The Asian Stone Catfish is a popular breed among aquarium hobbyists. Known for their peaceful nature and small size, they like to hide for most of the day. They are easy to care for, making them ideal for beginner aquarists.
If you are considering getting Asian Stone Catfish for your aquarium, this guide provides all the details you need to know about their tank requirements, diet needs, appearance, breeding needs, and more.
Scientific Name: Hara jerdoni
Common Names: Asian Stone Catfish, Sylhet Hara, Moth Catfish, Dwarf Anchor Catfish
Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years
Adult Size: 1.2 – 1.3 inches
|Tank Preference||Bottom dweller|
|Tank Size||min. 10 gallons|
|Water Parameters||A pH of 5.6 – 7.6, water hardness 8-15 dGH|
Fun Fact Corner
Like other catfish species, Asian Stone Catfish are popular because they help clean the aquarium and keep it free from parasites and algae.
Asian Stone Catfish is native to slow-moving streams in Bangladesh and India. In the wild, they mostly live in small to medium-sized rivers with sandy substrates. They choose these areas because they prefer cool and well-oxygenated water and areas that won’t hurt their sensitive bellies.
This fish species is covered in shades of mottled gray and brown. However, some of them are rarely seen because of their subtle colors.
Their bodies have rough stripes, which makes them appear like a rock, making it easier to blend in. In addition, their eyes also change color between dark brown and beige.
Asian Stone Catfish varieties are known for their protruding long pectoral spines. They use these sharp fins for defense when they get attacked.
By looking at the physical features, you can differentiate between the male and female Asian Stone Catfish. The males have longer fins and barbels compared to the females. In addition, the female Asian Stone Catfish varieties have fuller bodies plus a pectoral fin that curves inwards.
Asian Stone Catfish is the smallest species in its species. These fish varieties are popular in nano tanks because of their size.
As adults, they grow to about 1.2-1.3 inches in length. However, in the wild, the average Asian Stone Catfish grows longer; they can get to about 1.6 inches; however, this is quite rare.
Once you buy this fish species, the maximum size can vary depending on the purchase size and the care quality you provide in captivity. Therefore, it’s advisable to source them from a reputable seller.
If you are a beginner, these mini catfish are ideal because they are timid and peaceful. They mostly dwell at the bottom of the tank; therefore, they are rarely visible.
Asian Stone Catfishes lead a sedentary lifestyle compared to other fish species, so they don’t swim much in the tank. However, they are nocturnal, so you might see them at night. Additionally, they can get active in some instances, such as when you feed them their favorite food.
Since Asian Stone Catfish are a peaceful variety, it’s easy to find ideal tankmates. However, the tankmates should also be small, peaceful, and able to adapt to similar water conditions. You can also keep this fish species together with more of its kind because they prefer to hang around in groups.
When choosing tankmates, ensure that they are not active bottom dwellers. This will cause competition for food which can be stressful for your Asian Stone Catfish.
Some good tank mates are zebra danios, celestial pearl danios, golden dwarf barbs, cloud minnows, and mosquito rasboras. You can also stock them together with adult dwarf shrimp, but you need to monitor the tank closely just in case the fish eat the shrimp fry.
Tank Size and Conditions
Before you add Asian Stone Catfish to your tank, ensure that you mimic the conditions in the wild. Although they are nano fish, a 10-gallon tank would be ideal because they prefer living in groups of six or more. However, you can use a bigger tank than this if you plan to stock them with other compatible tank mates.
Asian Stone Catfish live in streams and rivers with sandy bottoms in the wild. Therefore, you should create the same environment in your tank by adding a sandy substrate, light gravel, and small stones.
You should add plants like Java moss, baby grass and fern, leaves, rock structures, and driftwood. They need a lot of low-lying plants to act as hiding areas.
The water parameters should be well maintained as well. The pH should be about 5.6 – 7.6, a temperature at 64-75F, and water hardness between 8 to 15 dGH.
To maintain these parameters, keep testing and schedule water changes. This fish species also prefers a gentle water flow; therefore, you can add a filter to bring in this effect.
Asian Stone Catfish feed on a wide range of foods, such as bloodworms, brine shrimps, mosquito larvae, and a combination of live and frozen meaty food. In addition, you can also feed them high-quality dry foods such as pellets and algae wafers.
You can schedule the feeding times for nighttime to ensure they are feeding well. At this time, they are more active and are more likely to eat.
Since they are bottom-dwellers, they will spend a lot of time picking through the substrate to eat leftover food. It would help if you also fed them once or twice daily to prevent overfeeding.
Some aquarists find it hard to breed this fish variety; others find it fairly easy. To breed them, prepare a separate breeding tank and add about 4 or 5 Asian Stone Catfish.
You can add more females than males. To condition them, feed them live food for several days. The female legs the eggs on the tank, which attach to the plants. Once the eggs are laid and fertilized, you can remove the adults to let them spawn.
Asian Stone Catfish is a perfect choice for beginners. It’s peaceful, easy to maintain, and breed. They are also not fussy eaters; therefore, you won’t have a problem feeding them. Ensure that the water conditions are maintained to keep them healthy.