Physical description: A small catfish with an elongated body. The mouth is on the underside of the head and suction cup shaped. The back is light brown to gold while the belly is white. A black stripe extends from the tip of the snout to the base of the tail. The pectoral, pelvic, dorsal, and anal fins are transparent, while the tail is stripped.
Size/Length: To 1.5" (4 cm)
Similar species: Other Otocinclus species and the Dwarf Catfish ( Hypoptopoma species.)
Habitat: South America; rivers with heavy vegetation is the Rio de Janeiro area (Brazil).
S: bottom (substrate dependent)
Aquarium: 16" (40 cm) or 5 gallons (19 L). The tank should be well-planted with thickets for hiding places. This species will damage soft-leafed plants. Algae growth should be encouraged. The Midget Catfish likes clear water with a moderately strong current.
Water chemistry: pH 5.2-7.5 (6.9) ; 4-20 dH (8); 68-82°F (20-28°C)
Social behavior: An calm fish that can be kept in a community tank with small, non-predatory companions. This catfish can be kept singly or in groups. This species will not harm plants.
Suggested companions: Corydoras, tetras, Discus, Apistogramma
FOOD: Vegetarian food; algae; small live; Brine Shrimp, insect larvae; vegetables; lettuce, peas, spinach; tablets
Sexual differences: Females are plumper
Breeding techniques: The addition of cooler water may help induce spawning. The small amount of adhesive eggs are deposited on leaves and glass walls. Transfer the eggs to a rearing tank. The fry hatch in 48 hours and the free-swimming after 2 or 3 days. Feed with dry food, newly hatch Brine Shrimp, and spinach.
Breeding potential: 7. Breeding is moderately difficult.
Remarks: Very sensitive because of its size to chemicals in the water and water conditions.
Difficulty of care: 4. A somewhat sensitive catfish that is an excellent algae eater especially for planted tanks and for tanks with small, peaceful, community fish.
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