Bunocephalus bicolor is another fish that is part of the group that most amateurs call simply catfish. This is facilitated by a certain body shape and the presence of whiskers.
Bunocephalus bicolor got its name due to its patronizing coloration – black spots and lines on the sandy background. This coloration gives this fish a resemblance to driftwood, lying on the bottom for more than one year, for which this fish is often called so and called – snag catfish. This species lives in South America in the Rio Maranon and Rio Macayali.
The largest specimens can reach a length of fifteen centimeters. but they usually grow to much smaller sizes. Their body is strongly flattened in the upper-lower direction. The fins are large, powerful. The eyes are small, deep-set. Mouth large stretched fringed with three pairs of whiskers. The first ray of the pelvic fin is strongly thickened and ends with a sharp spike.
Coloration as it has already been said is patronizing. The only sign of sexual dimorphism is, perhaps, a more rounded abdomen in females. Sexual maturity is reached by one year of age. The bicolored bunocephalus is exclusively nocturnal. During the day it either burrows in soft ground – sand or peat. or hides under a large stone in a grotto or cave. With the onset of dusk begins active movement in search of food. Aquarium needs a large enough, but given their predominantly nocturnal lifestyle and peaceful disposition, they can be kept in a common aquarium with almost any other species of commensurate size with similar conditions. It is desirable to cover the bottom with a layer of sand.
You can make several caves of large stones. Any plants you like are suitable.
Water hardness up to 20 degrees. Hydrogen rating of 6 to 7. Temperature 22-24 degrees on the Celsius scale. Regular replacement of one-fifth of the water with freshly drained water is required.
Bunocephalus bicolor What to feed?
Any kind of live food is suitable for feeding – trumpet fish, moths, earthworms, small crustaceans. Feed them in the evening. After feeding it is necessary to collect from the bottom the remains of uneaten food so that it does not spoil the water.
Additional filtration and aeration of water is desirable. The bunocephalus also likes strong water flows created by filter pumps.
For spawning, it is better to drop off a couple of producers in a separately prepared for this purpose aquarium.
Preferably sandy soil. Plants according to your taste. Just remember to leave room for free swimming. Water hardness up to 10 degrees. Hydrogen index 7. Water temperature is raised to 24-26 degrees Celsius. It is also necessary to place in the spawning ground pump, which will create a significant water current.
Stimulating spawning of bunocephalus is quite a difficult task. To promote the start of spawning can raise the water temperature. Gradual, but intensive replacement of part of the water with fresh, tempered water. Strong enough water current, raising its temperature. In the most difficult cases resort to injections of small doses of hormones. But I do not particularly like this practice.
Bunocephalus bicolor Spawning in the aquarium
If you have managed to create conditions that will cause your charges to want to continue their clan, then at dusk the mating dance will begin. Fish as if floating in the water with the help of their fins-wings in the flow created by the pump. Gradually they rise to the surface and there the male embraces the female with his body. The result of this procedure is a portion of small emerald-colored eggs, which the male immediately fertilizes.
After that, the male and female separate for a while. Then this dance is repeated again. One female can give from 200 to 300 eggs. Bunocephalus do not eat their eggs. Although they do not take care of it. After spawning producers are still better to remove from the spawning ground. If you want to observe the spawning process, you can equip the spawning tank with weak lighting. To do this, you should take the lamp of the smallest power, which you will only find and placing it in the reflector still additionally close the aquarium from her cloth or paper. Thus you will create lighting similar to deep twilight.
In this light, only silhouettes with few details can be seen. But brighter lighting may interrupt the spawning process. However, maybe you have a better experience in observing the spawning of these amazing fish. Then share it with our readers.
After spawning, you need to turn off the lights and shade the aquarium. as the fry are very poorly tolerate daylight.
Here come the fry 🙂
Incubation lasts from 36 to 48 hours. After that, the larvae emerge. And after another two days they are transformed into fry. The starting food for them is live dust, cyclops nauplii, rotifers.
On the 4th-5th day the juveniles begin to color. The most difficult period in the life of young bunocephals is the first month. During this period it is necessary to pay special attention to water quality. Blackout from the aquarium can be removed from about the fifth week. Fry older than one month grow well and no trouble to the aquarist do not give. As the growth of fish should be seeded in containers of larger volume and transfer to larger types of food.
Bunocephalus bicolor is an interesting fish to observe despite the fact that it leads a nocturnal lifestyle.