Megalechis thoracata (Tail Bar Armoured Catfish, Hoplosternum thoracatum)
A medium sized catfish with a heavily armoured and quite elongate body, a squarish tail, long whiskers, and robust pectoral fin spines. The body is mottled brown, lighter underneath. A good catfish for community tanks containing other sturdy but not aggressive or predatory species.
Fish information (behaviour and breeding):
A close relative of the popular Corydoras catfish this species was widely trade in the past but has now become rather rarely seen. Its size and lack of colour probably account for this, because in terms of maintenance this fish is quite easy to keep. It will adapt to both soft and hard water conditions well, and will eat a wide variety of prepared, frozen and live foods.
These fish are somewhat boisterous and shouldn't be kept with very docile species like discus. They mix well with medium to large sized gouramis, barbs, silver dollars, plecs, etc. While not overtly predatory, they will eat very small fish (neons or guppies for example) given the chance.
Megalechis thoracata is a bubblenest builder. He creates the nest under floating plants. After spawning, the male drives away the female (she should be removed from the tank). He guards the eggs until the fry are free swimming, about 6 days post-spawning.
|Distribution||Widespread across tropical South America|
|Size||Up to 12 cm|
|Water Parameters||Adaptable, but avoid extremes|