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This unique fish is a peaceful species that often rests in the water column with its head pointed downward!
The Spotted Headstander (Chilodus punctatus), also known as the Checkered Headstander, is a somewhat unusual fish that gets its common name from the odd way that it positions itself with its head pointed downward when the fish is resting. This somewhat shy fish is peaceful and can be a very good candidate for the community or planted aquarium.
Due to its somewhat timid disposition, the Spotted Headstander should not be kept with boisterous fish species. Dwarf cichlids, tetras, and peaceful catfish are all excellent choices for tankmates. The Spotted Headstander hails from waterways with low to moderate flow, but it requires very clean water. It might prey on dwarf shrimp, but is safe to keep with larger shrimp as well as other peaceful invertebrates. It is a schooling/shoaling fish, so it should be kept in schools of 6 or more. It appreciates plenty of cover, so it will feel right at home in a heavily planted tank.
The Spotted Headstander is an omnivore, but it does not eat ornamental aquarium plants. Much of the plant matter it consumes consists of algae. The animal matter in the wild is mostly insects and insect larvae. In the aquarium, it is not a fussy eater and will accept most high quality dry, frozen, and live foods of appropriate size.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Unique schooling/shoaling pattern
- Hardy and peaceful
- Perfect for the planted aquarium
- Attractive "checkerboard" pattern
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 68° - 82° F (20° - 28° C)
- pH: 5.0 - 7.5 (softer water is often preferred)
- KH: 8 - 12 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 30 gallons for a group of 6
- Diet: Carnivorous. Should be fed high quality frozen foods such as bloodworms. Live gut-loaded fruit flies are also ideal. Most specimens will also eventually also accept high quality flake foods.
- Social behavior: Peaceful, schooling. Must be kept in schools of 6 or more.
- Origin: Tank-bred, but indigenous to tropical South America’s Amazon basin.
- Average adult size: 2.8 - 3.1 inches (7 - 8 cm)
- Average purchase size: 1 - 1.5 inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm)
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