Mystus leucophasis advice

All posts regarding the care and breeding of catfishes from Asia.
Post Reply
BullFishkeeping
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:58 am
My cats species list: 11 (i:0, k:7)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:0)
Location 1: Ontario
Location 2: Canada
Interests: Platydoras armatulus fanboy

Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by BullFishkeeping » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:49 pm

Hello,

I picked up a Mystus leucophasis a couple months ago from my LFS. He was a drop off from another customer, and in pretty rough shape at the time. I have brought him back to good health, and he is currently spending his time hiding away in my 36 gallon. He's currently about 6-7".

Obviously a 36 gallon is far too small, so I've got a 125 gallon for him. I'm usually not one to mix species from different continents, but I have no other fish from Asia that are any where near compatible with this soon-to-be foot long bruiser. My plan is to add him to the 125 gallon, as well as my Platydoras armatulus as I don't think the Mystus would be able to harm him due to his natural defenses, as well as currently being about 6" himself.

I have 3 more Striped Raphaels in grow out, so it'll be awhile before they can get added to the 125g but eventually they will be. I'd like to add a "show fish" so that there is something diurnal in the tank for myself, and so my family stops yelling at me about all these "empty tanks" around the house. How do you guys think an Oscar would fare? I'm open to non-cichlids as well, but they need to be compatible with the Mystus (tough enough, but not murderous so no Jaguar cichlid, etc.). This is the Mystus' tank first.

Another option is a Hoplias microlepis.

ThePsychotiCatfish
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:55 am
My cats species list: 5 (i:0, k:4)
Location 1: Sydney
Location 2: Australia

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by ThePsychotiCatfish » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:47 pm

You could try Yoyo loaches, mine keep fine with cichlids and semi-aggressive catfish. The only problem with them though is that they'll take a while to grow to size as it's hard to find big ones for sale normally.

Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 3585
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by Viktor Jarikov » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:07 pm

IME, it's a gamble with the Asian USD catfish - they can be both good and bad with tankmates regardless of their size and age but this mostly relates to other catfish, it appears. When my AUSD cats attacked catfish tankmates, usually I still had the time to observe it and then separate, so I'd recommend watching closely.

None of mine, of which I have had about 4 over the years, bothered non-catfish tankmates, IIRC. Neither have I met with a scenario where an AUSD catfish was on the receiving end of bullying, except when I had two of them in the same tank.
Thebiggerthebetter

BullFishkeeping
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:58 am
My cats species list: 11 (i:0, k:7)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:0)
Location 1: Ontario
Location 2: Canada
Interests: Platydoras armatulus fanboy

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by BullFishkeeping » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:28 am

Hm, it may not be worth housing the AUSD with other fish, then. I'm not looking to create stress for my fish.

Perhaps I will try to rehome him, though it would require a really dedicated enthusiast to purchase a nearly foot long, stark black, nocturnal and aggressive catfish.

Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 3585
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by Viktor Jarikov » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:43 pm

It may or may not be worth it. IMHO, it is hard to predict except for the more probable things I tried to describe but even then from my reading around it varies greatly. Roughly half of the keepers have no problems with their AUSD cats, while others report mild to sometimes severe problems. YMMV as they say.
Thebiggerthebetter

BullFishkeeping
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:58 am
My cats species list: 11 (i:0, k:7)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:0)
Location 1: Ontario
Location 2: Canada
Interests: Platydoras armatulus fanboy

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by BullFishkeeping » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:43 am

I've decided to keep him, as I don't feel he's going to be properly cared for if he goes to an LFS.

He'll be going into the 125, and he'll be the sole inhabitant for awhile while I figure out my plans.

Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 3585
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by Viktor Jarikov » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:41 pm

Thumbs up. If you will, come back to this thread and post regular updates on your endeavor with this catfish, so we all keep learning from and with you.
Thebiggerthebetter

BullFishkeeping
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:58 am
My cats species list: 11 (i:0, k:7)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:0)
Location 1: Ontario
Location 2: Canada
Interests: Platydoras armatulus fanboy

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by BullFishkeeping » Fri May 12, 2017 1:04 am

As per request, an update on my fish!

I have actually expanded my collection of Mystus leucophasis to three. A local had dropped off his entire stock at the LFS, so I managed to pick up two leucophasis, a Synodontis decorus, and a Synodontis notatus for just over $100 CAD. Not a bad deal, if I do say so. The decorus is full size at about 10", and the notatus is about 7" currently. All eating well.

Anyway, all three leucophasis as well as the two Synodontis are sharing a 125 gallon aquarium. The tank has a sand substrate, and has 3 distinct zones. The left and right sides have driftwood brambles with ample java fern and water sprite attached to them. The center of the tank is divided by a massive, emergent piece of driftwood that has moss, java fern, anubias, and bacopa growing on and out of it.

