The Ogre catfish has a huge mouth for its size. Dr Michael Hardman explains how to keep it.
Like most driftwood catfishes from the family Auchenipteridae, the Ogre catfish, Asterophysus batrachus, lives in slow water habitats with plenty of places to hide. Given a maximum size (25-30cm/10-12”, it should be given plenty of room, so minimum volume should be 300 l/65 gal.
Water chemistry is not critical, although if your water supply is hard and alkaline you should invest in a reverse osmosis system and be sure to buffer the softened water with a suitable product to attain pH 6.5-7.5.
Unlike most auchenipterids, Asterophysus is an opportunistic predator and will readily consume other fishes that fit into its remarkably large mouth.
With this probability in mind, it is best kept this fish in communities among mid-to-large sized cichlids and characins.
In time, Asterophysus may begin to show itself during daytime feedings. If you keep this and other catfishes you should feed during lights out to make sure they stay satisfied and well nourished.
This article was first published in the November 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.