15 Bottom Feeder Fish For Your Aquarium (Freshwater)

15 Bottom Feeder Fish For Your Aquarium

Bottom-feeder fish are fish that primarily feed on or near the bottom of a body of water. These fish typically consume a variety of organisms such as plants, small invertebrates, and detritus. Examples of bottom-feeder fish include catfish, carp, and suckerfish. Some species of bottom-feeder fish are important for controlling algae and other unwanted organisms in aquatic ecosystems.

  1. Catfish
  2. Carp
  3. Suckerfish
  4. Plecostomus
  5. Loaches
  6. Eel
  7. Cod
  8. Flounder
  9. Sole
  10. Halibut
  11. Stingray
  12. Electric Eel
  13. Paddlefish
  14. Sturgeon
  15. Drum fis


Catfish are a varied species of freshwater and saltwater fish known for their unique barbels that mimic cat whiskers and bottom-dwelling habits. They can be found around the world, including North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.


Catfish are bottom feeders that live in a range of settings such as rivers, lakes, ponds, and swamps. Worms, crabs, and small fish are among the organisms they consume. Some catfish species have been observed scavenging for food.
Catfish can range in size from a few millimetres to over 3 metres in length, with the smallest species reaching only a few centimetres and the largest species, such as the Mekong giant catfish, reaching over 3 metres.
Some catfish species are kept as aquarium pets in addition to being significant food fish.


The carp is an Asian and European freshwater fish species. They are now commonplace in many other regions of the world, including the Americas, Australia, and many more. In some regions, they are considered an invasive species.


Carp are mostly bottom feeders, eating things like aquatic plants, tiny invertebrates, and detritus. They can disturb the ecosystem of a body of water by stirring up silt.
Some carp can reach lengths of several feet and weights of over a hundred pounds as adults. The scale pattern is unique, and they come in a wide range of brown, green, and yellow colours.
For many peoples, carp have long been prized both as a recreational fish and a source of sustenance. In many places of the world, they are also cultivated for human consumption and utilised in aquaculture.


The Suckerfish hypothesis, also known as the “Suckerfish Dropdown” or “Son of Suckerfish,” is a web design concept that allows users to access drop-down menus by keyboard navigation as well as mouse clicks. The hypothesis holds that a small fish (called a “suckerfish”) can attach itself to a larger fish (called a “host fish”) and benefit from its mobility and protection.


The host fish represents the main navigation menu in web design, while the suckerfish represents the drop-down sub-menus. The technique creates the drop-down effect with CSS and JavaScript and ensures that it is accessible to all users, including those who use keyboard navigation or assistive technology.


Plecostomus, sometimes known as plecos or plec, is a common freshwater fish maintained in aquariums. They are distinguished by their characteristic protective plates and their capacity to remove algae from tank surfaces. They are indigenous to the Americas, primarily in South and Central America.

Plecostomus are well-known for their hardiness and versatility, making them popular aquarium fish. They are also noted for being docile and may be housed with other varieties of fish if given enough space. They may grow fairly huge, with some species reaching up to 24 inches in length, therefore it is critical to have a tank large enough to house them.


They are also noted for their distinct dietary habits; they are largely vegetarian and eat algae, veggies, and fruits. Commercial fish food including algae and other plant-based elements can also be offered to them.

Overall, plecostomus are a terrific addition to an aquarium, not only offering an intriguing and colourful addition to the tank but also aiding in its cleanliness.


Loaches are a type of freshwater fish of the Cobitidae family. They come from Asia and can be found in rivers and streams in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Their elongated, eel-like bodies characterise them, and many species have a distinctive lateral line running down their sides.


Loaches are popular aquarium fish due to their unusual appearance and activity. Many species are sociable and love to swim in groups, and they are known for being energetic and playful. Three of the most popular loach species include the clown loach, yo-yo loach, and Kohli loach.

Loaches are also known for their omnivorous eating habits since they consume a variety of foods including worms, insects, crustaceans, and plant-based diets.


Eels are a type of elongated fish of the Anguillidae family. They live in both freshwater and saltwater habitats and are distinguished by their snake-like appearance and ability to crawl on land. Eels can be found all over the world, including in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America.


