As old as the hobby itself, the cleaner catfish is still the most popular of all aquarium fish. It will quite happily dispose of all uneaten food from the bottom of the tank as well as sucking all the algae from off the glass and ornaments to leave the tank clean and sparkling.
It will survive in all temperatures from the coldwater goldfish tank to the Discus aquarium in the mid 80's and in a range of pH from 5.0 - 9.0.
Indeed the only drawback with this species is its rarity, as in over 40 years of fish keeping I have never yet managed to finder a retailer, including Grosvenor Tropicals, who has any in-stock.
In fact such is its rarity that many experts now believe that it is a myth created by lazy fish keepers disenchanted with the endless chore of tank maintenance , or worse, an elaborate hoax by unscrupulous retailers to boost catfish sales
Yes, if you have read thus far you will have realised by now that this is a 'Wind Up', but one based on just enough fact to make it plausible.
Catfish are found on every continent in waters ranging from raging torrents to muddy stagnant pools and in an incredible range of temperatures.
It is also true that many species have adapted "Sucker" mouths ideal for grazing on algae-covered stones and boulders, but that is where the facts end. The reality is that captive catfish will graze on algae growing in the aquarium, but only as a last resort. They will not relieve the owner of the weekly task of cleaning the tank, nor compensate for overfeeding. In the end, it is the owner's responsibility to maintain the tank and regulate the feeding, not the fish's.