Banjo Catfish Care Guide

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Banjo Catfish
(Bunocephalus coracoideus)


Common names: Banjo Catfish, Guitarrita.

Size: 15cm

pH: 5.8-7.8

Tempº: 20ºC - 27ºC

Tank region: Bottom layer

Origin: French Guiana, Peru, Brazil.

Gender: Unknown.

Notes: The Banjo catfish is a typically nocturnal catfish hailing from South America. Not typically popular among most aquarists because of it's inactivity and unusual aesthetic, the Banjo catfish does however have a loyal following.

Because of it's nocturnal nature, the Banjo Catfish spends most daylight hours hidden away in driftwood or burried in the sand. This is normal behaviour for this species, and should always be kept in a tank with a sand substrate to allow it to do this. Banjo Catfish also enjoy leaf litter in their tank; this provides them with ideal camoflauge to hide in and also looks good in a natural aquarium. The Banjo Catfish is very peaceful although care must be taken not to house it with species which may disturb or excavate it when it is burried.

There have also been reports of Banjo Catfish eating smaller fish although they are generally OK in most communities. Because the Banjo Catfish is nocturnal, it is necessary to feed it when the aquarium lights are out. They are not overly fussy about food types, but it should sink to the bottom to allow the Banjo Catfish to find it.

This species is somewhat prehistoric in appearance, and when they do swim around they have a rather curious method of moving. The fish will swallow water into it's mouth, then expell it from the gills at high speed to produce a jet of water! The Banjo Catfish is extremely hardy and can be kept in a variety of conditions. Overall this can be an interesting oddball to keep, but may not be seen very often and care must be taken to ensure they are being fed.

Image: The Banjo Catfish is peaceful to it's own species as well as others. Photo credit goes to RuanMaritz.

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