Banjo Catfish

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The Banjo Catfish (Bunocephalus coracoideus) is an interesting, small species of catfish from the Amazon. They are called "Banjo" catfish, as they have long narow tails and round, flat bodies (thus resembling a banjo).

This species of catfish stays smaller than other more common pleco species, growing up to 6" in length (though 5" tends to be the average length). This makes them suitable for aquariums as small as 15 gallons, though a 20-gallon Long aquarium is ideal.

Banjo catfish are extremely easy to care for, making them a popular addition to community aquariums. They require their water temperature between 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit, and require a pH between 6.0-7.5.

These fish will spend most of their time on the bottom of the aquarium, and do best on soft, sandy substrates. They do enjoy burrowing and may partially bury themselves during the day. Bright lights should be avoided, as the Banjo catfish does best in dimmer lighting.

These plecos are omnivores and will eat most sinking foods. We recommend feeding a variety of foods for the best possible health of the fish. A good option would be to alternate between vegetable-based foods (sinking algae or veggie pellets/wafers, and blanched vegetables such as kale, spinach, lettuce, zucchini) and animal-based foods (shrimp pellets/wafers, small live prey, and frozen foods such as bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp).

Because these fish are primarily nocturnal, it is best to add their food just before the lights are turned off. This will prevent other tankmates from eating all the Banjo catfish's food before it gets a chance to eat. Target feeding with a baster or pipette may be recommended.

Because of the extremely laid-back nature of this catfish, they can be kept with any docile fish species with similar water requirements. They can live with other bottomfeeders without issue. Because they are not generally energetic, they will not stress more delicate community species.

Do not keep Banjo catfish with aggressive or semi-aggressive tankmates, as it can easily become a target to harassment. Check this fish's fins often to make sure they're not being nipped by more aggressive species in your aquarium.