The Bumblebee Catfish is a small freshwater catfish native to South America but primarily found in Columbia and Venezuela. It gets its name from its black and yellow stripes, resembling a bumblebee.
Watching as they scurry around the aquarium looking for food is pretty entertaining. They are peaceful fish and can be kept with other mild community fish.
Bumblebee Catfish are easy to care for and make a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. This article will cover everything you need about Bumblebee Catfish care, including food, tank mates, lifespan, and more.
This article will provide information about getting a Bumblebee Catfish, its size, diet, and tankmates; read on to learn everything you need to know!
Table of Contents
- Species Summary
- Bumblebee Catfish Care Guide
- Bumblebee Catfish Food & Diet
- Bumblebee Catfish Diet Foods To Avoid
- Feeding Schedule
- Tank Size
- Water Parameters
- Other Tank Accessories
- Cleaning The Tank
- Cleaning The Filter
- Testing The Water
- Common Possible Diseases
- Preventing Diseases
- Treatment And Medications Of Diseases
- Bumblebee Catfish Tank Mates
- Advantages Of Having Bumblebee Catfish In Your Tank
- Disadvantages Of Having Bumblebee Catfish In Your Tank
|Bumblebee Catfish, South American Bumblebee Catfish
|South America, Columbia, Venezuela
|Minimum tank size:
|Peaceful community fish
|It can be kept with any medium size community fish like Corydoras, Guppies, etc.
|Omnivorous, will eat most things offered
They are also known as the South American Bumblebee Catfish, a small freshwater fish primarily found in Columbia and Venezuela. This fish was first documented in 1846 by German zoologist Wilhelm Peters. It is an easy fish to care for and makes a great addition to any freshwater aquarium.
Bumblebee Catfish Appearance
The Bumblebee Catfish has a black body with yellow stripes running vertically down its sides. There are also black spots on its fins. The fish has a barbell on each side of its mouth, which it uses to find food.
The Bumblebee Catfish is a small but beautiful fish that adds color and interest to your aquarium. The body and fin coloration is striking and will stand out in your tank.
Their heads are relatively large in comparison to their bodies. This, combined with their barbel, gives them a somewhat comical appearance. But don’t let their looks fool you. These fish are pretty agile and quick!
It has a very spiny dorsal fin that sticks up high on its back. This is used as a defense mechanism against predators. The Bumblebee Catfish also has 2 pairs of pectoral fins and an anal fin.
Their caudal fins, i.e., their tail fins, are forked and help them to swim quickly through the water. The space at the base of the tail is black, which provides a nice contrast against the yellow stripes.
The body of this fish fits its common name quite well, as it does resemble a bumblebee. Watching as they scurry around the aquarium looking for food is pretty entertaining.
Their small size and peaceful nature make them popular among beginner aquarists. However, their unusual appearance makes them a favorite among experienced fish keepers.
Bumblebee Catfish Size & Growth Rate
The typical Bumblebee Catfish max size is 3 inches. This can vary depending on the aquarium conditions. They have a moderate growth rate and will reach their maximum size in around 2 years.
It’s essential to have a well-sized tank for your Bumblebee Catfish. So, if you plan on keeping a school of Bumblebee Catfish, you will need an even larger tank.
Bumblebee Catfish Lifespan
The average Bumblebee Catfish lifespan is 4-5 years. However, they have been known to live up to 10 years in captivity. It’s essential to provide them with a healthy diet and good water conditions to increase their lifespan.
Even though these are small fish, they require a fair amount of care. So, if you’re not prepared to take on the responsibility of proper care, it may be best to avoid getting a Bumblebee Catfish.
Bumblebee Catfish Behavior & Temperament
Bumblebee Catfish are peaceful fish and will not bother other fish in your tank. Keeping them in a peaceful environment can help them stay healthy and happy.
Their social behavior amplifies this; they are schooling fish that does best when kept in groups. A group of Bumblebee Catfish will help reduce stress and make them feel more secure in their environment.
