The Aspredinidae are a small South American family of catfishes also known as the banjo catfishes, with about 43 species. The Banjo Catfish fish comes from South America, inhabiting Amazon river basin as well as Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil and Peruvian waters. The Banjo Catfish prefers slow-flowing aquaria with sandy substrate and dim lighting, and being nocturnal will spend much of the daytime hidden or burrowed into the sand.
The Banjo Catfish dwells in streams, ponds and small lakes with low water flow. This fish thrives in waters with lots of debris and detritus on the bottom like branches and fallen leaves into which the fish digs itself. The Banjo Catfish can be a solitary fish, though it may form small schools with its relatives. The common name "banjo catfishes" refers to their overall body shape, with a depressed head and slender caudal peduncle giving the appearance of a banjo.
Are Banjo Catfish aggressive?
Banjo catfish are not aggressive at all, and should be considered a peaceful community bottom-feeding fish. Banjo catfish are quite solitary and nocturnal, often spending the daytime hiding in leaves or sandy substrate, rarely venturing out or interfering with other species.
Do Banjo Catfish eat lots of algae?
Banjo Catfish are omnivorous, so will eat algae-rich food as well as meatier specimens like bloodworm. They should not be used to tackle algae levels in an aquarium however, they are not a catfish that will prevent a build-up of algae on glass or surfaces. A pleco would be more suited to this task.
How big do Banjo Catfish get?
Banjo Catfish are slow growing and unlike other catfish species do not grow to a large size at all. Banjo catfish will achieve a maximum size of around 6" inches (15cm). They will often grow long and slender, rather than outward.
Approx. supplied size: 2-3" / 5-7cm
Maximum size: 6" / 15cm
Origin: South America
Lighting requirement: low
Ideal number kept together: 1+
Our conditions: pH 7.5, temp 22 °C
Ideal Temperature: 22-24 °C
Ideal pH: 6.0–7.5
Hardness: 15-20 dGH
Water flow: low
Ease of care
Easy. Prefers slow water flow, and will thrive in a loose sandy substrate with plenty of leaf litter and driftwood to cling to and hide in. Keep the substrate clean, and perform weekly water changes of around 20% as part of a responsible maintenance programme.
Feed a mixture of algae-rich catfish food and wafer, with meatier foods such as frozen shrimp and bloodworm to supplement.
Egg layers, a pair will spawn in well-oxygenated flowing water, often performing an elaborate and active mating ritual around the top level of a tank. The species does not breed readily in home aquaria however. Females tend to be larger in body than males.
Banjo Catfish can live up to 6 years in perfect conditions.
For more information on general fishkeeping and our shipping procedures click here.
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