a brief description of the South American bumblebee catfish.
In wild it mostly feeds on bugs, primarily ants. The Bumblebee Catfish is a durable fish that can easily adapt to the majority of water problems.
A word of warning, although all catfish of the genus Microglanis are relatively small and good community fish, they are very similar to young giant bumblebee catfish (Pseudopimelodus spp. and the like). These fish grow quite large but will attempt to eat anything they can in the process. They are ambush predators and their appetite is legendary. The best way to tell these fish apart is to look at the mouths; the giants have huge mouths which takes up virtually their entire head, whereas Microglanis have quite a large mouth but with a much smaller gape. Microglanis also have larger eyes.
The bumblebee catfish is a quite vibrant colored fish and very amusing to watch when it comes out of it's hiding hole to scavenge for food. Normally the bumblebee catfish is nocturnal and will only come out at night, but if it becomes aware of food being present during the daytime, it will come out and feed during the middle of the day and bury it's head in the substrate just to get the few bits of food there are laying around the tank.The South American bumblebee catfish (Microglanis iheringi), is quite easy to take care of because the water it requires is close to any basic water that city offers, with the water being soft, with a pH of 6.5-7.5 and the temperature at 21-25°C (70-77°F). It grow to a max of about 2" (5cm) but I have had some that grow to about 3" (8cm). They can live for about 3-5 years in ideal conditions.There are 2 types of bumblebee catfish, the South American and the Asian. The South American can be identified by the spot at the base of the caudal fish. This spot is almost like a square in the South American and a triangle with the tip towards the head for the Asian.The Asian bumblebee can also be easily told apart from the South American Pimelodid “bumbebee” catfish by the of nasal barbels located just in front of the eyes.Since the bumblebee catfish has such a wide mouth, it can swallow big food items like sinking pellets, frozen foods, freeze dried foods, whole, as well as small slender fish, like some tetras. Because it has such a wide mouth, it should be kept with fish that are too big to fit in it's mouth and with fish that are small enough that it won't fit in the other fish's mouth.The bumblebee catfish is really very pretty catfish with lovely yellowish stripes and wide smiley faces. Body of this fish is elongated with large mouth. It has dark brown markings on a light brown background. The area of dark brown color on the caudal peduncle is more or less square. Dorsal fin is rounded and it is mainly dark brown in color with a pale tip. It is slightly mottled with brown and a large triangular pale patch is present which is located on the base of the last two rays of fin. Dorsal and pectoral fin spines are well developed. The caudal fin is truncated with a broad dark brown cross band while adipose fin is well developed. Maxillary barbels are present reaching past the origins of the pectoral spines. Head is flattened and lateral line is well marked. It is notoriously elusive and largely nocturnal and rarely comes out at day from its hiding place except for feeding time. In wild it mainly feeds on insects, mostly ants. The bumblebee catfish is a hardy fish that can easily adapt to most water conditions. It prefers water with pH between 6.5 and 7.5. An ideal temperature range for the bumblebee catfish is between 70 and 790 F. It grows to a max of about 8 cm in length. They can live for about 3-5 years in ideal conditions.