Care Level: Moderate
Live Plant Safe: With Caution
General Description: The Asian Bumblebee Catfish is native to sluggish stream and tributary waters of southeast Asia. As their name suggests, Asian bumblebee catfish resemble the coloration and pattern of a bee with their overall black color and several vertical yellowish stripes. A popular choice for daytime scavenging, but know that the Asian bumblebee catfish is truly a nocturnal species. This means that it may hide during daylight hours, however some adult specimens have been observed to roam at any hour of the day. Furthermore, the Asian bumblebee catfish is actually a predator rather than a scavenger. Due to this, an Asian bumblebee catfish is not recommended for traditional community aquariums where small fish will become a meal. If kept with appropriately sized tank mates, the Asian bumblebee catfish is otherwise a relatively peaceful addition. For this species, it is best to only keep one Asian bumblebee catfish per aquarium. This catfish is scaleless, making it very sensitive to water chemistry parameters and medications. An adult Asian bumblebee catfish can reach a size of approximately 6″.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Asian bumblebee catfish are carnivores. Usually an unfussy eater, the Asian bumblebee catfish can adapt to a prepared food protein-rich diet. Such options include frozen brine shrimp, mussels, krill, silverside fish, and prawns. Appropriate frozen food options will vary depending on the size of your specimen. Earthworms make for an excellent treat. Asian bumblebee catfish may accept sinking pellet foods, but these should not make up the majority of their diet. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish. Even though this species is predatory in nature, we discourage feeding live fish because they are often of little nutritional value and increase the risk of introducing disease. Do not feed any form of mammalian/poultry meat (e.g., beef or chicken) as certain lipids in these cannot be metabolized by the Asian bumblebee catfish, which is detrimental to their health.
Care Requirements: A minimum 55 gallon aquarium is ideal for an Asian bumblebee catfish. This species should not be introduced into a biologically immature aquarium, as it is sensitive to nitrite and ammonia. It also does prefer to be kept at more acidic pH conditions. Equipping the aquarium with a canister filter could be beneficial to help maintain a high quality environment for this scaleless species. The aquarium should be aquascaped with copious rocks and driftwood for coverage and places to hide during the day; PVC piping also works well for this species. Floating plants would help to dim intense lighting. Catfish require a sandy to fine substrate; too coarse of a substrate could cause injury to their barbels. Asian bumblebee catfish should not be housed in a typical community aquarium because it will eat any fish that can fit in its mouth. On the other hand, the otherwise laid back temperament of an Asian bumblebee catfish make them unsuitable to withstand an aggressive aquarium. A happy medium needs to be found to house this catfish successfully. Some compatible species include larger Characins, peaceful South American cichlids and rainbowfish. Asian bumblebee catfish can be territorial toward other bottom-dwelling species, which is why aquascaping the aquarium with plenty of decor to provide broken lines of sight is important. Recommended water conditions, 70-78° F, KH 4-25, pH 5.8-7.5.
Purchase Size: Medium: 2” to 2-1/2”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.