Name: Chilodus punctatus|
Origin: Amazon Basin|
Spotted Headstanders are unique and fascinating fish due to their way of swimming with their head down, drifting around the tank, with occasional bursts of speed. I have sadly not had the best of luck in keeping them. I bought two from my LFS several years ago. Almost immediately after getting home, one started to terrorize the other. The victim was chased around until it found a spot to hide behind the heater, where it died after about a week of not being allowed out to eat. The stronger of the two showed absolutely no aggression towards the various tetras and cherry barbs that I had. Suddenly after 6 months and no signs whatsoever, the headstander died. I was able a few months later to find a single specimen and it also led a peaceful life with the tetras and barbs, until it too died suddenly after 6 months. I only wish I knew what could have been done to make them live longer as I have not seen any at my LFS for a few years now.
Chilodus punctatus is not quite as delicate as the other description implies. They are often found in rather poor condition in fish shops. If given an aquarium of 90 cm or longer that is well planted and purchased in groups of four or more, they will soon regain their vigor. They are constant grazers of algae growing on rocks and plant leaves. Feeding them algae wafers in addition to a well round diet of prepared and frozen foods they will do well for years. They tend to occupy different areas of an aquarium and when one intrudes into another's territory a harmless mock battle will likely ensue. They soon go back to work, which for the Spotted Headstander is continuously grazing for scraps of algae. They will not harm the smallest fish. I have them with Nannostomus eques and Nannostomus mortenthaleri.
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