With so many species to choose from, it can be difficult to know what will work best for you, but the following are all very popular choices for the aquarium:
- Otocinclus -Small and peace-loving, happiest with several of its own kind, this attractive stripy fish is a great algae eater. A golden variety is also available.
- Zebra Pleco -With its stunning black and white markings, this beautiful fish is an aquarium favourite. However, it doesn't eat a lot of algae, preferring meaty foods. It does best in a tank without other bottom-feeding fish.
- Cory -Available in several varieties, this popular fish prefers to be in a group of its own kind, though it is non-aggressive with other fish. Its diet needs to be supplemented with frozen or live meaty foods.
- Bristle-nosed Catfish -A great algae eater, this active fish will also eat any other food which drifts down to the bottom, reducing the risk of pollution in your tank. It is also easy to breed.
- Clown Catfish -Popular for its striking markings, this is a highly active fish which maybe territorial with other bottom dwellers.
Caring for your CatfishAlthough most species of catfish eat algae, it's still important to make sure that they're getting all they need, and they generally benefit from being provided with food pellets or algae discs. Since most species are nocturnal it's best to feed them shortly after lights out - this will also discourage other fish from stealing all their food.
If you have an armoured catfish it's especially important for you to make sure it's eating, as you may not notice if it's losing weight - its armour won't shrink just because it does.