A flattened body, elongated lips with suction cups, skin outgrowths - "mustaches", bright colors - all these are signs of ancistrus, popular inhabitants of modern aquariums. These chain-mail catfish not only decorate the artificial reservoir, but also cleanse it of excess algae. It is important for the breeder to determine the sex of the fish. This can be done only after the entry of the pets into puberty, otherwise it will be extremely difficult to distinguish the male from the female.
It is necessary
- - the presence of at least four adults;
- - spacious aquarium;
- - aerator;
- - siphon for changing water;
- - thermometer;
- - artificial ceramic shelters.
Purchase at least four Ancistrus fry. Usually, in nature, the ratio of male and female catfish is 1: 1 or 1: 2, therefore, if there are several specimens of the species, the chances of creating a mating pair increase.
Wait for the fish to mature. From the age of eight months, sex differences begin to appear in aquarium cleaner catfish. By the year they become bright enough.
Try to determine the sex of the catfish by external signs. If all fish of the same litter were kept in the same conditions, females and males will differ in size. With good care and feeding, ascistrus grow very quickly, but the limit for adults in a spacious aquarium is 14-16 cm. At the same time, "men" are longer, larger and slimmer than their friends.
Consider the structure of the catfish. One of the sex differences of ascistrus is their fins. Those located on the back have a lower height in sexually mature females. The tail fins of the "women" are noticeably narrower.
An important sexual characteristic of the male catfish is long, branched "antennae" - leathery outgrowths at the top of the head and along its edges. "Mustache" females are rare; sometimes in some representatives of this genus of chain-mail catfish, you can see small "horns" on the edges of the head.
Observe the behavior of the ascistrus, which can tell you their gender. Usually, the cleaners are calm disposition, they are active only at dusk and at night. However, in a cramped aquarium, males often fight among themselves. Females, on the other hand, have a more peaceful disposition.
Create conditions for spawning - then it will be easy to determine the sex of the catfish during the breeding season. Replace the water in the aquarium by 30% of the volume, slightly lower the water temperature (up to 24 degrees), simulate natural rains - carry out strong aeration.
Place various shelters on the bottom (hollow ceramic tubes and elongated vessels). If there is a heterosexual couple in the aquarium, the result will not be long in coming - ancistrus reproduce up to six times a year.
Watch out for catfish especially during the spawning period. Usually the male is the first to occupy the bottom shelter and is taken to thoroughly clean it with a suction cup. The female makes her way into the nesting site in the second turn and throws a game in the form of a yellow-orange bunch. Having done her job, she immediately leaves the "apartment" and no longer takes part in reproduction. A caring father fertilizes the eggs and begins work: fanning the future fry with fins, bringing in fresh water. He vigilantly guards his offspring. Only after the appearance of the fry (approximately on the fifth or sixth day) does the ancistrus daddy swim to freedom.