Endemic to parts of Indonesia.
This is a riverine species found in the Batang Hari drainage in Sumatra and the Mentaya Basin in Borneo. It’s biotope is typified by acidic blackwaters and it can often be found in large shoals, hovering under cover of floating vegetation, or amongst submerged grasses.
Maximum Standard Length
Aquarium SizeTop ↑
18″ x 12″ x 12″ (45cm x 30cm x 30cm) – 40 litres.
It does best in soft, acidic water conditions. The fish are more outgoing if they are provided with some cover, so try planting the tank quite densely in some areas, whilst leaving some open spaces for swimming. The addition of some floating vegetation to diffuse the light is also a good idea. Other decor can include driftwood and smooth rocks. Water movement should be kept to a minimum. It is sensitive to deteriorating water quality, so efficient filtration and a regular maintenance routine are essential.
Temperature: 70-79°F (21-26°C)
The basis of the diet should be small frozen and live foods such as bloodworm, brineshrimp, daphnia etc. Dried foods are usually accepted but the fish will not develop their best condition if fed on these exclusively.
Behaviour and CompatibilityTop ↑
A very peaceful and gregarious little catfish which does best when kept in a shoal of at least six individuals. Tankmates are completely ignored and it is therefore suitable for most communities of small to medium-sized, peaceful species. Recommended tankmates include rasboras, danios and small loaches.
When gravid the green eggs of females are clearly visble through the virtually transparent body. Males have a small genital papilla just in front of their anal fin and are generally less round in the belly than females.
For many years this species has (and still is) imported as Pelteobagrus ornatus. It was assigned to the new genus Hyalobagrus, and discovered to be a distinct species, during a taxonomic revision of the Bagridae family in 1998. The other 2 species which were also thought to be P. ornatus are H. leiacanthus and H. ornatus. Apparently these two are imported rarely, if ever.
Unlike the vast majority of catfish, H. flavus is a diurnal species, and spends much of its time swimming in shoals in midwater. This feature makes it ideal for the peaceful community tank and it’s surprising it has not achieved greater popularity in the hobby.
There is a species of Crossocheilus, C. pseudobagroides, that is known to mimic this catfish in nature.