I had tried growing some plants in the substrate, but the catfish are extremely boisterous feeders and uproot everything.

The fish are on a diet of Hikari massivore as well as algae wafers as a staple, with a mix of frozen food a couple times a week (this varies depending on what I have. Usually a mix of shrimp/scallop/tilapia/cod/pollock).

The luecophasis are aggressive to one another, but less so than expected. There is significant chasing with fin nipping, but no extreme fin damage nor is there any other body damage. Each fish has claimed a third of the tank, and so long as the boundaries that have been established are respected, there are no problems. To help maintain the peace, I feed the tank by spreading the food out across the entire length of the aquarium (72"x18" footprint).

There is very little aggression to the other catfish, and it mostly consists of shoving. The notatus gets a bit bullied, but the decorus is the true boss of the tank. Any fights that have been picked with the decorus have been retaliated against strongly and ended quickly. The decorus is completely peaceful unless attacked.

So far, I would consider this tank a success. I think as I continue to add driftwood and rocks for the fish to hide in, and as the plants grow in to obstruct more line of sight, I will see even less aggression.

Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 3585
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by Viktor Jarikov » Fri May 12, 2017 2:13 pm

That's a pleasant read. Thanks. Glad things have been tolerable and you got yourself a unique community. What helps with housing three AUSD catfishes is that it sounds like your tank has lots of divisions, hiding spots, nooks and crannies, and breakers of sight. When I had two AUSDs in a 55 gal, I saw roughly the same deal. The syno behavior is consistent with what I see in mine too.

What's lacking now are visuals ;) Pics and vids would be wonderful. Beats tank descriptions in words haha.

As AUSDs mature, the problems will exacerbate, severity depending on their sexes. Just something to keep in the back of mind.
Thebiggerthebetter

BullFishkeeping
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:58 am
My cats species list: 11 (i:0, k:7)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:0)
Location 1: Ontario
Location 2: Canada
Interests: Platydoras armatulus fanboy

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by BullFishkeeping » Fri May 12, 2017 11:27 pm

I'll upload some pictures later on. I've recently had surgery, so the glass is a bit messy and such currently. Once I've my usual energy back I'll give the tank a good cleaning and then throw a video up - that'll let me include my other catfish tanks as well.

Aye, I suspect that as these guys should double in size this 125 gallon will eventually be too small for them to all live together. When that time comes, I'll move them into a 5'x6' footprint indoor pond. One of those 300 gallon rubbermaid water troughs. If that doesn't work, they'll split up. They only seem to be hostile to their own species, so if each fish had a 100-125 gallon tank as the only AUSD in there, I think they would do well. Time will tell, I imagine it's going to take some years for them to get to full size.

BullFishkeeping
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:58 am
My cats species list: 11 (i:0, k:7)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:0)
Location 1: Ontario
Location 2: Canada
Interests: Platydoras armatulus fanboy

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by BullFishkeeping » Sat May 20, 2017 12:34 am

So, a bit of a problem in the 125 gallon today. I noticed that my smallest AUSD, which is definitely the most picked on, has some white patches around the mouth. I cannot tell if it's an injury or mouth rot, so I'm hoping someone here can help me ID it - and treat it, whatever the case may be. Here's a gif of it, I found it easier to see it here than with pictures.

BullFishkeeping
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:58 am
My cats species list: 11 (i:0, k:7)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:0)
Location 1: Ontario
Location 2: Canada
Interests: Platydoras armatulus fanboy

Mystus leucophasis Journal

Post by BullFishkeeping » Sat May 20, 2017 5:33 am

So, an interesting development. I've been watching the tank for a couple hours to see how the smallest AUSD (pictured in the gif) is doing, and I've noticed that the other two (similarly sized male and female I believe) are exhibiting what to me appears to be courtship behaviour. While chasing does occur, the two fish will almost embrace and swim against each other. I do not see this sort of behaviour with the smallest fish, as interactions with it are clearly aggressive.

The large female has no nips on her, and the large male has some older bites on his dorsal fin from when he was first introduced to the aquarium. He has no recent injuries whatsoever, leading me to believe that the chasing done by the female is not overly aggressive.

It is currently not possible to film this behaviour as the tank is dark, and when the lights are on the fish are dormant. I will attempt to rig up some red lighting and record this in the coming week. Queue long nights of staring at fish!

