Porthole Catfish (Dianema Longibarbis) When people think about choosing a catfish for their community tank, they often decide on a corydora. Given the number of cories on the market, and their reputation for being both playful and peaceful, it is not surprising that they wind up in many aquariums. However, the porthole catfish matches the criteria of being playful and peaceful, but doesn’t need to be kept in a large shoal. In fact, they are so peaceful, they will never make a conscious effort to hunt even tiny newborn guppies. A single fish us just as comfortable in a tank as a group of three or four, but if you do get a group you will see an interesting behavioral change. A single specimen behaves much like most other cats by hanging out at the bottom. However, when kept in a group, they become more like glass catfish as they shoal together in the center of the tank. A small group of these fish are possible to keep in a 30 gallon/ 115 liter tank.
Origin: Amazon River basin
Temperature: 24-28°C/ 75-82°F
Feeding: They will take prepared foods like flakes and pellets as well as all live or frozen foods, the latter two are essential if you want to condition them for breeding. As with all catfish, do not treat them metely as the cleanup crew for your other fish. Be sure they are getting their share of meals.
Habitat: A sandy substrate is best as that will not damage their barbels. They appreciate some cover in the form of driftwood or clumps of plants, and leaf litter on the substrate will add a natural feel to the tank.
Breeding: For years, breeding these fish was a mystery, but it is not to difficult. What is needed is dried leaves floating on the surface. One account I read, the author used dried mable leaves collected in the fall. The leaves serve to reduce water movement at the surface. The males build a bubble nest under a floating leaf. He hovers under the nest to protect it. Babies are extremely small upon hatching and can only take infusoria fo the first week of life. Reduce the temperature to the lower end of their temperature range to induce spawning and to raise the young successfully.