Because of their distinct appearance and activity, eels are popular aquarium fish. They are known to be lively and inquisitive, and many species may be taught to eat from one’s hand. The moray eel, snowflake eel, and electric eel are three of the most popular eel species.

Some eels are carnivorous, whereas others are opportunistic feeders, eating crustaceans, molluscs, and tiny fish.


Gadus, the genus that contains cod, is part of the family Gadidae. They inhabit the cold, deep waters of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans in the northern hemisphere. Their white, flaky meat and subtle flavour set them apart.


The white meat of the Atlantic cod is a staple in many different cuisines around the world, making it a commercially valuable fish species. They are also widely fished for as sport fish thanks to their reputation for putting up a fierce fight and exerting a strong pull when hooked.

Cod consume many different types of food, including smaller fish, crabs, and molluscs. They have the potential to grow to 6 feet in height and 200 pounds in weight.

There is also cod available.


Flounders are flatfish belonging to the Pleuronectidae family. Their distinctive, flattened body shape and their ability to blend in making them easy to spot in both saltwater and freshwater situations. They have always lived along the coasts of the planet, from Europe and the Americas to Asia.


Flounder is an economically significant fish that is caught and farmed for its meat, which has a light and subtle flavour. In addition to their appeal as a food source, these fish are prized by anglers for the fights they put up when reeled in.

Flounder eat a vast variety of food, from other fish to crabs to molluscs. They have a potential height range of 3 feet, and a maximum weight of 15 pounds.


The sole belongs to the family Soleidae and is a species of flatfish. They stand out among other saltwater fish thanks to their unusual flattened body form and their subtle, mild flavour. They have always inhabited the coastal regions of the world, from Europe and the Americas to Asia.

Sole is an economically lucrative fish species both in the wild and in aquaculture because its meat is highly sought after in numerous cuisines. These fish are popular not just as a source of food, but also as a sport because of the fierce resistance they offer when being reeled in.

The sole’s food is quite varied, consisting mostly of smaller marine animals including fish, crabs, and molluscs. A full-grown adult can reach a height of 2 feet and a weight of 5 pounds.

Commonly, the bottom of a pair of shoes is


The family Pleuronectidae is home to the flatfish known as halibut. They are known for their large size, peculiar flattened body shape, and nice, somewhat sweet flavour, all of which make them a popular aquarium addition when kept in salt water. They first appeared along the world’s coastlines and have since spread to many other areas.

Halibut is a highly valuable commercial fish due to its meat’s high status in a variety of cuisines. They are highly sought after as sport fish due to their size, strength, and tenacity.


Miniature fish, crabs, and molluscs make up the bulk of the halibut’s varied diet. They have the potential to reach 8 feet in height and 500 pounds in weight.

The halibut can change its skin colour and texture to fit in with its surroundings, allowing it to hide from predators and ambush its victim without being detected. They already have a stellar reputation for longevity, but the fact that some species can live for up to 20 years further enhances that image.

Large in size and known for its mild, sweet flavour, halibut is a popular commercial and sporting fish. Not only do they play a crucial role in marine ecosystems, but they are also incredibly interesting and adaptable animals.


Stingrays belong to the genus Dasyatis and the family Dasyatidae. Both marine and freshwater environments may be home to this species, which can be identified by its flat, diamond-shaped body and deadly stinger on its tail. Their native range includes the shorelines of the five continents (Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Asia).


Stingrays, because of their large size and specific needs, are not commonly kept as aquarium pets. They require a large tank with hiding spots and sand at the bottom, as well as an effective filtration system to maintain clean water. Because of their high activity levels, they require a sizable swimming area.

When it comes to food, stingrays aren’t picky. They’re opportunistic eaters, meaning they’ll consume almost anything given the chance.

The capacity of stingrays to change their colour and texture is well-documented, as it is a highly evolved camouflage strategy that helps them avoid being eaten and ambush prey. There are several species of these creatures whose lifespans have been shown to reach 25 years or more!

Although stingrays are intriguing fish in and of themselves, most aquariums are not a good fit for them due to their big size, unique feeding requirements, and the potential for harm caused by their venomous stingers. Researchers should observe these creatures in their natural habitats or in public aquariums set up for them, as interesting as they are.