The current plan for the smallest AUSD is to go out and purchase a large tote and some Seachem Kanaplex tomorrow. I'll be moving the fish to there and dosing appropriately in an attempt to treat the growth in the mouth. This should give me 4-5 days to view the two larger fish without the third present, and to see if this change will cause them to become more aggressive with one another or not. If no increased aggression is witnessed, the smallest AUSD is going to be rehoused into another tank - the beating he is taking in the 125 is clearly causing too much stress, as seen by him getting some sort of infection. While outwardly I cannot see any extreme damage, it is clear he isn't a good fit at his current size. I am unsure if I will sell him or figure out a home for him in my house.

And again promises of pictures and videos have been made, so tomorrow I will also clean the glass and upload some in this thread - hopefully, provided everything goes to plan. I worry for the younger AUSD making the night, though they have proven to be hardy fish. Time will tell, and I will update this tomorrow regardless.

Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 3585
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by Viktor Jarikov » Tue May 23, 2017 4:00 pm

Not sure about the mouth. It doesn't look threatening and appears as if it's some growth, maybe a blister / bubble / skin flap in its mouth. Hard to see in the video clearly. I doubt it is a mouth rot. Given my being unsure, I'd not medicate until I had a valid guess. Neither am I fond of medicating. Most usually, fish recover on their own when there is no stress and the water is good.

Again, hard to see but I've not noted any damage on the body. The establishing of the pecking order might be complete or not overly vicious. But if the fish is acting scared / in stupor, it could be wiser to remove for now or forever.

Or install more furniture and plants live or fake.

My only guy hangs upside down 99% of the time under an inlet pipe in a bare tank.
Thebiggerthebetter

BullFishkeeping
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:58 am
My cats species list: 11 (i:0, k:7)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:0)
Location 1: Ontario
Location 2: Canada
Interests: Platydoras armatulus fanboy

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by BullFishkeeping » Wed May 24, 2017 6:07 pm

Right, brief update on the sick/wounded fish. He's been moved to a 10 gallon quarantine tank with a towel over it to keep it dark. Dosed Seachem Neoplex to help clear up some infection visible in his mouth and fins. He's eating, suspected he'll make a full recovery and then I will sell him off as he doesn't work in the 125.

The 125 is doing great. No aggression among any fish. Removing the smaller male AUSD seems to have remedied any issues.

As promised, here are some pictures.
Image
This is the pair of them. Female in the back more upright, male in the front. They usually hang out together.

Here is a shot of the tank.
Image
125 gallon filtered by an FX5 and a sponge, kept at 76F. All plants are stuffed into the driftwood as they will uproot everything in the sand.

In total the tank is stocked with:
Synodontis decorus
Synodontis notatus
Pterygoplichthys pardalis (Chocolate variety)
Mystus leucophasis pair pictured above

Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 3585
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by Viktor Jarikov » Wed May 24, 2017 11:29 pm

Nice! Wonderful-looking tank, labor of love obviously. Plenty of cool looking dw in the tank.

I am surprised they hang together. I think as you said they are courting. Once this is over, they probably will not tolerate each other in their territory.
Thebiggerthebetter

BullFishkeeping
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:58 am
My cats species list: 11 (i:0, k:7)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:0)
Location 1: Ontario
Location 2: Canada
Interests: Platydoras armatulus fanboy

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by BullFishkeeping » Wed May 24, 2017 11:50 pm

With them courting, what does this mean? I haven't seen any reports of breeding, and I doubt I am lucky enough to be the first person to do so!

Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 3585
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by Viktor Jarikov » Thu May 25, 2017 1:51 am

Often times fish will engage in courtship which doesn't result in fertilized eggs anyway. Sometimes males will fight during the breeding season or as they perceive it without any females in the tank.

They are biological machines. Making babies is a long multi-step path that's not always traveled to the end.

You have not seen breeding reports, you say, but have you earnestly looked for this info?
Thebiggerthebetter

BullFishkeeping
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:58 am
My cats species list: 11 (i:0, k:7)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:0)
Location 1: Ontario
Location 2: Canada
Interests: Platydoras armatulus fanboy

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by BullFishkeeping » Thu May 25, 2017 2:02 am

I would say I have, yes. I know they are bred in large ponds in Asia, but I haven't managed to find any information regarding that. I have seen absolutely no reports of anything aside from the vague claim that they are bred in Asia for food.

Why, have you seen something I have not?

Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 3585
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: Mystus leucophasis advice

Post by Viktor Jarikov » Thu May 25, 2017 4:51 pm

No. At the face value "I haven't seen any reports of breeding" may be trivially because you haven't looked or looked hard. I asked for my understanding. I don't play cruel games like this :)

Sometimes I found that "breeding in captivity is not known" means that it had been done but never reported. Same for external gender differences.

I doubt it is sensible to commercially raise a fish with ~1' max size for food. Way too little meat. Perhaps it was meant it is sometimes done for personal fun and consumption.
Thebiggerthebetter

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest