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Catfish / Loricariidae / Bulldog Catfish

Bulldog Catfish
Chaetostoma sp.


Synonyms: Hypostomus species
Physical description: Has a similar body shape to Hypostomus species. The body color is beige to light brown and marked with brown, connecting stripes, that mark the edges of the body plates that cover the fish's body. The iris of the eye, depending on the species may be yellow. The head is spotted with small brown spots.
Size/Length: Depending on the species, size can range from 2.5" to 10" (6-25 cm)
Similar species: Some members of the Hypostomus genus are similar.
Habitat: South America; can be found in the Andean foothills, in small rapid streams
S: bottom
Aquarium: For a small species, a 20" (50 cm) or 10 gallon (38 L) tank is sufficient, while the largest species need a 40" (122 cm) or 40 gallon (150 L) tank. The tank should have strong circulation or else the fish are short-lived because of the lack of exercise. Fine gravel with areas of coarse gravel is recommended and the water should be well-aerated. Use strong light to promote algae growth. This species will not harm plants.
Water chemistry: 6.5-7.5 pH (7.0), 6-15 dH (10), 68-75°F (20-24°C)
Social behavior: A peaceful, diurnal fish, that can be combined in a community tank with small to large companions. The Bulldog Catfish can be kept singly or in groups.
Suggested companions: Characins, Corydoras , Acaras, Cichlasoma
FOOD: Some species may graze on algae, although others will not. Food tablets; frozen crustaceans; vegetarian foods; vegetables; peas; live; Tubifex , crustaceans.
Sexual differences: Difficult to distinguish between the sexes. Males have a slightly larger snout.
Breeding techniques: Breeding the Bulldog Catfish is difficult. The eggs are laid in a cavity or cave, out of the current. The male guards the eggs. The fry should be removed and placed in a rearing tank with strong circulation. Start feeding with food tablets, frozen Artemia, and spinach. Breeding thus far have been accidental.
Breeding potential: 9. Accidental breedings have been reported, although these are unusual.
Remarks: About 40 different species in this genus are known.
Difficulty of care: 4. This hardy catfish can be kept in a community tank.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com