Horabagrus Brachysoma: Sun Catfish Facts & Care Insights

Günther Catfish is scientifically called Horabagrus brachysoma
Dr. Mollie Newton
Published by Dr. Mollie Newton PHD| Senior Editor
Last updated: June 21, 2024
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The **Sun Catfish**, known as *Horabagrus brachysoma*, hails from **India**. Sporting a long body and vibrant colors, the H. brachysoma stands out among other freshwater fish. This catfish usually lives in calm rivers and lakes, munching on detritus and tiny invertebrates. Ready to dive into the fascinating world of the Sun Catfish?

Article Summary

  • Horabagrus brachysoma, also known as the Sun Catfish, is a native species of India known for its elongated body and vibrant coloration.
  • The Sun Catfish has distinct features, including black blotches on its body, a golden-yellow body color, and a large head with visible eyes.
  • These catfish have a carnivorous diet, primarily feeding on small fish, insects, crustaceans, and worms, with a preference for live or frozen foods.

Species Overview

H brachysoma (Pseudobagrus brachysoma type species), also known as the bullseye catfish, is a freshwater fish species endemic to the Western Ghats region of India. This unique organism is characterized by its vibrant colors and distinct markings.

There are currently two types of fish in the Horabagrus genus. The second one, H. nigricollaris, looks quite similar to H. brachysoma but is smaller and better suited for home aquariums. You can differentiate between the two by looking at the black shoulder markings on each side of the fish. In H. brachysoma, these markings are just a dark blotch that is somewhat circular. However, in H. nigricollaris, the marking extends up and over the top of the body.

Freshwater Fish Species

These catfish belongs to the genus Horabagrus and the family Bagridae. It is commonly found in rivers, streams, and other freshwater bodies in the Western Ghats region. These areas provide an ideal habitat for this species due to their rich biodiversity and abundant food sources.

Endemic to the Western Ghats Region of India

The Western Ghats region of India is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including many endemic species. These catfish is one such species that can only be found in this particular area. Its restricted distribution makes it even more special and sought after by aquarium enthusiasts.

Known by Various Names

Aside from its scientific name, Horabagrus brachysoma goes by several common names as well. Some refer to it as the golden red tail catfish, eclipse catfish, or solar catfish due to its striking appearance. The name “bullseye catfish” comes from the distinctive spot on its body resembling a target or bullseye.

Popular in Aquarium Shops

Due to its unique characteristics and eye-catching appearance, Horabagrus brachysoma has gained popularity among aquarium hobbyists worldwide. It is often sought after for its vibrant colors and active behavior, making it a prized addition to any freshwater aquarium setup.

Interactions With Humans and Conservation Status

Sun Catfish, is highly sought after by aquarium enthusiasts for its unique appearance. Its striking pattern and vibrant colors make it a popular choice for fish tanks.

Endangered Status

However, despite its popularity in the aquarium trade, Sun catfish faces significant conservation challenges. The species has been listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Major Threats to Habitat and Populations

One of the primary threats to Solar catfish is habitat loss. Due to deforestation and urbanization, the natural habitats where these fish reside are being destroyed or degraded. This loss of suitable living environments directly impacts their populations.

Overfishing is another significant threat facing solar catfish. The demand for this species in the aquarium trade has led to unsustainable fishing practices that can deplete populations rapidly. This overexploitation puts immense pressure on their numbers and further contributes to their endangered status.

H Brachysoma Appearance

The Eclipse Catfish, is a unique and fascinating fish species. Its appearance is characterized by black blotches on both sides of the body behind the opercula and a golden-yellow body color. Growing up to 17 inches in length, this catfish certainly knows how to make an impression!

A Close Look at Horabagrus Brachysoma
A Close Look at Horabagrus Brachysoma

One notable feature of H. brachysoma is its large head and wide mouth. The eyes are particularly striking, as they are large and easily visible from below the fish. Another distinguishing characteristic is the presence of a dorsal fin with a hard spine, along with an adipose fin.

In addition to these features, H. brachysoma has four pairs of barbels that enhance its sensory capabilities. These include one nasal barbel, one maxillary barbel on each side of the mouth, and two mandibular barbels located on the chin.

Tank and Water Requirements

To ensure the well-being of your sun catfish, it is essential to provide them with a suitable tank and water conditions. Let’s take a look at the specific requirements:

Tank Size

A Sun catfis requires a spacious tank due to its size and active nature. It is recommended to have a tank with a capacity of at least 180 gallons. This provides ample space for the fish to swim around comfortably.

Water Conditions

Sun catfish prefers soft and slightly acidic water conditions. Maintaining these conditions can contribute to their overall health and well-being. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • pH Level: Aim for a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5, which falls within the slightly acidic range.
  • Temperature: Maintain a temperature range of 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C) in the aquarium.
  • Filtration: Install an efficient filtration system that can handle the waste produced by these fish, ensuring clean and healthy water.
  • Vegetation: Adding live plants, such as Amazon Sword, Vallisneria, and Java Fern, to the aquarium not only enhances its aesthetic appeal but also provides hiding places for Golden-red tail catfish.

Golden-red tail catfish Health

Regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring the health and well-being of your Golden-red tail catfish. This species is generally hardy and resistant to diseases, but it’s important to provide them with optimal conditions to thrive.

