Catfish-only tank?

Anonymous Fox

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hello!

is it possible to do a catfish-only tank?

Tank size would be 29-35 gallons Long
stocking: 1 female BNP, 6 oto cats, 10 Panda cories, 1 clown pleco.
would that work out? are there any non-bottom dwelling cats? is there anything I should add or take away?

@PlasticGalaxy
 

Wills

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There is no downside to it for the fish, but your tank might lack a bit of activity as the only really active fish are the Cories.

If you wanted to keep it just as catfish I'd be looking at things like Debauwi Catfish or Glass Catfish (might be too big for this tank). That hover in the mid water and move around through the day, I'd be tempted to get some different colours in there too so instead of the otos go for a trio of Red Lizard Whiptails and instead of the clown go for a Blue Panaque.

Some species of Wood Catfish are upper water dwellers too but they are quite predatory so the smaller fish would need to be assessed. I kept a species that would hover in the top right corner all day while they slept then as soon as the lights went out they patrolled the tank at quite a good speed. They looked like a little Pangasious Catfish but are an unrelated South American species that never got over about 8cm. I cant remember their scientific name but I do know they were reclassified and I have no idea what that is now lol.

Wills
 

PlasticGalaxy

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Had this idea a few months ago actually. As fun as it sounded I don't think I could personally pull it off lol.

I agree with everything Wills and Colin have already said.

As far as your intended stock goes, I would give the BNP a miss. I'm a little wary housing different species of plecos together - especially if one is larger than the other or has been in the tank longer than the other - as they can be somewhat territorial. I've known my sailfin to chase the common I had around the tank a lot, leading me to move the latter from my community tank into a different tank for a while.

Otocinclus and plecs would probably fight with the plecos over food supply, as they're both quite rampant algae eaters. The same applies for the corydoras. I would definitely give the otos a miss, and maybe consider one pleco and maybe eight corys. Perhaps one pleco of a small-medium size would be good. You could even opt for a special BNP such as a super-red, albino or longfin if that's your kind of thing.

The colours of the fish in the tank would be quite plain and uniform with little contrast, which Wills has already pointed out. You could consider a flashier pleco such as a false zebra (or zebra, if you have the money and confidence) or some type of snowball. Gold nugget plecs and sunshine plecs would also stand out quite nice in that tank, though these are quite a bit bigger than the clown plec and BNP you were going for originally. There's also an incredible number of corydoras species, so don't limit yourself to pandas if you think there could be a better option for you. My personal favourite are albino c. aeneus and gold laser corys. Gold lasers are a bit more on the expensive side but I'd say it's worth it.

For middle to top dwelling fish I would consider Colombian wood catfish, glass catfish or upside down catfish. In my experience, upside down catfish are pretty boring but can be more active in a larger group. Glass catfish prefer planted aquariums from what I've seen though, so this may not be a good idea with plecos - which just love to uproot all of your plants in one fell swoop.
 

itiwhetu

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Pygmy Cory's are really cool just by themselves. They hover in the middle of the tank. Then you could put a pair of Whiptails in with them.
 

realzalio

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Colombian wood catfish
absolutely not. don't suggest putting a 1' long catfish in a 30g.
in my opinion, you can't create a particularly interesting catfish-only setup with a tank this small.
yes, there are cool middle and top-dwelling catfish, but they are either far too large, aren't available very often, or are mainly nocturnal (which means that you'll almost never see them).
 

Tez_20

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10 Panda cories,
Cories you have to be careful with as pleco's and catfish can easily be caught if they carry any spikes to their body, as i had a male gold pleco who cut into the eye of one of my albino's and on top the body, i saw the dive at it and found my cory dead.
 

Gypsum

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I have about a dozen small corys (pygmaeus, habrosus, carlae) and four Hypancinstrus furunculus (L199) in a 125L tank. It's been going for a while now. Does it have as much activity as my tanks with mid-dwelling fish? No. Are they happy? I hope so. I'm blasting the living daylights out of it with powerheads, because Hypancistrus sp. plecos like that sort of thing, so there's not a lot of characin-type fish that would put up with that anyway.

It is a catfish only tank, by necessity more than design. The plecos need the current, but not a lot of things can deal with that amount of current. Corys are some of the fish that can.
 

OliveFish05

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If you wanted a catfish that stayed towards the middle of the tank, I would go for one of the Pygmy Cory varieties. I have Cory hastatus and not only are they gorgeous and vibrant, but they’re active and are ALWAYS out and about in the middle layer of the tank
 

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