Fish of the week: Vampire Plecos and Ocellaris Clownfish

Dan Laguardia

This week we've got TWO great fish to talk about.  For freshwater fish, we're talking about the L29 Vampire Pleco.  For Saltwater, that loveable Nemo, the Ocellaris Clownfish! 

Vampire Plecos get their name because of a small sharp tooth on the sucker mouth. Though it doesn't really hurt, it can come as a bit of a shock! These plecos will live up to 15 years and grow to about 8" in length. 

Their native habitat includes strong river currents, so it's important to try to mimic that in their home aquarium. These guys are obviously bottom dwellers, so providing hiding places down there along with driftwood is a nice touch. They'll get along with other peaceful community bottom dwellers as long as it doesn't get too crowded. 

Remember, they ARE meat eaters and so they'll view very small fish as potential food. Best to keep them with at least medium sized tetras and cichlids. They'll also eat pellets and flake. 

fish for beginning reef aquariums

Clownfish - These guys are one of the most popular Saltwater fish for aquariums. It's easy to see why! Clownfish are a great addition to beginner reef aquariums, but be careful of which clownfish you choose. The "nemo" ocellaris Clownfish is a great option because it is bred in captivity, used to home aquarium conditions, and will get along well with other captive-bred clownfish.   These guys like a diet of meaty foods but also like frozen herbivore preparations too. 

Clownfish of course are known for their ability to host anemones, and in tanks they'll extend this to bubble tip anemones and even corals. They need at least a 10 gallon tank, water between 75-82 degrees F, and a pH of between 8 - 8.4.