Tank of the Month 🏆
Aug 6, 2023
Reaction score
Does anybody have experience with these fish? I'm researching them as a possibility for a 280L planted community tank 😁
(It has play sand for the substrate, river rocks and mangle wood. Plants to be decided.)
A very underrated fish that is a joy to keep. That was my experience with them. The related Diadema and Callichthys are the same. Keep a few together. They’re totally peaceful and won’t harm anything except food. You can think of them as giant Corys.
They grow big though, 6”+
@Ichthys Do you remember roughly what size of tank they would have been in?
I had them in a 6x2x2 the last time. I’d consider about 250L as a minimum.
I had them in a 6x2x2 the last time. I’d consider about 250L as a minimum.
In your opinion, would corys be a better choice for a 280L due to size? I don't have my heart set on any bottom dwellers yet. I wouldn't want the hoplos to feel cramped or even for my own reasons, I don't want the tank to look visually cramped. Of course a tank is always cramped compared to the wild, but I think you know what I mean :D
Corys would be better, yes, especially in a planted tank. Adult Hoplos would look a bit cramped imo too… :)
I kept two hoplos for a while in a dirt substrate tank. Big mistake, as they dig a lot (I suspect they were trying to spawn). The tank was an absolute disaster until I could catch them. Other than that, though, they are a wonderful fish, and in a tank with plain sand they would be fine. You'd need to make sure that any heavy decor is grounded on the tank bottom rather than on the sand; otherwise they might dig under it and crush themselves.

I agree that a 280L tank would be too small for them to really live well. Mine were very active and seemed to enjoy exploring. In fact, you kind of have me wanting to try them again...
I kept Hoplosternum thoracatum in an aquarium that was 4 foot long x 14 inches wide x 18 inches high. They were fine. They tolerate a wide range of water chemistry, eat anything offered to them, and are bubblenest builders. Have floating plants like Water Sprite in the tank and feed them well. Males get thicker pectoral fin rays that turn orange when in breeding condition.

I had a group of 5 in the tank and they lived under a piece of driftwood during the day and came out after dark or when food was added to the tank. They are peaceful and never caused problems but are extremely sensitive to chemicals and can die if exposed to some medications.

Most reactions