Do Not Put Hand In Kitty's Tank. Breeding Hoplos.

CHJ

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Well my wife has said she will not be cleaning anything out of the breeding tank and insists she was bitten.
This seems a little odd as they have small soft mouths. However she was not bleeding so it is possible.
The mouth is not the male's weapon of choice during mating.
This is.
IMG_20190804_210055.jpg


Being used to their cute dopey nature "They are like big corys with whiskers!".
The first time I bred them I reached for something in the tank. That was a mistake.
The cute Hoplo (Megalechis thoracata) is very hateful and territorial when mating. I did not realize what was happening and thought his attacks were funny "Look he does some weird spinning attack like a Pokemon".

Well after I got done in the tank I sat back down with my wife only to have her say "OMG you're bleeding!". Looking down I had 4 shallow 2-3" shallow cuts on my forearm along with a pile of scratches. Yep, those fins can be sharp.

Haplo safety. If you want them in a community tank make sure there are no floating plants like frogbit. If you keep the top of the tank clear they are gentle fish who love eating all the flake that makes it to the bottom. OK, not necessarily "all the flake", they stop eating when they get full so you will never get stuffed bellies on them, they are not your normal "eating machine" catfish. They will happily eat tubiflex from your hand with the gentlest of nibbles.

The reason you have to keep the top of the tank clear is that they are a catfish that builds a bubble nest. Yep, just like a betta. If you are breeding them they like a top coated with frogbit with a big yellow lid floating in it (mine likes yellow). They are not as talented at bubble nests as bettas are so they need the floating plants and lid. They will place all the bubbles in the lid.
So no place to build a nest and they do not seem to decide to mate. Move them to a breeding tank with plants and lid and they will decide almost instantly to mate (get territorial. it will take time to build the nest and fill with eggs).
If you need to move stuff around in the tank wear a heavy rubber glove or accept you will be bleeding. I would not used something hard like a long metal tweezers for fear the fish would damage itself very badly. This little 5-6" fish hits REALLY hard.
I tried putting a drinking straw in the tank to film the attack but the file is too big. So I ended up soaking wet (splash from the surface attacks) for no reason.

So add the mating Hoplo cat to your list of "Never put hand in tank" fish with:
Puffers
Trigger fish
Lion fish
Whatever the "Don't put your finger in there, you will be dead before you know you were stung" salt water cats were at a LFS years ago. As far as I'm concerned that LFS made some questionable stocking choices. They also got "Eye Biters" in a couple times and a Scale Eater in once.... once. The guy working there once pulled a large bandaid off to show me a melon baller wound in his forearm This is how I learned to never put any part of me that I like, in a trigger fish tank.

Hoplos are a great fish, I just figured I'd write this up in case someone here is considering getting hoplos. The common ones used to be sold at LFS when I was a kid.
There is one online fish store I found with Google that said they had albino hoplos, I clicked the link and found "Out of Stock" Then I noticed their pic was stolen from The Glasser so the site has never had them and it is just a bait page.

Here is another shot of Big Boy hating me.
IMG_20190804_210026.jpg
 

CaptainAquatics

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Well my wife has said she will not be cleaning anything out of the breeding tank and insists she was bitten.
This seems a little odd as they have small soft mouths. However she was not bleeding so it is possible.
The mouth is not the male's weapon of choice during mating.
This is. View attachment 578342

Being used to their cute dopey nature "They are like big corys with whiskers!".
The first time I bred them I reached for something in the tank. That was a mistake.
The cute Hoplo (Megalechis thoracata) is very hateful and territorial when mating. I did not realize what was happening and thought his attacks were funny "Look he does some weird spinning attack like a Pokemon".

Well after I got done in the tank I sat back down with my wife only to have her say "OMG you're bleeding!". Looking down I had 4 shallow 2-3" shallow cuts on my forearm along with a pile of scratches. Yep, those fins can be sharp.

Haplo safety. If you want them in a community tank make sure there are no floating plants like frogbit. If you keep the top of the tank clear they are gentle fish who love eating all the flake that makes it to the bottom. OK, not necessarily "all the flake", they stop eating when they get full so you will never get stuffed bellies on them, they are not your normal "eating machine" catfish. They will happily eat tubiflex from your hand with the gentlest of nibbles.

The reason you have to keep the top of the tank clear is that they are a catfish that builds a bubble nest. Yep, just like a betta. If you are breeding them they like a top coated with frogbit with a big yellow lid floating in it (mine likes yellow). They are not as talented at bubble nests as bettas are so they need the floating plants and lid. They will place all the bubbles in the lid.
So no place to build a nest and they do not seem to decide to mate. Move them to a breeding tank with plants and lid and they will decide almost instantly to mate (get territorial. it will take time to build the nest and fill with eggs).
If you need to move stuff around in the tank wear a heavy rubber glove or accept you will be bleeding. I would not used something hard like a long metal tweezers for fear the fish would damage itself very badly. This little 5-6" fish hits REALLY hard.
I tried putting a drinking straw in the tank to film the attack but the file is too big. So I ended up soaking wet (splash from the surface attacks) for no reason.

So add the mating Hoplo cat to your list of "Never put hand in tank" fish with:
Puffers
Trigger fish
Lion fish
Whatever the "Don't put your finger in there, you will be dead before you know you were stung" salt water cats were at a LFS years ago. As far as I'm concerned that LFS made some questionable stocking choices. They also got "Eye Biters" in a couple times and a Scale Eater in once.... once. The guy working there once pulled a large bandaid off to show me a melon baller wound in his forearm This is how I learned to never put any part of me that I like, in a trigger fish tank.

Hoplos are a great fish, I just figured I'd write this up in case someone here is considering getting hoplos. The common ones used to be sold at LFS when I was a kid.
There is one online fish store I found with Google that said they had albino hoplos, I clicked the link and found "Out of Stock" Then I noticed their pic was stolen from The Glasser so the site has never had them and it is just a bait page.

Here is another shot of Big Boy hating me.
View attachment 578346
Thanks for this! I plan to get two Hoplos very soon
 
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CHJ

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I forgot to mention that just like cories you should keep AT LEAST 6 in your tank to keep them happy.
 

HoneybeeJenni

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Very interesting. Don't mess with breeding tomcats! Cool story about the trigger fish, too. I'd never heard of that before.
 

Nikki2577

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Absolutely love my hoplos! They reside in a 210g they don’t bother anyone and are super active No breeding in my tank because I have no plants and a lot of surface movement. I wish I could have plants for them but my Severums eat anything green. Lol
 
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