Bottom water fish are those that prefer living at the lowest
level of the aquarium. It's not that they can't swim into the
upper regions, they will when spurred by a fish that pesters
them, or just for the sake of a quick dash around the tank. But
for the most part, they live on the bottom, which is where most
of their food comes from.
Tropical fish that prefer the bottom of the tank, usually eat
algae that grows there, as well as leftover food that falls on
the substrate or the broad leaves of some plants. In a way, the
bottom water fish are the housekeepers of your aquarium, cleaning
up scraps and preventing the build up of algae. But this is not
always a sufficient diet, and they need to be given food that
comes in a form or shape specifically designed to reach, and
appeal to the bottom feeder.
This is usually a wafer shape, dense enough that it sinks past
the top and middle feeders, to rest on the bottom and soften. The
bottom feeders can then browse at their leisure, returning later
to clean up the remains. In that respect, they are not like top
and middle feeders, where food is given a pinch at a time, and
feeding should stop as soon as they lose interest. Those tropical
fish that hang around the bottom tend to be "grazers", and not
the gulpers that you'll find dashing for the surface when they
see you coming.
Some of the better-known bottom water fish are the loach, and
catfish. There are also algae eaters, Botia, Corys, Knifefish and
the more unusual specimens like Goby and Needle Nose.
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