We’ve talked repeatedly about the importance of adding bottom dwellers to your aquarium to help keep the fish tank’s water clean. Now that you know that, the next step is to decide which ones to get, and that’s not easy.
Because they are such unusual creatures with interesting characteristics, they will all add their own type of beauty and intrigue to the ecosystem. Additionally, there are multiple breeds of each type of bottom dweller, and each has its own unique traits.
To help you narrow it down, here are the general categories of the best bottom dwellers if your primary intent is to keep the water clean.
- Geophagus: These fish are like live gravel vacuum cleaners, as they will sift through the gravel all day long.
- Catfish: There are many different breeds of catfish, such as the popular bristlenose pleco and cory catfish. Each of them adds an air of fun to a fish tank, especially those that cling to the inside of the glass. For a truly tricky look, consider a twig catfish; your guests probably won’t even find it.
- Siamese Algae Eater: They’re peaceful and energetic, which is what you want when trying to find the best bottom dwellers. They also have a big appetite.
- Loaches: Their bodies tend to be longer than that of the typical fish, so they can really enhance the aesthetics of the aquarium. They’re also fairly active and usually won’t harm your plants.
- Shrimp: Adding shrimp to the aquarium requires some experience, as not all of them are compatible with certain types of fish. However, they are definitely eye-catching, will clear algae, and can clean hard-to-reach areas.
- Snails: Snails are a fun addition to the aquarium and help keep the water clean. It’s important to choose the right ones, though, as some can multiply and become invasive.
When choosing bottom dwellers for your tank, remember to consider how compatible they are with your existing pets. Some bottom dwellers like to eat, while others get eaten. So be careful.
However, with a combination of regular water changes, powerful filters, rocks, gravel, plants, and bottom feeders, you can maintain a clean and peaceful aquarium environment.