While some aquarists don’t recommend keeping Bumblebee Catfish with other fish, they can be kept with peaceful fish that are similar in size.
By keeping your Bumblebee Catfish in a peaceful environment, you can help ensure they stay healthy and happy.
Bumblebee Catfish Breeding
Bumblebee Catfish can be bred in the home aquarium. To breed Bumblebee Catfish, you will need a tank of at least 20 gallons. The tank should be filled with shallow water and have plenty of plants. The water temperature should be around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH level should be 6.5 or lower.
You must add a male and a female to the tank to breed them. The male will start building a nest out of plants and guard it aggressively. The female will deposit her eggs in the nest, and the male will fertilize them. The eggs will hatch within two days, and the fry can swim and feed independently.
Removing the fry from the tank once they are born is best, as the parents may eat them. To raise the fry, you must provide them live food such as brine shrimp or micro worms. As the fry grows, you can slowly introduce them to flake food.
They are relatively easy to breed and add to any aquarium. Following these instructions, you can successfully breed Bumblebee Catfish in your aquarium.
Bumblebee Catfish Care Guide
Bumblebee Catfish care is relatively easy, making them an excellent choice for beginner aquarists. Their water and tank requirements are relatively simple, and they will eat most things you offer them. They’re also hardy and can tolerate a range of water conditions.
Despite this, providing them with a healthy diet and good water conditions is essential to ensure their long-term health. You always want to make sure your fish are as healthy as possible so that they can live out their natural lifespan.
Be aware that Bumblebee Catfish are escape artists. So, you must have a tight-fitting lid on your aquarium and ensure no gaps for them to squeeze through.
One of the best ways to provide your Bumblebee Catfish with a healthy diet is to feed them live food. You can also offer them frozen or freeze-dried food as an alternative.
They are not fussy and will eat most pellets and flakes. However, it’s always best to provide them with various foods to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients.
Bumblebee Catfish are social creatures and do best in groups. It’s best to keep them in schools of 3 or more fish. This will help reduce their stress levels and make them feel more comfortable in their environment. They are relatively active fish, and if you plan on keeping a school of Bumblebee Catfish, you will need an even larger tank.
Your aquarium should have a moderate to high level of lighting. This will help them to see their food and swim around comfortably.
Bumblebee Catfish Food & Diet
Bumblebee Catfish are omnivorous and will eat a variety of foods.
Some of the best food options for Bumblebee Catfish include:
- Brine shrimp
High-quality pellet or flake foods are also a good option for Bumblebee Catfish. These foods are typically protein-rich and contain all the nutrients your fish need.
By feeding your Bumblebee Catfish various foods, you can ensure they get all the necessary nutrients.
Bumblebee Catfish Diet Foods To Avoid
There are a few diet foods that you should avoid feeding your Bumblebee Catfish.
These foods include:
Avoiding these foods can help ensure your Bumblebee Catfish stay healthy.
It is essential to feed your Bumblebee Catfish regularly. They should be fed once or twice a day.
To ensure that your Bumblebee Catfish are getting enough food, you should follow these guidelines:
Feed them small amounts of food at a time: Bumblebee Catfish are not very efficient eaters. They will only eat what they need, and the rest will go to waste.
Only feed them as much food as they can in a few minutes: If you overfeed your Bumblebee Catfish, the excess food will go to waste and cause problems in your tank.
By following these guidelines, you can help to ensure that your Bumblebee Catfish are getting the food they need.
The recommended tank size for a school of Bumblebee Catfish is 20 gallons (113.6 L). However, if you’re only keeping a few fish, you can get away with a smaller tank. Remember that they produce a fair amount of waste, so a larger tank is always better.
The general rule of thumb is to have 1 gallon (3.8 L) of water for every inch (2.54 cm) of fish. So, if you’re keeping a school of 6 Bumblebee Catfish, you need a tank with at least 120 gallons of water.
