June FOTM Photo Contest Starts Now! Fish of the Month
🏆 Click to enter! 🏆

The only things that qualify as "Cleaners" for me are Shrimps, Snails, Ostracod, Copepods, worms, etc... Real detritivores. They have the capacity to break down waste to a much further level, playing a vital role in the decomposition process and nutrient cycling.

The fish mentioned earlier (Plecos, Corydoras, etc.) are more opportunistic scavengers. They will consume leftover food and some detritus particles, but they aren't specifically adapted to break down decomposing organic matter like the shrimp, worms, and copepods/ostracopodes does.
Can you get some clear photos of the fish you don't know the species name of, please? Like the catfish in the 5g with the betta, and the ones in your 46g you don't know the names of? There's a near 100% chance that someone here will be able to ID them for you, and then we can help a lot more in terms of what their care requirements are, including what they'll eat!

Well you learn something everyday. Pet stores sell many of those as cleaners n even some websites talk bout them as cleaners of the tanknu need.
That's why I ask people who keep fish n won't try to sell me anything.

Definitely wise to ask hobbyists who don't have the motivation to sell you anything! A lot of people fall for misinformation - even if well meaning - from stores and websites. Have to remember that anyone can write a blog post or make a website, and spout their opinions, but it doesn't always mean accurate info, sadly. There's a tremendous amount of outdated, misinformed, and often wildly inaccurate info out there in this hobby sadly, which makes it really hard for beginners especially to sort through what's true and what isn't. With some topics, there isn't a hard and fast rule either, and is still a matter of hot debate; making it even harder.

A reliable site if you know the name of the fish you want to research is Seriously Fish. Written by scientists and experts in the hobby with decades of experience, both collecting fish from the wild and aquarium keeping, and you can find all the info about the species there. From temperature requirements, habitat and tank requirements, to whether they are suited for a community tank, and if so, what other fish they can safely be kept with, and in what minimum numbers that species needs to be kept.

I'm afraid your main stocking already needs some work... but is easily remedied! So this isn't a criticism, just trying to help. You have some tetra species that need to be kept in minimum group numbers in order to thrive. Neons live in groups of thousands in the wild, and just having two or three will make them feel stressed, unsafe, and not show them at their best, since stressed fish are often pale. They really need a group of eight to twelve.

The serpae tetra are especially worrying... I've never kept them because as pretty as they are, they are aggressive and fin nippers, especially when not kept in the right school numbers, and with more vulnerable fish. They'll harass and stress the more sedate fish like the gourami, and can cause havoc in the tank.

Even if your fish appear okay at the moment, remember that they are all juveniles when bought from the store, and behaviour changes as they mature to adulthood and are ready to establish territories and breed. People often say "they're all getting along well! No problems!" when it's only been a few months, only for all hell to break loose by the time the fish are a year old!

As said by others, bettas are solitary fish in the wild, fiercely territorial, and while females and males meet briefly in the wild to mate and lay eggs, the female doesn't stick around once the eggs are laid. The male will chase her off out of his territory. But there's nowhere for the female to escape when in a tank, and the male will kill her before or after mating if the female isn't removed pronto. Keeping females together in a tank usually leads to disaster too. They're usually okay when young, but adult females don't live together in the wild, and can also kill each other, especially in a tiny tank.

The betta tank is overstocked too, whatever species of catfish is in there, unless it's perhaps a single oto... but a five gallon is enough for a betta, and perhaps some shrimp or a snail, but no other fish. Even then, depending on the temperament of the betta, the shrimp and even the snail are at risk of attack and death from the betta. Some are more chill, but aggressive ones will kill shrimp, and have been known to bite the eyeball stalks off of even large snails.

So if you can provide as many clear profile shots of the unknown species of fish, that would help a lot! And the pleco, because if it's a bristlenose, that's a lot less of a problem than a larger species like a common pleco, which would be a disaster in the making unless we figure out what it is. Welcome to the hobby, sorry about all the misinformation out there, and I hope you stick around and learn more with us here! :)
I don't believe in the concept of cleaner fish. Hence my sig line. You should only get a fish because you like the way it looks and/or behaves. And that's after considering if it is compatible with your water parameters, tank size, tank mates etc. and if it's needs will be met.
I love corydoras. They're peaceful, have a unique look, have interesting behaviors, and because they inhabit a certain level of the tank, they fit in well with many aquariums. But they are not janitors. Some people believe that corys are prone to starvation. They aren't. The issue is that they have their own dietary needs that are not met by subsisting off the scraps of what other fish don't eat. The problem is that people add corys to a tank expecting them to clean up. The real issue is that these owners don't discipline themselves to not overfeed and expect the fish to compensate for that.
You see this all the time in fish keeping. People have some kind of issue with their tank; excess algae, pest snails, etc. And other people rush in to recommend a fish to solve this problem. "I have too many pest snails." "Get a clown loach." They don't ask the size of the tank, the water parameters, the livestock or the substrate. They just immediately go to recommending a fish. One that will outgrow many tanks and should be in a shoal. And again, this doesn't address the root cause.
I have my own experience with this. I had a pest snail infestation. So I did what a lot of people do. I got some assassin snails. Here's the dirty little secret of assassin snails. They actually prefer to eat left over fish food to other snails. The reason I had so many snails is because I was overfeeding. So not only were the pest snails going to keep proliferating, the assassins weren't going to do much about it. I had a leaky roof and instead of fixing the hole, I was looking for a new bucket and was surprised that didn't fix the leak. It wasn't until I addressed the root cause, which was me overfeeding that I was able to get a handle on the pest snails. It took some discipline, some manual removal, and the assassin snails helped a little.
Adding an animal to fix a problem often creates more problems. People buy a pleco to eat algae and find out that they are poop machines. Or it's inhumane to a fish that has it's own needs. Or they end up being a disappointment because the fish has no idea that it has a task to do and can't possibly address root causes like overfeeding or excess lighting. Bottom line is that maintaining the tank is our job, not the fishes'.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.
Man I thought you were nagging at me but I know u weren't but the way u talked to me specially with ur comment at the very end opened up my eyes bout several things. So I tanks you for opened up my eyes.
Man I thought you were nagging at me but I know u weren't but the way u talked to me specially with ur comment at the very end opened up my eyes bout several things. So I tanks you for opened up my eyes.
Thanks. That wasn't at all directed at you personally. It's a mindset I see a lot. "Top 10 Algae Eaters for Your Aquarium!". And I feel strongly about it.
Pakistan loach is Botia almorhae aka Yo-Yo Loach. It is so named because the striping down the side will often seem to spell Yo Yo Yo


(Pic is from Maidenhead Aquatics)

They can grow to about 6 inches. They should be kept in groups. They were my first loach. I gave them away when they began harassing my DD Black Angels.

Most reactions