Will these catfish fit into my set-up?

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A reader wonders whether a Hyalobagrus flavus would fit in with his other fish.

I am currently cycling a 56 l tank with an air-powered filter and a small hang-on filter at the back. I was thinking of adding at least six Banded panchax and around eight Boraras brigittae. I’d also been considering some Pygmy corys for this tank, but after seeing Hyalobagrus flavus in PFK’s November 2021 issue, I wonder if this beautiful little cat would be suitable for housing with the above mentioned fish. 

MATTHEW WILCOX, VIA EMAIL

Bob replies: Shadow catfish, Hyalobagrus flavus, would be a great choice to add alongside Boraras brigittae, which is truly a ‘nano’ species with an adult size of less than 2cm. I’m presuming the Banded panchax you mention are Epiplatys annulatus (often sold as Rocket panchax), which grow to just over 3cm and again should be ideal tankmates for the catfish. Just be careful they’re not the Six-banded panchax, Epiplatys sexfasciatus, which are considerably larger and, while safe with the catfish, I wouldn’t trust them with the snack-sized Boraras, as panchax have surprisingly large mouths!

With regards to the catfish, these are a social species, so make sure you stock a group of at least six and that your tank has the soft, acidic conditions that they thrive in.