You must provide a substrate and some decorations when setting up your tank. The substrate can be anything from sand to gravel. Just make sure they are safe for fish and won’t fall apart and damage your fish.
When looking for a new aquarium fish, it is essential to consider the water conditions that the fish prefers. Not all fish can tolerate the same water conditions, so finding one that will thrive in your tank is essential.
The Bumblebee Catfish is a hardy fish that can tolerate various water conditions, making it a good choice for beginner aquarists. The water hardness and pH level are not as important to them as the temperature.
The ideal water temperature should be between 70° to 77°Fahrenheit. They can tolerate various temperatures, but they will do best in a tank that is kept at this temperature.
The recommended pH level for this fish is 6.5 to 7.5, and the water hardness should be between 8 and 12 dGH.
You must test your water regularly to ensure it is within these parameters. Investing in a good quality water test kit is the best way to do this.
In addition to keeping the pH and water temperature within these ranges, you must also perform regular water changes. The recommended water change schedule is 10% every week. Following these guidelines can create a healthy environment for your Bumblebee Catfish.
Another important aspect of fishkeeping is providing your fish with a sound filtration system. This is essential to keeping the water clear and healthy for your fish.
The Bumblebee Catfish does not require a lot of filtration, but you should still have a filter in your tank. A good-quality sponge filter will do the job just fine.
You must clean your filter regularly to ensure it is working correctly. The frequency of cleaning will depend on the size of your tank and the number of fish you have. A good rule of thumb is to clean your filter every 2 weeks.
Some recommended filters for this fish are:
- The Aqua Clear 50: These filters are recommended for tanks that hold up to 50 gallons (189.3 L) of water.
- The Filtron II: This filter is recommended for tanks that hold up to 125 gallons (473.1 L) of water.
- The Fluval C2: This filter is recommended for tanks that hold up to 20 gallons (75.7 L) of water.
As mentioned, the ideal water temperature for Bumblebee Catfish is 70° to 77°Fahrenheit. Using a heater to keep your tank at this temperature would be best.
When selecting a heater for your tank, choosing one that is the correct size is essential. The heater should be able to heat the entire tank, not just a tiny section. A good rule of thumb is to choose a heater rated for at least 2 watts per gallon (0.8 watts per liter) of water.
Some recommended heaters for this fish are:
- The Eheim Jager: This heater is recommended for tanks that hold up to 250 gallons (946.4 L) of water.
- The AquaTech EHeater is recommended for tanks that hold up to 55 gallons (208.2 L) of water.
- The Fluval M200: This heater is recommended for tanks that hold up to 20 gallons (75.7 L) of water.
The Bumblebee Catfish is a nocturnal fish, so they do not require a lot of light. A low-wattage fluorescent bulb will provide enough light for them.
You should also provide them with some hiding places in the tank. This can be done by adding some plants or rocks. By providing them with these hiding places, you will help make them feel more comfortable in their new home.
Some recommended lighting for this fish are:
- The Fluval Aqua Glow: This light is recommended for tanks that hold up to 125 gallons (473.1 L) of water.
- The Marineland LED Aquarium Light: This light is recommended for tanks that hold up to 50 gallons (189.3 L) of water.
The Bumblebee Catfish do best when provided with a good-quality substrate. This type of material is used to line the bottom of the tank.
The recommended substrate for this fish is sand. You can buy a bag of sand at your local pet store. Using sand as your substrate will create a more natural environment for your fish.
Some recommended substrates for this fish are:
- The CaribSea Eco-Complete: This substrate is recommended for tanks that hold up to 125 gallons (473.1 L) of water.
- The Fluval Plant and Shrimp Substrate: This substrate is recommended for tanks that hold up to 20 gallons (75.7 L) of water.
As mentioned, the Bumblebee Catfish do best when provided with a good-quality substrate. You can also add some decorations to your tank to make it more interesting for your fish.
