Bristlenose Catfish Babies!

The catfish are breeding again. I came down to look at the Battlestar the other day and found a whole bunch of newly released ancistrus fry hiding in various places by the waterline.

These guys were hanging out around the filter return pipe clips.

Close-up of the underside of very small suckermouth catfish

Another set of them were clustered around the giant stump that’s currently growing watercress. These ones I decided to catch out and move to another tank where they were much less likely to be eaten. I moved seven fish but have only seen four at one time since.

Dorsal side of catfish fry, brown fish against a white background

The male is still in the catfish cave and guarding it pretty fiercely. May have to keep an eye out for more fry soon. I keep wondering if I had more caves in the tank if there would be more fry. I know I have at least 2 adult males in there. Not sure how many females, although unlike a lot of other species, these ladies pretty much just have to lay the eggs and they’re done. The males do all of the nest guarding. If I had more nests, I’d end up with more catfish though. I even still have three from the last batch that are currently at about an inch and a half long. Not a horrible thing, but I like a bit more variety. Nice thing is that they make good community fish for a lot of tanks and I could probably sell them easily in the future. But for now, they’re just adorable catfish babies.

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All-Aquarium Catfish Convention

Coming up next weekend is the All-Aquarium Catfish Convention sponsored by one of my local aquarium clubs, the Potomac Valley Aquarium Society. I, unfortunately, cannot attend the whole conference, but I am planning to be there for the auction on Sunday. Not going to buy a lot (hopefully!) but I’ve a couple of cichlids to rehome and I’m in need of some plants now that I’m finally starting to get some growth in my amazon tank. I do Walstad-type soil planted tanks and they usually do really well for me, except after I had to redo one of my 125s after it got broken by tile installers. My adult Geophagus steindachneri kept disturbing the soil so much that the water was too murky for the plants to get much light. Between that and the initial tank break, I lost a lot of plants and what survived just weren’t growing. Since I’ve removed the cichlids from that tank, the plants finally started to recover and I really want to put some more in there. I have a school of keyhole cichlids that would really like some more cover so I’m hoping to get some large-leafed sword plants. I also just this weekend added a really fantastic, large piece of wood that needs a number of java ferns tied to it. These auctions usually have a lot of java fern for sale so I’ll actually be thrilled for once when the 100th lot of the stuff comes up. :D

In keeping with the convention theme, my husband is looking for some catfish for his uaru tank. Some bug got in there and took out a bunch of his corydoras so he needs to replace them. I’m trying to talk him into some porthole cats, but it will depend on what people bring.

Are you going to the All-Aquarium Catfish Convention? What are you looking for? What are you bringing?

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