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Scientific name Megalechis thoracata (formerly known as Holposternum thoracata)
Common name Hoplo Catfish
Natural Habitat South America - the Orinoco and the Amazon and its tributaries
Appearance Juvenile fish are particularly attractive, being brightly spotted all over, although these colours fade somewhat as the fishes mature. Distinctive long barbels fringe the mouth and are used to search for food.
Maximum size 4½ inches
Aquarium Compatibility Peaceful

Omnivorous bottom-feeder, always very busy and uses its extremely long barbels to search every nook and cranny for food scraps overlooked by the other fishes. Supplement its scavenging with catfish "sinkers" and pellets.
Hoplos will also feed at the surface, and once settled in will take floating flake food too.


I bought these Hoplos as unspecified Hoplosternum catfish species, as juveniles of Lepthoplosternum pectorale and Megalechis thoracata are very similar : the best means of identification is by the shape of the caudal fin, which is square in M. thoracata and rounded in L. pectorale.

All Hoplos are bubblenest breeders and appreciate some floating vegetation.

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Hoplo Catfish
Megalechis thoracata

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