This therefore means that you should always look for mates for your discus fish in your aquarium. When looking for discus fish tank mates you want to make sure that you select fish that are essentially like the discus fish in terms of behavior, that is, slow moving and ensure they will not compete with the discus for food.

Types of Discus Tank Mates:

i) Tetras
The most common discus tank mates you see in a discus aquarium are tetras. There are several types of tetras which include; neon tetras, cardinal tetras, blood eye tetras, and penguin tetras. Tetras happen to be slow moving schooling fish as well so that makes them tank mates for discus fish.

ii) Cory cats
Another set of common discus fish tank mates are cory cats. There are many different colors of cory cats to choose from, hence most people find them interesting to keep. Cory cats prefer to stay at the bottom of the tank looking for uneaten food. Apart from that, cory cats and discus fish get along very well which makes them a great addition to any discus aquarium.

iii) Angelfish
Other discus fish keepers are also known to keep angelfish with their discus fish. This should however be done with extreme caution. This is due to the fact that both discus fish and angel fish are very territorial especially during spawning. During the spawning process, angelfish and discus fish become very aggressive in an effort to protect their spawning site. They can get so overprotective to high levels such that they will start fighting with and chasing after other fish in the tank. This means therefore that you must keep a close eye when keeping angelfish and discus together. As long as neither of the fish are spawning however, they can get along pretty well in the same aquarium.

iv) Plecos
Plecos are also a common fish found in discus aquariums. They go around eating algae and uneaten food and debris from the aquarium. They do a great job in helping you to keep your discus fish tank clean. However this does not mean that they are not a substitute for water changes. You also need to keep a close eye on plecos when they grow larger as they suck up to glass and objects in the aquarium. At times they may even have the tendency to suck up to the side of your discus fish due to the shape of the discus fish body. This means therefore that you need to keep a close eye on plecos as they mature.

v) Stingrays
Other very experienced discus fish keepers keep stingrays in their discus fish aquariums. Stingrays stay at the bottom of the aquarium and do not interfere with the discus fish. However, the diet of a stingray is completely different from the diet of a discus fish. Therefore if you have sting rays in your tank you must cater to both the eating habits of the sting ray and the discus fish. Many people do not like keeping sting rays in their discus aquariums due to the fact that sting rays grow quickly and require fairly large aquariums.

In conclusion, you should choose carefully the type of discus fish tank mates that best serves your aquarium needs without you going out of your norms in maintaining them. This will depend on your preferences most of the times.

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