Some recommended decorations for this fish are:
- The Penn Plax Stone Mountain: This decoration is recommended for tanks that hold up to 125 gallons (473.1 L) of water.
- The Aqua-Tech Power Filter: This decoration is recommended for tanks that hold up to 55 gallons (208.2 L) of water.
Other Tank Accessories
In addition to a heater, light, and substrate, there are other tank accessories that you may want to consider.
Some of these accessories include:
- The Marineland Stealth 200 Glass Aquarium Kit is recommended for tanks that hold up to 20 gallons (75.7 L) of water.
- The Fluval Edge 6-Gallon Aquarium Kit is recommended for tanks that hold up to 6 gallons (22.7 L) of water.
With all these options, you can create the perfect home for your Bumblebee Catfish. Following these guidelines will give them the best chance for a long and healthy life.
Cleaning The Tank
The Bumblebee Catfish is a relatively easy fish to care for. However, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind when cleaning your tank.
One of the most important things is to ensure you do not over-clean your tank. This can harm the fish and upset the ecosystem's delicate balance in your tank.
It is also essential to vacuum your substrate regularly. This will help remove any uneaten food or waste accumulated on the bottom of the tank.
A final thought on cleaning your tank is to ensure you do not use chemicals when cleaning your aquarium. These chemicals can harm the fish and upset the ecosystem's delicate balance in your tank.
Cleaning The Filter
Your filter is an integral part of your aquarium. It helps to keep the water clean and free of toxins.
It is essential to clean your filter regularly. This will help remove any debris or waste accumulated in the filter.
Testing The Water
It is essential to test the water in your tank regularly. This will help to ensure that the water is healthy for your fish.
There are a few things that you need to test for when testing your water:
- Ammonia: Ammonia is a harmful toxin that can be lethal to fish. The fish and other animals in the tank produce it.
- Nitrites: Nitrates are also harmful toxins that can be lethal to fish. The breakdown of ammonia in the water produces them.
- Nitrates: Nitrates are not as harmful as ammonia or nitrites, but they can still be damaging to fish. The breakdown of nitrites in the water produces them.
- pH: The pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of the water. Keeping the pH within the range recommended for your fish is essential.
By testing your water regularly, you can ensure it is healthy for your fish. This will help to keep them healthy and happy.
Common Possible Diseases
There are a few diseases that are common in Bumblebee Catfish.
These diseases include:
- Ich: Ich is a parasitic infection that can be fatal to fish. White spots on the body of the fish characterize it.
- Columnaris: Columnaris is a bacterial infection that can be fatal to fish. White patches on the body of the fish characterize it.
- Fin rot: Fin rot is a bacterial infection that can damage the fish fins. Red or white lesions on the fins of the fish characterize it.
By being aware of these diseases, you can help to prevent them from occurring in your fish. If you think your fish may be infected, consult a veterinarian.
There are a few things that you can do to help prevent disease in your fish.
These things include:
- Quarantine new fish: When you add new fish to your tank, it is essential to quarantine them. This will help to prevent the spread of disease to your other fish.
- Remove the fish from the tank: If your fish are infected with a disease, it is best to remove them. This will help to prevent the spread of the disease to other fish.
- Change the water regularly: It is essential to regularly change the water in your tank. This will help remove any toxins or waste accumulated in the water.
- Clean the tank regularly: It is essential to clean your tank regularly. This will help remove any debris or waste accumulated in the tank.
By following these tips, you can help to prevent disease in your fish.
Treatment And Medications Of Diseases
If your Bumblebee Catfish becomes ill, there are a few treatments that you can try.
These treatments include:
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial infections in fish.
- Anti-parasitic medications: Anti-parasitic medications can treat parasitic infections in fish.
- Water conditioners: Water conditioners can help treat fish exposed to harmful toxins.
These treatments can help ensure your fish receive the best care possible. If you are unsure what to do, consult a veterinarian.
Bumblebee Catfish Tank Mates
There are a ton of fish that can be kept with Bumblebee Catfish.