Hardy and Resistant

Golden-red tail catfish are known for their resilience and ability to withstand various environmental conditions. They can adapt well to different water parameters, making them a suitable choice for beginner aquarists. Their hardiness also makes them less prone to diseases compared to more delicate fish species.

Importance of Water Changes

To maintain the best possible health for your Golden-red tail catfish, regular water changes are essential. These fish are sensitive to poor water quality, so it’s crucial to keep their tank clean and free from toxins. Regular water changes help remove accumulated waste, excess nutrients, and harmful substances that can negatively affect their health.

Sensitivity to Poor Water Quality

While these fish are hardy, they can still suffer from the consequences of poor water quality. High levels of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate can be detrimental to their overall well-being. It’s important to monitor water parameters regularly using test kits and take appropriate actions if any issues arise. Maintaining proper filtration and performing routine water changes will help ensure a healthy environment for your Golden-red tail catfish.

Bullseye Catfish Diet

The diet of Bullseye catfish, also known as the Sun Catfish, is primarily carnivorous. In the wild, this species feeds on a variety of live or frozen foods. Let’s take a closer look at their dietary preferences.

Carnivorous Diet

Bullseye catfish has a strong preference for meat-based foods. They are known to consume small fish, such as guppies and feeder fish, as well as insects, crustaceans, and worms. Their sharp teeth and powerful jaws allow them to capture and devour their prey effectively.

Live or Frozen Foods

To meet the dietary needs of Golden red tail catfish in captivity, it is recommended to provide live or frozen foods that mimic their natural prey. Some suitable options include bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and blackworms. These can be purchased from pet stores or bred at home.

High-Quality Pellet or Flake Foods

In addition to live or frozen foods, Golden red tail catfish can also be fed high-quality pellet or flake foods specifically formulated for carnivorous fish species. These commercial diets often contain a balanced blend of proteins and essential nutrients necessary for their growth and overall health.

It is important to note that while pellet or flake foods can serve as a convenient option for feeding solar catfish, they should not be the sole source of nutrition. It is recommended to supplement their diet with occasional feedings of live or frozen foods to ensure they receive a varied and balanced diet.

Temperament and Tank Mates

Horabagrus brachysoma, also known as the yellow catfish, eclipse catfish, or manjakoori, is a peaceful fish that can be kept in groups of five or more. It generally gets along well with most community fish. However, it’s important to note that adult Horabagrus brachysoma may prey on very tiny fish or small fry.

Due to its size, it’s best to keep the Sun catfish (Horabagrus brachysoma) with larger fish that are not small enough to be seen as potential prey. This will help ensure the safety of smaller fish in the aquarium.

Keeping manjakoori in groups of five or more is recommended as it provides them with a sense of security and reduces stress.

While these guidelines provide general recommendations, it’s essential to research specific compatibility between different species before introducing them into the same aquarium. Observing their behavior and ensuring adequate hiding spots and territories within the tank can also contribute to a harmonious environment for all inhabitants.

Breeding Horabagrus Brachysoma

Breeding Horabagrus brachysoma, also known as the Asian Sun Catfish, can be quite challenging in captivity due to their specific breeding requirements. These fish belong to the genus Horabagrus and are part of the Bagridae family.

During the breeding season, male Horabagrus brachysoma develop elongated anal fins, which is one way to distinguish them from females. This physical change is a sign that they are ready to breed.

These catfish typically lay their eggs on submerged roots or rocks within their habitat. The female will deposit her eggs in a protected area while the male fertilizes them externally. It is important to provide suitable hiding spots and structures for egg deposition in the breeding tank.

To successfully breed Horabagrus brachysoma, there are a few key considerations:

Specific breeding requirements

  • Maintain water parameters: The water should be clean and well-maintained with appropriate temperature and pH levels.
  • Provide suitable habitat: Include hiding spots such as caves or PVC pipes for the fish to feel secure during breeding.
  • Mimic natural conditions: Try to replicate their natural environment by using driftwood, rocks, and plants in the tank.

Care for fry (baby fish)

  • Separate fry from adults: Once the eggs hatch into fry, it is crucial to separate them from adult fish as they may become prey.
  • Feed nutritious food: Offer small live or frozen foods that are appropriate for their size and age.
  • Monitor water quality: Regularly check ammonia and nitrite levels since fry are more sensitive to poor water conditions.

Breeding Horabagrus brachysoma can be a rewarding experience for dedicated aquarists who are willing to meet their specific needs. Although challenging, providing optimal conditions can increase your chances of successful reproduction and the growth of healthy fry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will sun catfish eat small fish?

Yes, sun catfish (Horabagrus brachysoma) are opportunistic predators and will often consume small fish when given the chance. They have a carnivorous diet and may prey on small fish that fit into their mouths.

Where are Eclipse catfish from?

Eclipse catfish, scientifically known as Horabagrus catfish, are native to the freshwater systems of southwestern India throughout the states of Kerala and Karnataka, particularly in the Western Ghats region. They are commonly found in rivers, streams, and reservoirs in this area.

What is the scientific name for the sun catfish?

The scientific name for the sun catfish is Horabagrus brachysoma. And it also called as solar catfish, golden red tail catfish, eclipse catfish, yellow catfish, manjakoori, and Günther’s catfish.

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