Substrate-Hoplo cats spotted pattern helps it blend into nearly any multi-colored bottom. They show up best over solid colors. Some hoplo owners like to display them over white sand.
Food-Feed your young hoplos whatever the rest of your fish are eating. Flakes, pellets, wafers, food sticks, frozen, freeze-dried, live foods, or in the pond let them just scavenge the bottom. Like most catfishes, they prefer to eat at night. Also like other catfishes, they quickly adapt to your feeding schedule – usually within a week. These are good hearty eaters and will make most pond or aquarium keepers very happy with the waste-not appetite!
Sexing-Once they mature, the male hoplos will develop thicker pectoral fins. The females get plumper. Hoplos feed upon vegetable matter and as they mature the males can be recognized by the presence of long bristles along their nose; females exhibit smaller bristles than males. During breeding, the female will lay her eggs in an area that is sheltered such as a cave, or inside a log; it is then up to the male to fan the eggs which helps to oxygenate and clean them, and defend them from predators. In some cases, a number of females will lay their eggs in the same den at the same time, and the male is then responsible for watching all of them at once. The total eggs can number in the hundreds – keeping the male very busy.
Air Breathers! Hoplo catfish (like their cory cousins) breathe air. This means you can keep them in warmer (low oxygen levels) water with warm water fish like discus and uarus.
Temp-Best between 65 and 85. But sometimes our winter waters outdoors will get colder, and our Summer water’s in the 90’s. In the aquarium, they will do just fine. Originally from South American Amazonia, hoplo catfishes come from waters with a pH below 7.0, but they adapt very quickly to a wide variety of pH levels. This species of catfish is found in pristine rivers rich with many other fish species in the Acarai Mountains just north of the border between Guyana and Brazil. Bristlenose catfish are found in fast flowing Amazon tributaries in South America and tend to be more active at night.
Keep your hoplo catfish with same size South, Central, and North American cichlids. Few South American catfishes will co-exist with African cichlids. Hoplos will co-exist with most species. They are ideal in ponds & unheated goldfish aquariums too!