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Banjo Catfish

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#1 Erised


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Posted 04 August 2005 - 01:38 PM

Common Names: Banjo Catfish, Guitarrita (meaning ‘little guitar’)

Scientific Name: Bunocephalus coracoideus

Family: Bunocephalinae

Origin: Peru (also found in Brazil and Bolivia)

Max Size: 15cm / 6”

Care: Very easy to look after fish, needs a min. of 15G though very inactive. Not too fussed about water parameters. Recommended would be pH between 6.0 & 8.0 with a temperature of around 26C. Peaceful with all tank mates, though will eat fry. Sand bottom is preferred in their aquarium, seeing as they hide throughout the day by burrowing themselves underneath the sand. Not too densely planted, as they can and will uproot plants.

Feeding: Easy feeders usually, will only feed after lights go off. Variety of bloodworms, krill and other types of meaty food is recommended, though catfish pellets are often accepted as well. I’ve actually caught mine eat flakes once in a while.

Sexing: No real difference, but said that female banjo cats have a slightly rounder stomach, are larger and tend to be darker in colouration. None of this is fact, just peoples opinions based on their experience.

Breeding: It is said that banjo cats breed in groups and will lay between 3000 and 5000 eggs overnight. These eggs will be placed in a place where they feel comfortable, often under flat surfaced rocks (like slate) or underneath plant leaves. Eggs should hatch after approximately 3 days, fry can be fed on usual fry foods like baby brine shrimp and grindal worms.

Comments: If you want a fish that is out and about and easy to see this is not the fish for you. Being nocturnal fish, they hide in the sand all day long (you’re lucky to spot their gills) and will come out for food at night. In the 6 months I’ve had mine now, even with moonlight on only I’ve only ever seen them swim once. Though these fish do well in community tanks, it’s not recommended to put them in with aggressive feeders. Banjo cats themselves are very ‘slow’ feeders and are not likely to catch enough food when all is eaten within minutes. Feeding should also occur after the lights go off. For anyone who considers getting banjo catfish, I advice you check up on their stomach once every 3 or 4 days (at least for the first weeks) to make sure they get enough food and don’t starve to death.

Not the best pictures of all, but will have to do (same banjo in both photos, 4 month difference inbetween pics):


#2 Bloo


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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:46 AM

Here are some more Banjo Catfish photos. I would go as far as saying a sand substrate is an absolutely must for these fish - especially when you see them burrow and clearly enjoying the sand. They struggle to bury themselves in fine gravel even (never mind larger gravel), and as a result I rehomed two of my Banjo Catfish when I switched from sand to gravel. I thought they would be fine and adjust, but they didn't and were clearly unhappy with fine quartz gravel.

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Two buried (nose to tail)
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#3 AMS


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Posted 22 May 2006 - 03:41 PM

It is worth noting that Bunocephalus coracoideus can tolerate brackish waters with a SG of 1.005 and under. I bought a Bunocephalus coracoideus 2 years ago and put in a brackish water tank and it is still doing fine today. Bunocephalus coracoideus is truely freshwater, but tolerates brackish. The Banjo species like Aspredo aspredo, Platystacus spp., and Aspredinichthys filamentosus that prefer brackish watres.

One more important note, Banjo's WILL eat small fish. I learned that the hard way with Bumble Bee Gobies.

#4 SaMoNaMe2010


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Posted 14 September 2008 - 12:08 PM

Hiya, just though i would share my pics of my banjo catfish.

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#5 ShelbyH


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Posted 21 July 2011 - 03:55 AM

I just have i quick question, I've had my banjo cat for about 2 months now and my bf decided to pick up a couple cichlids well they tore up my cats fins and ate one of his whiskers. How will this affect him?

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