Fiddler Catfish, Characteristics, Uses, And Best 16 Information

Fiddler catfish is a freshwater catfish. The fiddler catfish lives in rivers and lakes in Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela.

The fish can grow to about in length. It is a common aquarium fish that is often kept in a tank with shrimp or other bottom-feeders and preys on smaller fish, algae, and plants.

It can be easily kept in a home aquarium with other fish but the diet of its tank mates should be complemented with a proper diet.

They are sometimes referred to as peacock catfish, “catfish goby” or “lots of colors.” Fiddler catfish are often confused with another closely related species — the blue-spotted peacock catfishes.


How to identify fiddler catfish?

The Fiddler catfish has a body that is cylindrical and can be up to 20 cm long. The back is olive brown, while the sides are a silver-grey color.

Fiddler Catfish Picture
Fiddler Catfish Picture

The belly of the fiddler catfish can be yellowish in color or white. Fiddler catfish have an elongated body that tapers from the back down to the rounded tail fin.

This fish possesses four pairs of barbells, with the outer pair being longer than the inner pair.

The dorsal fin of the fiddler catfish is located at the rear end of the body and is sickle-shaped, while the anal and pectoral fins are located closer to the tail.

They are omnivores and eat small fish, crustaceans, worms, algae, and aquatic plants. This species often hides during daylight hours by burying itself in sand or sediment.

Behavioral and Physical Characteristics

The fiddler catfish is a carnivorous fish that feeds on aquatic insects, plants, crustaceans, and benthic worms.

In general, this species is a very peaceful fish once it has settled into its environment and will not bother other tank inhabitants.

It also gets along well with other fish of similar size in the absence of larger predators.

This catfish is a very territorial fish that must be kept in a tank by itself unless very large and powerful species are included.

Despite being considered peaceful, the Fiddler catfish should always be kept in a well-established tank that contains plenty of hiding places and plants to provide additional cover.

Fiddler catfish prefer to swim at the top of the aquarium near the surface or on the bottom near aquatic plants.


The fiddler can also be used in freshwater aquariums. They can be housed in freshwater tanks with other fish and shrimp.

Fishing Fiddler Catfish
Fishing Fiddler Catfish

This species is usually kept at lower temperatures and should not be kept above 85–95 °F.

In an aquarium, the fiddler fish needs to have a good source of food and hiding places, such as mussel shells or caves. The tank should also contain a good supply of live plants.

Special Notes

This is a generally peaceful fish that is best kept by itself.

This fish should not be kept with larger and more aggressive fish, because it will most likely be out-competed for food and eventually seriously injured or killed.

Fiddler catfish will occasionally eat small aquatic creatures such as shrimp or snails.

This species is also sometimes seen eating plants, so it should only be kept with live plants if it has plenty of other food sources that are high in protein.

Best 16 information

NameFiddler catfish.
Other NamePeacock catfish, Lotos Cattus, willow catfish.
Scientific NameCirrhigaleus Pulcher.
Common nameFiddler catfish, peacock catfish.
Breed Class, sizeMedium, 20–30 cm.
OriginColombia and Brazil.
Maximum Length25 inches (65 cm).
Minimum Aquarium Size125 gallon / 475 liters.
Diet in the wildOmnivore.
Food in the aquariumLive and dry food. It is recommended that fiddler fish be fed with blood worms, tubifex, daphnia, and shrimp.
Climate ToleranceTropical, not cold-sensitive.
Water Temperature24-28 °C (75-83 °F).
HabitatRivers and lakes.
Color  Lots of colors, blue-spotted peacock catfishes.


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