The Bumblebee Catfish comes from the lower Mekong river running through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. It’s also found in the Chao Phraya river in Thailand. It inhabits sluggish streams and tributaries. It lurks among submerged tree roots and other refuges during daylight hours, emerging at night to feed.
Females generally have a stockier profile than males. Males possess a noticeable, elongate genital papilla and the light markings on the body are usually more intense than in females.
It’s a shy, nocturnal species so it’s best to provide plenty of hiding places using upturned flowerpots, lengths of plastic piping, driftwood, etc. Plants aren’t essential but are useful in cutting out the amount of light hitting the bottom of the tank and providing extra cover. If you’re keeping it alongside other similarly-sized catfish, or as a species group, arrange the decor to form distinct territories. Try to position the heater in such a way that the fish will not be tempted to rest under it, as it’s a scaleless species and could burn easily.
Predatory by nature, but usually adapts well to dead foods in captivity. It relishes meaty items such as prawns, mussels, or earthworms. Most specimens will also take dried sinking foods. When first introduced it may only feed after lights out, and food should be added accordingly. Once settled most will learn to come out and feed. They should not be fed the meat of mammals such as beef heart or chicken. Some of the lipids contained in these meats cannot be properly metabolised by the fish and can cause excess deposits of fat and even organ degeneration.
It will eat any tankmates small enough to be considered food, but can be safely housed with larger species that inhabit other areas of the tank. Ideal choices are medium to large-sized cyprinids, characins and peaceful cichlids.
It’s territorial towards other bottom-dwellers though, especially a member of the same species. It should only be combined with such species in a suitably sized tank with plenty of hiding places and broken lines of sight.
- Species – Pseudomystus siamensis
- Common Name – Bumblebee Catfish
- Origin – Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
- Diet – Omnivorous
- PH Range – Prefers slightly acidic but will tolerate 5.8 – 7.8
- Temperature – Tropical 20-26°c
- Breed Type – egg layer
- Current Size – approximately 5cm (Grows to approximately 15cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed