Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 72-79° F, dKH 2-12, pH 5.8-7.0
Max. Size: 2.5″
Color Form: Golden bronze colour with a large darker stripe running along the sides of the fish. It often has iridescent flecks of green around the head and along the darker stripe
Compatibility: Community tanks
Origin: Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela
Life Span: Up to 10 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner
The Spotted Scat has a compressed, squarish body with a steeply slanted head profile. The body is colored a shiny silver with a light greenish cast and is covered with black spots all across the body extending onto the fins.
Juveniles are more rounded in shape and become more square as they mature. Juvenile Green Scats are brown or green with black leopard like spots over the body and some stripes on the head. As the juveniles mature, they lose their stripes and their body color becomes silvery or bronze.
In mature adults, the spots are often faded and visible only on the back and upper parts of the fish.
In the wild, the Spotted Scat can reach a length of 15″ but in an aquarium environment, they usually grow to 6 or 8 inches in length, depending on the size of the tank.
Spotted Scats are a peaceful species that do best in groups of at least four or five. They are lively, curious, outgoing and will quickly become tame and accustomed to the company of their keepers.
Many tropical fish keeping enthusiasts keep them in mixed schools with Monos, and except for some aggressive species, Spotted Scats will get along well with most other types of larger fish.
They will usually not bother other fish unless they are small enough to be considered on their menu.
To begin with, juvenile Spotted Scats need a tank of at least 60 gallons when they can be kept in freshwater, however, as they grow, they should be gradually transitioned to brackish and eventually salt water to keep them in top condition. They need a fine gravel or sand substrate with driftwood branches or roots for them to hide among. Plants can be added to their tank but will be eaten as the fish grow.
The addition of 2 to 3 teaspoons of marine salt per gallon of tank water will initially keep Spotted Scats healthy and bring out their colors. As they mature, they require additional salt added to their water until a marine salinity is achieved.
Because Spotted Scats are sloppy eaters and extremely sensitive to nitrites, they need a good biological filtration system with plenty of water movement and swimming space to thrive. Weekly tank maintenance with 20 to 30% water changes are also required.
In the wild, Spotted Scats feed on worms, insects, crustaceans, and plant matter. In an aquarium environment they will eat almost anything put into their tank. They are more herbivorous than many other brackish water species and need a good amount of vegetable matter such as algae, dried or fresh seaweed, blanched spinach or lettuce, zucchini or cucumber slices, and frozen peas. Occasional feedings of shrimp, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, or bloodworms will keep their diet balanced.
Minimum Tank Size: 60 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately Hardy
Water Conditions: 68-82° F, 12 – 18 dGH, pH 7.5-8.5
Max. Size: 15″
Color Form: Silver, Green, Black
Compatibility: Multiple species brackish water tank
Lifespan: 20 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Advanced
Best kept in a well-decorated set-up with aquatic vegetation and woody structures. The addition of some floating plants to diffuse the light entering the aquarium also seems to be appreciated and the addition of dried leaf litter can add a natural feel. Filtration, or at least water flow, should be relatively gentle, and use a soft substrate if possible since Oreichthysspecies have miniscule sensory bristles on the lower jaw which are used when foraging.
Unsuitable for most community aquaria as it may be intimidated or outcompeted for food by larger or more boisterous tankmates. Small, peaceful cyprinids such as Trigonostigma or Borarasspecies make good choices and we suspect it will also do ok with many South American characins, Otocinclus or pygmy Corydoras catfishes. Potential additions from the Ganges basin include Badis badis, Pangio pangia, and Colisa chuna.
Although gregarious by nature it’s a shoaling rather than schooling fish which develops a distinct pecking order and rival males will exhibit some interesting sparring behaviour in captivity. It’s best maintained in a group of 8 or more but the tank must be decorated in such a way that many broken lines of sight are provided. If kept singly, in a very small group or in cramped conditions it can become withdrawn and subdominant fish may be bullied incessantly.
Will accept dried foods of a suitable size but should not be fed these exclusively. Daily meals of small live and frozen fare such as Daphnia, Artemia, and suchlike will result in the best colouration and encourage the fish to come into breeding condition.
