Frogmouth Catfish (Chaca Chaca) As a group, catfish have some of the most varied and interesting body shapes of all freshwater fishes. However, they are not always the most active. Take the Frogmouth Catfish for example. Despite its size, you can keep one in a 20 gallon tank without stress to the fish. It rarely moves but it will generally be visible. At night it might look for food a little or change its position, but it is very slow. Even when you catch one in a net it doesn’t move. Instead, frogmouths opt to rely on their camouflage and pretend to be a leaf. If you look closely at the close up of the face of the frogmouth, you will see a lone thick barbel at each side of its mouth. The fish uses it like a fishing lure, wiggling it like a worm to attract prey. It can swallow fishes equal to its own size with its enormous mouth, so you have to be very careful with the fish you attempt to keep it with. Some people have temporary success with fish that live high in the water column or that move very quickly, but it only a matter of time until the chaca lures them close enough to overpower them. They do not try to eat each other and are better off in a species tank. If you do keep this fish you have to be very careful of water quality, especially in smaller tanks. This is because, for unknown reasons, frogmouths lower the pH of the water yhey are kept in. It is unknown if it is because of their stomach acid or if it is a because of a skin secretion to ward off predators.
Origin: Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Indonesia
Size: 20cm/ 8 inches
Temperature: 22-25°C/ 72-77°F
Diet: Prefers live food. Fish, cratfish, shrimp and earthworms. They usually will not accept dead alternatives.
Habitat: Have a soft, sandy substrate and dim lights. Scattered dry leaves, small waterlogged sticks and maybe a pipe with at least a 3 inch/8cm diameter. The water should be almost still.
Breeding: They lay eggs in pipes or caves which are then guarded by the male.