Does Scavenger Fish Eat Fish Poop?

Scavenger fish should be familiar to everyone, and when you think of scavenger fish, the impression should be that they eat fish poop. This is especially true if you are new to fish farming. This is all thanks to the owner of the aquarium shop who keeps saying that they eat fish droppings. I’ve written about the scavenger fish before, but I feel sorry for them, so I’m going to give them a new name and reintroduce you to them.

First of all, I reared the scavenger fish myself for 2-3 months before writing this article, so that I could observe whether its habits are different from my previous judgement, and so I could guarantee the accuracy of the article and the description of the species will be more objective. OK, so let’s talk about this fish next.

First thing, I don’t eat fish poop.

Really, scavenger fish don’t eat fish poop! The previous aquarium owner said they eat fish droppings, partly because they don’t know much about it, but also because they give gimmicks to better sell their fish. We’ve had scavenger fish and if you look closely you’ll see that not only do they not eat fish poop, but they excrete a lot of it. So, if you expect scavenger fish to go down and you can keep your tank clean and not change the water, you are bound to be disappointed with the results.

Scavenger fish are actually omnivorous, which means they are meat and vegetable eaters, and they will eat the algae on the tank walls, and they will eat the feed that is fed down there before it sinks to the bottom. The priority of food selection is to eat the feed with higher nutritional value first, and then eat the algae when they are hungry. It’s a biological survival instinct.

How do you explain the scavenger fish munching on other ornamental fish?

Scavenger fish do nibble on other ornamental fish, which is a problem that many fishermen have reported, and my scavenger fish have not been nibbling on other fish during these 2-3 months of keeping them. I’m sure many fishermen don’t see scavenger fish going to nibble on other fish in the same tank either. What’s up with that? How does the same fish have different habits?

There is one thing that I must rehash with you all. The other ornamental fish that the scavenger fish gnaws on are mostly sick fish. That’s why people mistakenly think that scavenger fish are chewing other fish to death. The truth is that it’s not the scavenger fish that are chewing them to death, it’s the fish that are already sick, which is hard for you as a novice fishkeeper to see. However, a sick fish’s body will produce more mucus than a healthy fish because its metabolism is accelerated and its body functions want to get rid of the dead cells through higher frequency metabolism and produce more new cells to make the fish recover faster.

The scavenger fish’s sense of smell is much more developed (they are nocturnal fish and their sense of sight is not as developed as their sense of smell, so it’s usually not scary to stare at them in front of the tank because it’s hard for them to see you), so this extra secretion of mucus is very attractive to the scavenger fish to go over and eat. This really aggravates the sick fish because they are constantly being harassed by the scavenger fish, which naturally gnaws at their body surface and also prevents them from recuperating quietly, which indirectly affects their recovery.

So, if you see a scavenger fish at home nibbling on other ornamental fish in the same tank, you can pretty much decide that the nibbled ornamental fish is definitely sick and needs to be isolated and treated immediately.

Correct positioning of scavenger fish

The scavenger fish is actually in the classification of ornamental fish, belongs to the family of alien fish, there are hundreds of known species in the family of alien fish, the main origin is South America, is also a kind of tropical fish. There are many ornamental fish in the family, such as the Labyrinth Alien Fish, Panda Alien Fish and so on. Their price range is also very large, ranging from a few dollars to several thousand dollars.

The common characteristic of all fish is that they are benthic. Because of their body structure, they can only attach themselves to the walls of the tank or to places where their mouths can be attached, most often on the sunken wood or at the bottom of the tank. So their primary function in the tank is more likely to be cleaning up food scraps and algae on the walls of the tank. Young scavenger fish in particular are still very good at eating algae. So they are used more as a tool fish for algae disposal rather than for cleaning fish waste from other ornamental fish for the tank.

I hope this article has given you a better understanding of the scavenger fish species.