Banjo Catfish

Other Banjo Catfish Names: Banjo Catfish

Banjo Catfish Scientific Name: Bunocephalus coracoideus

Banjo Catfish (Bunocephalus coracoideus))

Temperature Range: 74°F-82°F
pH Range: 6-8
Hardness Range: 5-15°

Family: Aspredinidae

Species Type: South American Catfish

Banjo Catfish Adult Size: 6 inches (cm)

Banjo Catfish Life Expectancy: 8 years

Banjo Catfish Habitat: South American lakes and rivers

Banjo Catfish Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Banjo Catfish Temperament: Peaceful schooling fish. This fish is nocturnal so will be quite shy during daylight hours.

Banjo Catfish Diet & Nutrition: Omnivorous - does well with sinking pellet or freeze-dried food.

Banjo Catfish Description:

Not the prettiest catfish, but still a favorite amongst catfish keepers. There have been reports of banjo catfish sheding their skin, but I think this is a false rumour. To put on a burst of speed, the banjo catfish will take a mouthful of water, and shoot it out of their gills!


Just like plecos and many other armored catfishes, the unarmored banjo catfish will try to pinch you if you pick him up. Of course, most people have more sense than to try to pick them up. And like many other catfishes, they will growl when removed from water. Banjo catfish fare fine as individuals but prefer to school with other banjo cats. When feeding at night, they like to travel in a pack. Banjo catfish do well with community fish or peaceful fish like discus. Because of their sedentary ways, they actually make good discus tank mates. Where they come from, they live over (and under) sandy, muddy bottoms – much of it littered with leaves. Provide this if you never want to see your banjo catfish. Better, put them over white sand and they really stand out.

Tank Mate Compatibility: Community fish or peaceful fish like discus.

Banjo Catfish Breeding & Spawning: We’ve never bred banjo catfish. We’ve seen reports of thousands of eggs at a time. However, these were banjos breeding in schools. The pictures of the little ones (from Germany) were really cute. A group of tiny guitarritas is very appealing.

Determining Banjo Catfish Sex: Females grow larger and plumper. Sexing them matters very little unless you plan to breed them.

Aquarium Region: Bottom

Banjo Catfish Diseases: None specific to species.

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