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Cleaner fish, help me! Help me, let it be clear, clear as the glass of the aquarium we want, that it is a help. The cleaner fish it is not a servant who does the work for us, it is something very useful and here we are to discover some kind of curiosity and usefulness. Of course, wallowing in "oceanic" aquariums from almost 100 liters to others a little more modest, such as the desk one, complete with LEDs.
It is therefore good that each aquarium has its own cleaner fish, and even more than one, but that it is the right one, to keep the seabed clean by eliminating waste substances. There are numerous species on the market, but none cleaner fish it is to be understood as a "sweeper" of the aquarium depths in all respects.
The cleaner fish it is not able to clean up all waste substances, it essentially frees us, and frees the tank, from the leftovers of the food given to other fish and many other small organisms present in the seabed but excrements and floating leaves, for example, must be however removed from us.
The most common cleaner fish and the Corydoras and you can choose this type of about 5 cm, typical of South America, by sifting through the numerous varieties, including albino ones. This cleaner fish if well cared for, it has the reputation of surviving well even in highly calcareous waters, just keep a temperature below 25 ° C, do not leave it alone and even without food. Never: it seems to be a bottomless pit.
Another cleaner fish which feeds on algae - phytophagous, therefore - but of very different dimensions is the Gyrinocheilus. If fit, it can reach 15-18 cm, unmanageable in small aquariums, and it is a pity because in addition to being a cleaner fish, this is also a nice fish to admire at work, when it begins to stick with the sucker mouth to the glass walls of the aquarium.
Other types of cleaner fish, like the peaceful Ancistrus dolichopterus. He wallows in water from 23 to 27 ° C, and being about 13 cm, it is useful as a devourer of algae in large aquariums - such as 100 liters - certainly not in one of about 60. The Ancistrus is a cleaner fish with a flat body from which well developed fins emerge and a large head decorated with strange growths.
It is brown with small white spots, but it is a cleaner fish of those with a sucker mouth and you look at it for that, when it acts "at night", preferably in clean, oxygen-rich water. To put him at ease, it is recommended to use a powerful filter that makes the aquatic habitat as he prefers. It also loves resting in semi-dark areas of the aquarium, it can be created with large roots for example.
The same goes for the size, if not worse, for the cleaner fish said Crossochelius siamensis which, in a couple of years, even reaches 16 centimeters; but the major problem with this species is the strong character. In fact, it often tends to quarrel with other guests, so they should choose aquarium co-owners who know how to defend themselves.
Very robust and also long-lived, an excellent cleaner fish of algae is the Hypostomus plecostomus, of the Loricaridi family. Like his other colleagues, he moves mainly at night and in water at a temperature of 20-28 ° C. Being also 28 cm, it needs a sufficiently large tank, better if full of hiding places and equipped with good filtration because it produces a lot of excrement.
L'Hypostomus plecostomus it is brown, with body and fins covered with darker specks, but there is little to be trusted because it has the "vice" of camouflaging itself, becoming the color of the support it rests on. certainly not as much as the sucker mouth and, moreover, with a couple of barbels. This cleaner fish as well as algae, it also feeds on and small crustaceans, but it does an excellent job on rocks and glass in our aquariums and not for nothing is it an extremely widespread species on the market.
Very particular like cleaner fish, how I look, is then the Poecilia latipinna also called Black Molly and this immediately gives an idea of how we should expect it. Black or mottled black, but there is also a variety with a lyre tail or the "balloon" one that sports a shorter body and a swollen belly. Black Molly belongs to the Pecylidae family and is rather delicate to hold, perhaps for this reason that it is not widespread despite having a very elegant appearance.
Of "black" he has only one line, which crosses his eyes, but it is a cleaner fish very smart the Gyrinocheilus aymonieri, especially with the glasses date the mouth of sucker The rest of the body, even 25 to 27 cm long, has irregular spots and when it is in reproductive age it is equipped with quills. A sign of aggression? Maybe. It is true that it is often the protagonist of struggles for the territory. especially if you have more elderly, too aggressive specimens.
Of company, on the other hand, and to be adopted in pairs or in groups, is the Boha or Botia fasciata, also called Cavedano rigato, of the Cobiti family. In an aquarium at 25 ° C it does not exceed 15 cm it gets along well with everyone. It "works" at night, loves cavities and other hiding places, but you can see it because it has three large black transverse stripes and red pectoral, pelvic and tail fins, as well as four pairs of barbels and an erectile sting in front of the eye.
It has all the thorns erect the cleaner fish ball, freshwater. It becomes so round when filled with water or air, it belongs to the tetraodontidae family and comes from Southeast Asia. In addition to the "ball" shape this cleaner fish it has a large head and eyes that are spaced apart and independent, varies in color depending on the origin and even stripes may appear on the back. He is an enthusiast cleaner fish of aquariums with rich vegetation and even complex furnishings but tends to be aggressive.
How to clean the aquarium glass
You cannot entrust all the tasks to the cleaner fish, it would be nice, but we must do our part. Here's how to clean the aquarium, and yours glass, so you can continue to enjoy the view and the life that flows inside. The aquarium is a very delicate ecosystem and its maintenance is absolutely essential because of the proliferation of algae and limestone on the glass it obscures the view and creates health problems for the fish.
Algae often form due to too much light and poor hygiene, and when they are too many, there are specific tools to act with, such as a double magnet. By placing the two parts, one against the other on the internal and external glass, the algae move and detach, releasing them in the water which will then be partially replaced. Alternatively you can use a headstock with interchangeable blade in plastic or metal which, thanks to a long arm, allows you to reach the bottom.
It must be said that razor blades and scrapers remain difficult to use because they are dangerous for hands and glass, but they allow you to thoroughly remove encrusting algae. An inexpensive and easy alternative are the supermarket staple cards, made of plastic: not scratching, they are also perfect for plastic or acrylic tubs. Perlon fabrics and wool can also be used in any type of bathtub because they are soft and do not scratch the glass.
A cleaner fish, chosen well, perhaps also according to your tastes, and the size of your aquarium, complete the work, cleaning, but also for the joy of your eyes.
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