17-01-2021, 18:24
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Asterophysus batrachus

Asterophysus batrachus occurs naturally throughout the Rio Negro in Brazil and the Orinoco in Venezuela. The fish stay in shallow waters where they prey on small fish. They are usually active at dusk.

The first thing that catches your eye when you look at Asterophysus batrachus is its huge mouth. Any prey that enters it will certainly be eaten. Because of this mouth this fish is also called the "man-eating catfish". Dorsal plumage is shifted to the head, due to which the family of these fish got the name of back-headed catfish. The eyes are small. Near the mouth is three pairs of whiskers. Scales are absent. In mature males unbranched and the first few branched rays of the anal fin thicken, elongate and merge with each other, forming a structural support, which they use to capture females during spawning. In the wild, the fish can reach up to 30 cm in size, although in aquariums they are usually no longer than 20-25 cm.

Asterophysus batrachus

Asterophysus batrachus is capable of eating fish almost twice its own size, so it is not recommended to keep it in a general aquarium.

The minimum tank size to keep Asterophysus batrachus is 400 liters. Pisces are active during the daytime only at a young age, adults are secretive way of life, showing activity only at dusk.

Use a coarse-grained river sand as a substrate, although it is not required. It is important that the substrate has no sharp edges, which can cause cuts in the fish. Place large snags and boulders on the bottom, which will serve as potential shelter places for the fish.

Water parameters: temperature 22-28° C, hardness dH 2-12°, pH 5.0-7.0. Quality filtration, aeration and a weekly change of about ½ of the aquarium water with fresh. It is desirable to create a small current of water in the aquarium by directing the diversion nozzle water filter along the back wall of the aquarium. Do not launch Asterophisus batraus in an aquarium in which biological equilibrium has not yet been established.

Lighting is weak, diffuse, lasting about 10 hours a day.

Asterophysus batrachus is a predator by nature. In aquariums, the fish are fed with fish meat slices, shrimps, earthworms. The food is given to the fish once or twice a week.

Asterophysus batrachus

As with the vast majority of predatory fish, this species should not be fed mammal and bird meat such as beef heart or chicken. You should also not feed Asterophisus batraus with goldfish or guppies for a long time, which generally do not have a high nutritional value unless prepared appropriately in advance.


Asterophysus batrachus does not breed under aquarium conditions, all fish are supplied to domestic zoosets from their natural habitat.

Life expectancy Asterophysus batrachus in aquarium conditions is about 15 years.

Asterophysus batrachus

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