Spotted Hoplo Catfish (Megalechis thoracata), Captive-Bred!
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The Spotted Hoplo Catfish is a very interesting South American species that is very peaceful and grows to a manageable size. It can be kept with community fish as well as larger, more aggressive fish!
The Spotted Hoplo Catfish (Megalechis thoracata) is a medium-sized catfish species that is native throughout northern South America. It has been a very popular aquarium fish for many years due to its hardiness, generally peaceful nature, and attractive markings. It grows too large for the nano aquarium, but is an excellent candidate for the medium or large aquarium, especially Amazon-type setups with cichlids or tetras.
The Spotted Hoplo Catfish is a gregarious species, although it is also fine as a single specimen in an aquarium. It is somewhat reclusive and definitely requires ample hiding places in the form of driftwood, pipes, or other crevices. It will be more outgoing when kept in a group. Multiple specimens will sometimes wedge into the same refuge. This fish is not particularly territorial or aggressive, but like most catfish, it will prey on anything small enough to fit in its mouth, such as tiny fish, dwarf shrimp, and fry. It will not bother plants. It is not particularly sensitive, but it prefers fairly calm to moderate water flow. It does like to root around in the substrate in search of food, so its aquarium should be furnished with sand or fine, smooth gravel.
Feeding is very simple for the Spotted Hoplo Catfish. In the wild, it mainly feeds on small crustaceans and other invertebrates. In the aquarium, it will accept most live, frozen, and dry meaty foods, although some vegetable matter (such as spirulina-rich dry foods) is recommended as well. It is a voracious eater, so care should be taken not to overfeed. Inserting food near the fish's hiding place is very effective, although it will typically learn to come out of hiding with enthusiasm when food is available.
- Beautiful tan and black markings
- Completely peaceful with anything too large to be considered prey
- Excellent scavenger
- Will not bother plants
- Rare captive-bred specimens
- Temperature: 64° - 82° F (18° - 28° C)
- pH: 6.0 - 8.0
- KH: 2 - 20 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 55 gallons for a small group
- Diet: Omnivorous. Will accept most dry, frozen, and live meaty foods
- Social behavior: Peaceful, nocturnal, somewhat gregarious
Origin: Captive-bred, but indigenous throughout Northern South America
Average adult size: 6 inches (15 cm)
- Average purchase size: 1.5 inches (3.8 cm)