Matt Clarke on the Indian Horabagrus nigricollaris.
Scientific name: Horabagrus nigricollaris
Origin: Upper Chalakudy River, Kerala, India.
Size: Museum records state sizes of up to 27cm/11", but anything around 20cm/8" would be considered a good size.
Water: These fish seem quite adaptable and were being kept in hard and alkaline London tapwateer with a pH of 7.5-8.0. Natural conditions are said to be softer and more acidic.
Habitat: This benthic species lives in moderately fast-flowing water.
Aquarium: H.nigricollaris can be a little skittish and needs plenty of shady hiding places. It can be kept together with its own kind and mixes well with most medium-sized community fishes. Don't keep it with fishes small enough to be eaten.
Similar species: There are two species in the genus: H.brachysoma and H.nigricollaris. The latter can be distinguished on the basis of its black saddled-shaped mark on the dorsal surface immediately behind and above the pectoral fin bases. H.brachysoma is being farmed for the aquarium trade, so is becoming easier to obtain.
Notes: This fish was described in 1994 by Kottelat and Pethiyagoda with several other species.
Availability: Wholesale Tropicals at Bethnal Green, London, imported these ones directly from India.
Price: Around £12.50
This article was first published in the May 2004 issue of the Practical Fishkeeping Magazine.