Akysis variegatus(Variegated Stream Catfish)

The stream catfish family Akysidae is a small group of superficially very similar species commonly grouped by the aquarist into a single genus Akysis but now divided up into the additional genera Acrochordonichthys, Breitensteinia, Parakysis and Pseudobagarius. Distinguishing between them is difficult for the layman, especially with live specimens.

All stream catfish are dorso-ventrally flattened with a rounded head and long, tapering body. The pectoral and dorsal fins are armed with stout spines. The tail-fin is triangular. Colouration is typically mottled brown, though often with distinct light and dark banded on the rear half of the body.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

Stream catfishes are nocturnal predators, somewhat comparable to the South American driftwood catfishes in habits and behaviour. They appreciate a tank with plenty of cover, especially plants, driftwood, and leaf litter. As their common name suggests, these fish live in fast-flowing streams. As such, they demand an aquarium with plenty of water movement, lots of oxygen, and excellent water quality.

They have rather small gill openings and do not breathe air, so unlike many catfish, they cannot do well in overstocked or under-filtered aquaria. A relatively low water temperature is required as well. They would therefore be best maintained in a stream-themed aquarium alongside things like danios, minnows, and hillstream loaches.

Stream catfish are nocturnal predators, and will eat very small fish given the chance. Otherwise, they are easily reared on bloodworms, mosquito larvae, and even catfish pellets. They should not be kept with more aggressive or greedy bottom feeders, or they are likely to starve. In terms of social behaviour, these fish are not aggressive or territorial. Breeding in aquaria has not been reported.

Family Group: Catfish
Distribution Southeast Asia: Laos and Borneo
Temperature 18-24 C
Size 4.3 cm
Water Parameters Adaptable, but avoid extremes
Water PH 6.0-7.5

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