• Bumblebee Catfish (Microglanis iheringi)

Bumblebee Catfish (Microglanis iheringi)

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The South American Bumblebee Catfish is an interesting, distinctively marked scavenger that can prove to be a useful member of many community aquariums.  This bottom-dwelling catfish stands above the rest due to its unique appearance and peaceful nature.  Its tan and black markings make it immediately distinguishable when compared with many other more drably-marked, bottom-dwelling fish.

The Bumblebee Catfish is a pimelodid catfish, meaning it belongs to the family Pimelodidae.  However, unlike like its many beautifully-marked but monster-sized cousins, it grows to only 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 centimeters), making it suitable for many smaller community and semi-aggressive aquariums.  The Bumblebee Catfish is a peaceful predator, so it should not be housed with any animals that could potentially fit into its relatively large mouth.  Snails, as well as large Vampire Shrimp, Flower/Bamboo Shrimp, and possibly large Amano Shrimp can be kept with the Bumblebee Catfish, but dwarf shrimp, microrasboras, and Neon Tetras will likely be eaten.  All larger tankmates will be ignored.
The Bumblebee Catfish is mostly active at night, so evening feeding of sinking pellets or meaty foods is recommended.  This fish is reclusive during daytime hours, so resting areas such as caves, driftwood, and planted areas are required.  The Bumblebee Catfish is an otherwise hardy and undemanding fish that can thrive as a single specimen or in a group.  Successful spawning in the aquarium has not yet been achieved or reported.
What We Like About This Fish:
  • Attractive tan and black striping
  • Peaceful disposition with any tankmates too large to be swallowed
  • Hardy and adaptable
  • Excellent scavenger and nocturnal feeder that will not bother plants
  • Temperature:  72° - 79° F (22° - 26° C)
  • pH:  6.5 - 7.5 
  • KH:  6 - 15 dKH
  • Minimum tank size:  20 gallons
  • Diet:  Carnivorous.  High-quality sinking pellets and freeze-dried or frozen meaty foods will be readily accepted.
  • Social behavior:  Peaceful with any animals too large to be swallowed. Can be kept singly or in groups.
  • Origin:  South America: Venezuela, Aragua, Rio Tumero.
  • Average adult size:  2 - 3 inches (5 - 7.6 cm)
  • Average purchase size:  1 - 1.5 inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm) 

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