Temperature: 24 – 28 °C
pH: 6.5 – 7.5
Hardness: 90 – 268 ppm
Approx. 2" - 2.5"
Glass Catfish lack body pigment and are transparent. They have a slender body, an anal fin that extends almost from the head to the forked caudal fin, two long barbels, and usually only grow to about 3″ in length. Most of their organs are located towards the head and although they are transparent, they have an iridescent rainbow color when the light strikes them at the right angle.
Glass Catfish are a timid, non-aggressive, mid water swimming species that prefer hiding in the darker areas of the river. They are frequently collected while hiding under logs, elevated rock outcroppings, and in the shadows of overhanging vegetation in areas with a good amount of water movement.
In an aquarium environment, they need a densely planted tank with a lot of swimming area, a gentle amount of current, and some driftwood roots for shelter. A generous growth of aquatic plants is imperative to their well being, and floating plants should also be included in their tank to filter out bright lighting. In their natural habitat they are found in small schools, and should be kept with at least 5 or 6 of their own kind in a community tank setting with other peaceful fish of the same size. They do well with the smaller tetras, Corydoras, etc.
Glass catfish are relatively delicate and are extremely sensitive to changes in water quality and pH. They do best in soft (less than 10 ° dGH), slightly acidic (pH 6.5) water, at a temperature around 77 °F. A good quality filter that provides some water movement is necessary for this species.
Glass Catfish in an aquarium environment are reputedly finicky eaters however, they will accept live, frozen, or freeze dried bloodworms, tubifex, brine shrimp, and mosquito larvae. They can be weaned to accept flake foods.
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Water Conditions: 75-80° F, KH 8-12, pH 6.5-7.0
Max. Size: 3″”
Color Form: Clear
Lifespan: 3-6 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate/Advanced
The Clown Loach (Botia macracantha) is a peaceful schooling fish native to the inland waters in Indonesia on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.
In their native habitat, the Clown Loach is found in fast moving streams with water temperature ranges between 77 and 86 °F, a pH between 5.0 and 8.0, and water hardness between 5 and 12 dH. For a good portion of the year, monsoons force the Clown Loach into blackwater river areas and murky water conditions encountered when the plains become flooded.
Clown Loaches get their name from their bright colors. The main body is light to bright orange with three wide black, triangular, vertical bands that gives it it’s unmistakeable appearance. The front band runs from the top of the head through the eye, the middle band runs between the head and the dorsal fin and wraps around the body, and the rear band wraps around the caudal and anal fins around the body. Clown Loaches are wide bodied fish that have a large moveable spine set in a groove below each of the fish’s eyes that is used for defense and holding onto rocks in swift currents.
Clown Loaches are shy fish and benefit from having live plants and river rocks in the aquarium to hide amongst. They appreciate having caves, holes, driftwood and other hiding places strategically positioned around heavy aquarium plantings.
The Clown Loach is one of the “must have” fish for tropical fish keeping enthusiasts. They get along well with most other members of a community tank and have some interesting habits like swimming upside down or on their sides, and laying on their sides and “playhing dead” on the botttom of the tank. This is normal behavior for these fish.
Unlike most nocturnal loaches, Clown Loaches are active during the day but need cover, and shy away from bright light. Because they are schooling fish, they do best in groups of 6 or more individuals and need a large tank with good water movement. When kept in groups smaller than five, they will spend a lot of time hiding. Since they grow up to a foot long in their natural environment, a 100 gallon tank or larger is not inappropriate to keep these fish happy. Clown Loaches are susceptible to Ichthyophthirius (ich) or white spot disease when stressed or subjeted to rapid water temperature changes.
Clown Loaches should be fed several small meals throughout the day instead of only once a day. They are omnivorous and will eat a variety of foods like vegetable flakes, “Pleco tablets”, live, frozen, or freeze-dried worms, brine shrimp, tubifex worms, and banana or other plant matter. Botia macracantha are voracious eaters of those nuisance snails that sometimes sneak into your aquarium on live plants.
Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
Water Conditions: 72-86° F, KH 8-12, pH 6.0-7.5
Max. Size: 1′
Color Form: Black, Orange, Red, Tan
Compatibility: Good community tank fish
Lifespan: 15 years +
Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner