Hoplosternum thoracatum is another aquarium catfish. This species has some interesting features of structure and physiology. Therefore, it is also interesting to observe in the aquarium. It inhabits Hoplosternum thoracatum in shallow reservoirs of South America. Behind aquarium panes, it reaches a size of about fifteen centimeters in length. The coloration is light brown or sandy. Males differ from female’s slenderer body, as well as their pelvic fins have thicker first rays. They reach sexual maturity after reaching the age of one and a half years.
Maintaining of hoplosternum thoracatum
These catfish can be kept in relatively small aquariums. They stay in the bottom layers of water. They float to the surface only occasionally to swallow another air bubble. This peculiarity of behavior formed in the process of evolution in connection with the shallow-water habitat of fish. As mentioned above, Hoplosternum thoracatum lives in shallow water. Water in their habitats during the daytime hours can be strongly heated by the sun’s rays. It is known that the content of dissolved oxygen in warm water decreases. In order to live comfortably in such conditions, Hoplosternum thoracatum acquired an additional respiratory organ. It is located this formation, capable of absorbing oxygen from atmospheric air, in the intestine. Therefore, the catfish periodically rises to the surface of the water and swallows the next portion of air. Just like labyrinthine fish. Except that the oxygen is absorbed by another organ, not the labyrinth organ.
The Hoplosternum thoracatum feeds by picking up leftover food not eaten by other fish from the bottom. Therefore, this species is a good aquarium cleaner. However, in search of food, it sometimes digs too hard and in a burst of enthusiasm can undermine the plant roots.These catfish can be fed the same food as the bulk of fish. The main thing – do not forget the basic rules of rational feeding. Do not overfeed or keep them on the same food for too long.
Any peaceful fish can be neighbors of hoplosternum torocatum. Even species many times smaller in size can feel completely safe near them. Hoplosternum thoracatum, busy with archaeological excavation of the next piece of food in the form of buried moths, does not pay any attention to the fish swimming nearby.
The aquarium can be decorated to your liking. Hoplosternum thorakatum does not need any special conditions. The optimum water temperature can be considered 23 degrees Celsius.
Reproduction of this catfish is also not too difficult. Often hoplosternum torocatum spawns in a common aquarium. The male builds a foam nest (again, similar to labyrinth fish). After spawning and placing eggs in the nest, the male takes care of the nest. Replaces the fallen eggs by building a foam nest, if necessary. He removes unfertilized eggs. At a temperature of twenty-five degrees in about ninety-six hours from the eggs appear fry. If spawning occurred in a common aquarium, then the third day should transfer the nest in a separate vessel with the same water parameters. It is most convenient to do so with a deep plate or enamel bowl bringing it neatly under the nest scoop it with some water. The same neatly dropping the nest into a pre-prepared container, the plate is taken out from under it.
The starting food for the fry is infusoria. As they grow, they are transferred to larger comas such as Artemia nauplii, Cyclops, Daphnia.
Here is such an easy to keep in a room aquarium fish. At the same time with very interesting features of physiology. In addition, helping you keep cleanliness in the aquarium. You probably will not regret it if you have such a helper.