Banjo Catfish

Banjo catfish are fascinating species of fish. They belong to the Aspredinidae family of catfishes which comprises 43 different species.

Fish that prefer hiding places such as leaf litter, snags and branches for protection are known as solitary species and require plenty of hiding spaces in their tank for them to feel safe enough to live freely.


The banjo catfish species remains relatively small, only growing to 6 inches at maximum size. As such, it makes them suitable for home aquariums due to not requiring large tanks; one such fish has even lived successfully for many years in a 100-gallon tank! Furthermore, banjos make an ideal starter fish species as they require minimal lighting and care and provide plenty of hiding spaces where other species may co-habitate happily in an aquarium environment.

The banjo catfish is native to South America, where it can be found in creeks, lakes, ponds and rainforest streams. As bottom-dwellers they prefer sedentary bottom conditions with dense leaf litter or fallen branches for shelter – typically emerging at night for hunting activities.

Banjo catfishes add an eye-catching element to any aquarium with their unusual shape and coloring. Their flat head with long midsection and tail resembling that of a banjo guitar makes for fascinating observation as they search for food in their substrate home environment.

Fish feeding on insects, small crustaceans and plant matter. There are 43 different species belonging to the banjo catfish family (Aspredinidae), distinguished by their small sizes.

Banjo catfishes are notable for possessing an acute sense of smell and taste, enabling them to quickly identify food in the water. Furthermore, their pectoral fin spine-locking mechanism prevents them from releasing their fin during feeding time.

These fish spawn in freshwater lakes and rivers with high concentrations of organic debris, rocks, leaves, and mud. To recreate this environment in captivity, simply provide your tank with a fine-grained substrate such as sand while decorating it with driftwood, rocks and dried leaf litter decorations. They may also be kept with other fish; however any tankmates must be gentle and slow-moving in order to avoid aggression or fighting among tank mates.


Bunocephalus coracoideus, also known as the Banjo catfish, is an intriguing and unique fish. One of the smallest species of catfish that exist, these diminutive specimens can grow to 6 inches long when fully developed and feed off invertebrates as they scavenge for food in their dorsal region. Their flat body blends seamlessly into a cone-shaped tail for camouflaging them beneath fallen leaves and other obstructions; even their color serves to help conceal them further!

Fish that require minimal care to thrive include peaceful and docile species such as the bluegill. As they don’t tend to get aggressive with tankmates, bluegill are ideal candidates for beginning hobbyists as they do not require special water conditions for proper growth.

In nature, Banjo catfishes inhabit shallow warm rivers and flooded forest areas where temperatures remain constant; their habits include bottom-dwelling sedentarism that involves hiding motionlessly beneath leaf litter and logs. Their unusual appearance serves as effective camouflage in their natural environment while in an aquarium it can be hard to spot; for best results feed bloodworms, black worms, white mosquito larvae or daphnia to keep this species happy and avoid extremes with regards to water chemistry while providing ample shady hiding places like driftwood or caves as part of your setup.

The Banjo catfish can breed successfully in captivity and is available from stores. Once at home, these fish lay thousands of eggs in one clutch. These species is hard to identify by gender but males and females can usually be differentiated based on belly size; females have longer distances from backbone to belly than their counterparts.


As is typical with catfish species, the banjo is a benthic fish and spends most of its time buried under substrate. However, its long and slender body allows for easy movement, and may occasionally come to the surface for air. Therefore, keeping it in an aquarium with sandy bottom is ideal, which allows the catfish to burrow into it and explore its environment more fully while creating an environment more similar to its natural habitat.

Banjo catfish are omnivorous fish that will consume both invertebrates and meaty species like bloodworms or brine shrimp, in captivity they accept pellets, flakes and live/frozen feeder fish as food items in captivity; floating or broad-leaved plants should also be included to create hiding spaces and allow the banjo catfish to graze safely – they have been known to live up to eight years!

Banjo catfish tend to be quite shy fish that prefer hiding most of the time. When kept as tank mates in captivity, non-aggressive small fish such as neon and ember tetras, rasboras or livebearers such as guppies and endlers make for suitable companions as they will generally tolerate one another without aggression issues arising between species.

Banjo catfish require an aquarium large enough to support their long bodies while providing sufficient room for swimming and exploration. Ideal temperatures range between 72 – 82deg Fahrenheit; additionally, dim lighting will aid their night-time activity as banjo catfish are considered nocturnal fish species.

As banjo catfish tend to dig and burrow in the sand substrate, a coarser substrate than usual should be utilized in their aquarium tank. Regular cleaning of this sand surface should also be conducted in order to prevent waste build-up that could harm these fish; additionally, your aquarium should feature an efficient filtration system as well as regular partial water changes to reduce nitrogenous waste production.


banjo catfish, like most bottom-dwelling species, are generally peaceful fish that do well in community tanks with other peaceful fish such as dwarf corydoras, small tetras and otocinclus. Cichlid tanks may also host banjos; it should be noted, however, that they have slow movements and are easily startled upon first entering a new environment, leading them to either hide behind plants or in the substrate when being fed; it is therefore advised to feed these fish after all lights have dimmed out or place food where they can easily find it.

Banjo catfish are nocturnal fish, active mostly during the night and sleeping partially buried during the day to protect themselves from predators in nature. Because of this behavior, they make excellent aquaticscape choices since their aquarium size needs aren’t very extensive; in fact a 10-20 gallon tank would suffice.

Slow to develop but easy to care for, these fish typically live for 5 to 8 years in captivity, reaching 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm).

These fish are easy to keep, in terms of both feeding and water conditions. Omnivorous in their diet, they will consume foods such as bloodworms, tubifex worms, earthworms and sinking catfish pellets. You can keep one alone or with other catfish in a community tank – but smaller fish may not get along.

Captive pufferfish usually spawn between spring and summer. Males will construct a spawning cave for females to lay their eggs in, while guarding it and helping their fry hatch out within two to three weeks of egg placement. Young fish typically remain within this environment until about six to seven weeks old when they transition out into the aquarium with their parents.

These fish don’t require an especially large aquarium to thrive; rather, they prefer one with plenty of hiding spaces and sandy substrate. Ideal temperatures range between 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit with pH levels ranging between 6.0-8.