Some of the best tank mates for Bumblebee Catfish include:
- Corydoras: Corydoras are known for being peaceful and calm. They are a perfect tank mate for Bumblebee Catfish.
- Guppies: Guppies are a popular choice for community tanks and are very peaceful fish.
- Rainbow sharks: Rainbow sharks are peaceful fish that makes a great addition to any tank.
- Gouramis: Gouramis are peaceful fish similar in size to the Bumblebee Catfish. They make a good tank mate for Bumblebee Catfish.
- Bristlenose plecos: Bristlenose plecos are peaceful fish that makes a great addition to any tank.
- Dwarf gourami: Dwarf gourami is a peaceful fish that makes a great addition to any tank.
- Danios: Danios are a peaceful fish similar in size to the Bumblebee Catfish. They make a good tank mate for Bumblebee Catfish.
- Kuhli loaches: Kuhli loaches are peaceful fish that makes a great addition to any tank.
- Barbs: Barbs are peaceful fish similar in size to the Bumblebee Catfish. They make a good tank mate for Bumblebee Catfish.
- Platies: Platies are peaceful fish that makes a great addition to any tank.
Keeping your Bumblebee Catfish with other peaceful fish can help ensure they stay healthy and happy.
When keeping Bumblebee Catfish, providing them with plenty of hiding places is essential. This can be accomplished by adding plants and decorations to your tank.
Sunken logs and caves are also good options. By providing your Bumblebee Catfish with plenty of hiding places, you can help to reduce stress and keep them healthy.
Advantages Of Having Bumblebee Catfish In Your Tank
The first advantage of having a Bumblebee Catfish in your tank is that they are peaceful fish. This means they will not bother other fish in the tank and can live peacefully with other fish.
Another advantage is that they are easy to care for. They do not require much attention and can live in various water conditions.
Lastly, Bumblebee Catfish are very hardy fish. This means they are resistant to disease and can live in various environments. By having a Bumblebee Catfish in your tank, you can be sure your fish will be healthy and happy.
So these are some advantages of having a Bumblebee Catfish in your tank. If you are looking for a peaceful and hardy fish, the Bumblebee Catfish is a great option.
Disadvantages Of Having Bumblebee Catfish In Your Tank
The first disadvantage of having a Bumblebee Catfish in your tank is that they require a lot of space. This means that you will need a large tank to accommodate them.
Another disadvantage is that sometimes, they can be aggressive. This means that they may attack other fish in the tank, which can lead to violence and death.
Lastly, Bumblebee Catfish are very messy eaters. This means they will dirty your tank; you must clean it more often.
So these are some disadvantages of having a Bumblebee Catfish in your tank. If you are looking for a fish that does not require a lot of space, then the Bumblebee Catfish is not the right choice for you.
How big can Bumblebee Catfish become?
Bumblebee Catfish can reach up to 3 inches in length. Keeping them in tanks of at least 20 gallons is recommended, as they require plenty of space.
Can Bumblebee Catfish be kept with other fish?
Yes, Bumblebee Catfish can be kept with other peaceful fish. They should not be kept with aggressive fish as they may become stressed or attacked.
Are Bumblebee Catfish aggressive?
Bumblebee Catfish can be aggressive toward other fish in the tank, so they should not be kept with aggressive species. They are generally peaceful and calm when kept with other peaceful fish.
Does Bumblebee Catfish eat other fish?
Bumblebee Catfish do not usually eat other fish, but they may attack them if they feel threatened. It is best to keep them with peaceful tank mates to avoid aggression.
These are some things to consider before getting a Bumblebee Catfish. They can be a great addition to your tank, but they also have some disadvantages you should be aware of. Weigh the pros and cons before deciding so you can choose the best fish for your tank.
They are an excellent choice for many people but may not be the best choice for everyone. Consider your needs before purchasing to get the right fish for your tank.
Thanks for reading!