Bumblebee Catfish A Bad Idea?

Lauren4events

Member
I have three male mollies, a male swordtail and a female swordtail in my 60 gallon. I decided to get a bumblebee catfish so that I wouldn’t have to worry about any swordtail fry. However, I didn’t realize how wide the mouth is on this fish. And I was just reading that it will eat any fish that it can fit in his mouth.

My male swordtail is really skinny and small—pretty close in size to the catfish and I imagine the bbc will get larger. Will he try to eat my swordtail or small molly? I don’t think he actually can eat them, but I’m worried about him trying and hurting them.

Also, my small molly was born a little deformed and has some difficulty swimming. He lays on the rocks most of the time— not sick though. He’s been this way since birth and probably close to a year old. But he prob wouldn’t do well defending himself.

Should I return this catfish or am I just being paranoid?
 

AquaticJ

Member
Return it. I’ve seen catfish eat things I couldn’t even understand how they did.
 

Pukkafish

Member
I say get a smaller catfish. My old pleco ate a 3 cm guppy and he was only about an inch and a half, though the common I had only ate already dead fish. It’s a risk to your smaller fish, maybe try a Cory cat?
 
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Lauren4events

Member
Pukkafish said:
I say get a smaller catfish. My old pleco ate a 3 cm guppy and he was only about an inch and a half, though the common I had only ate already dead fish. It’s a risk to your smaller fish, maybe try a Cory cat?
He’s pretty small and hiding. Seems scared. I feel bad netting him out and moving him again.
Do you really think it’s necessary and my other fish are in danger?
Here’s a pick of him, my small molly and swordtail

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MissRuthless

Member
Do you know if he’s an Asian bumblebee or South American? If you can get a full photo I could probably tell you, but the Asian bb gets much bigger where the SA stays small. I had a SA for a few years and I loved him - his mouth was pretty wide but he was small, and never ate his tank mates. I think he was one of my favorites, and he never grew to more than 2.5” ish, maybe 3”. I don’t want to say for sure from one photo but based on the tail yours looks South American to me. I’ve had a lot of cats and my bb was probably the shyest, cutest, least fish-eating of them... I'd give him a chance if I were you!!
 

Kalyke

Member
If you have the option of returning it, I would think you should. I actually got a 3rd small tank together for my 5 Endler's guppies. I used to have 11 but those were eaten by loaches that I have re-homed. The loaches did not even have wide mouths, but they were hungry and aggressive. They killed by biting off fins, until the fish could no longer swim, then they ate him as a pack. When I decided to get BRPs I realized that I would have to have fish that were larger than the Endlers, so I made up a 3rd tank. You might think in that direction. Have another tank with a sponge filter for the smaller or weaker fish. Another way to do this is set up a tank divider, with 30 gallon on each side.
 

MissRuthless

Member
Just going to state again that this is highly dependent on which species of bumblebee cat this is. One is small and couldn’t eat anything but the fry - the other grows much larger and will eat all of them.
 

fish 321

Member
I have a south american bumblebee catfish in with some cherry barbs and he never tried to eat them, but he will eat neon tetras and small minnows.
 

MissRuthless

Member
fish 321 how big is yours? I managed to keep mine for 2 years or so with neons, glowlights and embers without losing any... I suppose he was just so small and shy, and (very) well fed, that he never felt the need to take on actual moving fish.
 
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Lauren4events

Member
MissRuthless said:
Do you know if he’s an Asian bumblebee or South American? If you can get a full photo I could probably tell you, but the Asian bb gets much bigger where the SA stays small. I had a SA for a few years and I loved him - his mouth was pretty wide but he was small, and never ate his tank mates. I think he was one of my favorites, and he never grew to more than 2.5” ish, maybe 3”. I don’t want to say for sure from one photo but based on the tail yours looks South American to me. I’ve had a lot of cats and my bb was probably the shyest, cutest, least fish-eating of them... I'd give him a chance if I were you!!
I was told South American But I’ve learned better than to trust what my pet store says about anything. Everyone made me nervous last night so I moved him out of my 60 gallon and put him into a 20 gallon with no other fish.

He did the same thing he was doing in the 60 gallon, hiding. But when I turned the lights off he went nuts, swimming all over the tank for ever until I got bored watching. I don’t think I can bring him back now because he’s so cool. But when the lights go out, I worry he may be too aggressive for my disabled molly and small/very thin and shy swordtail.

So now I have more problems than when I started. Lol. Can you help?

Can the bbc be in a 20 gallon alone? Or will he get lonely? If so, what’s a good tankmate for him. Is a 20 gallon too small? I really don’t think I can get another tank. Besides my 60 gallon, I have a 40 and a 20. The 40 has a huge shark that kills everything, so he’s not getting tankmates. And the 20 was going to be my hospital. Well, not anymore I suppose. What do you think?

And I still need a fish for my 60 gallon. I need a fish that’s peaceful and won’t bother my current fish. But I don’t want to go through the misery of what I recently had to—the nightmare of livebearers. Is there a peaceful fish that will eat the swordtail fry only? I know it sounds mean but I just don’t want more and more fish in that tank. If you read some of my older posts, you understand why what I went through was horrible.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
 
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Lauren4events

Member
MissRuthless said:
fish 321 how big is yours? I managed to keep mine for 2 years or so with neons, glowlights and embers without losing any... I suppose he was just so small and shy, and (very) well fed, that he never felt the need to take on actual moving fish.
Do you think I should move him back? He was a crazy fish when the lights when out. But it could just be because he was in a new place.

I’ve already grown quite fond of the little guy. But I love my fish and wouldn’t want to put them in harms way. My small swordtail is very active during the day, but at night, he sleeps on the rocks and chills. My disabled molly, spends most of her time on the rocks as well. I just don’t want that to make them prey.

I will try to get a better picture but he won’t come out of his log. I think that’s normal, right?
 

fish 321

Member
MissRuthless said:
fish 321 how big is yours? I managed to keep mine for 2 years or so with neons, glowlights and embers without losing any... I suppose he was just so small and shy, and (very) well fed, that he never felt the need to take on actual moving fish.
Mine is about 2.5 inches long.
 
  • Thread Starter

Lauren4events

Member
MissRuthless said:
Just going to state again that this is highly dependent on which species of bumblebee cat this is. One is small and couldn’t eat anything but the fry - the other grows much larger and will eat all of them.
He’s such a weirdo.


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