Electric Eel

Electrophorus elegans is the scientific name for the Electric Eel. They prefer to live in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins in South America, both of which have relatively pure water supplies. It is their electric shocks, which they deploy for hunting, defence, and even communication, that has given them their formidable reputation.

Electric Eel

Electric Eels are rarely kept as aquarium pets due to their large size, peculiar requirements, and the risk of electric shocks. In the extreme, they can reach a height of 8 feet and a weight of 45 pounds. Keeping the water at a pleasant 82–86 degrees Fahrenheit requires a large tank with a filtration system and a strong heating system.

Since they are carnivores, electric eels eat things like other fish, crabs, and molluscs, among other things. Opportunistic eaters will consume a variety of different species.

Strong enough to be employed for hunting, defence, and even communication, Electric Eels’ electric shocks are a key part of their lifestyle. Even more remarkable is the fact that some species can live for up to 15 years.

Electric Eels are a fascinating fish species in their own right, but they shouldn’t be kept in the wrong tank due to their size, the specific diet they require, and the risk of injury they provide. Even though they are fascinating to learn about, some species are best left in their natural habitats or in public aquariums created for them.


The Polyodontidae family includes the freshwater fish commonly known as the paddlefish. They originated in North America and can be found throughout the continent but are especially abundant in the Mississippi River basin and other major rivers in the central and eastern United States. Their size, paddle-like snout, and exquisite flavour of their caviar set them apart.


Due to their big size and specific needs, paddlefish are not typically kept as aquarium pets. They can attain heights of 6 feet and weights of 200 pounds. They need a big tank with a filtration system and a big heater to keep the water at a constant 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

When it comes to food, paddlefish are omnivores, devouring anything from plankton to tiny crustaceans and aquatic insects. They have a wide range of animals they will eat, and are described as opportunistic eaters.

Paddlefish have a long, paddle-shaped snout that they utilise to filter plankton from the water. Caviar, a delicacy produced there, is also well-known. Some species of these animals have been recorded as living for up to 25 years!

Paddlefish are interesting and unusual fish, but their large size, specific diet requirements, and rarity make them unsuitable for most tanks. Though they are fascinating to study, experts advise leaving these species in the wild or in public aquariums designed specifically for them. Threats to their populations include overfishing and the degradation of their natural habitats, hence they are classified as a vulnerable species.


The sturgeon is a member of the family Acipenseridae. Their size, prehistoric look, and the bony plates (scutes) that cover their skin all help to set them apart. They populate both marine and freshwater environments. They are widespread, and you may find them in places like the Black Sea, North America, Europe, and Asia.


On the other hand, due to their large size and unique needs, sturgeon are rarely kept as aquarium pets. They will likely grow to be twenty feet tall and 2,000 pounds. Maintaining water temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit requires a large tank equipped with a filtration system and an efficient heating system.

As omnivores, sturgeons consume a wide variety of foods, including both land insects and marine organisms.

Drum fis

Drum fish, a famous and edible species, belongs to the family Sciaenidae. They are found in both marine and freshwater environments and may produce a loud, drumming noise. Several different continents are home to native populations of this species.

Due to their high upkeep needs, drum fish make interesting aquarium pets. To keep the water temperature between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, a large tank equipped with filtration and a heating system is needed. They also require a diet rich in a variety of tiny crustaceans, crabs, and worms.

Drumfish are unique among fish because of their capacity to make a resounding drumming noise with their muscles.


Bottom feeder fish are a great addition to any aquarium as they help to keep the tank clean by eating algae and other debris on the bottom.

Some popular species include the Plecostomus, Corydoras, and Otocinclus. These fish are generally peaceful and can be kept with other fish, but it’s important to research the specific species you’re interested in to ensure compatibility with the other inhabitants of your tank. Additionally, it’s important to provide these fish with a suitable substrate and hiding places, as well as to keep the tank clean and well-maintained to ensure their overall health and well-being.

Elizabeth Canales is fond of marine life since childhood and got an aquarium as a gift from her father on her 6th birthday. Since then she started to take care of Coralia (her goldfish). Her love for fish made receive her B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Washington and DVM from Delaware State University.

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