Alternative species (click on the thumbnail to see the card)
None (for the moment!)
Origin: Asia, Indonesia (Borneo)
60L / 13imp gal / 16US gal (alone)
100L / 22imp gal / 26US gal (for 4)
T°: 21 à 24°C or 70 to 75°F
pH: 6 to 8
Hardness: 8 to 40°dGH
5 cm (2")
5 to 7 years
1 to 4
How to feed the Gastromyzon?
Gastromyzon is an omnivorous fish. It will eat everything that falls in the bottom of your aquarium: pellets or flakes for ground-fish. However, it needs to vary its diet. Opt for a vegetable-dominated diet: zucchini, spinach or cucumber, for example.
It will also appreciate the worms of vases and tubifex, preferably alive. However, this type of food will remain casual (in general, avoid foods too rich in animal protein).
You will often buy them in a pretty skinny state, when sold commercially. You will then have to pay special attention to their diet the first months. It may happen that they already magnetise pellets for ground-fish and in this case the task is quite easy. However, in most cases, they do not immediately understand that this funny pellet is supposed to be eaten. You must still offer them pellets regularly until they understand the interest of this pellet! In the meantime, they will eat the bacterial film and seaweed covering the scenery. To promote this starter diet, force on lighting and use fertiliser (to grow algae).
What kind of behavior does the Gastromyzon have?
Make no mistake: even if this fish has a sucker, it does not eat a lot of algae (rather the biofilm). Nor is it a «cleaner». On the other hand, this sucker allows it to cling firmly to the decor, like the rocks for example.
Even if it can live alone, it will prefer the company of congeners in an aquarium of at least 100 liters or 22 Imp Gal or 26 US Gal for a small group. This will encourage more natural behavior. They will establish a hierarchy by fighting in colorful fights. Indeed, they have the ability to vary their color considerably. It can vary from deep black to cream during quarrels. Some take an olive color or more yellow (it depends on the species). These are the «war paintings».
Who can live with the Gastromyzon?
This totally peaceful fish will not care about the other inhabitants of the aquarium. Because of this, it may be suitable for a community aquarium. Be careful though that the water parameters are compatible (temperature). To stay in an Asian biotope, you can add Danios Rerio for example.
Be careful because the fish likes the strong current! It is therefore necessary that the species you choose will also appreciate this essential point for the well-being of Gastromyzon. To summarize, you can associate them with quiet and not territorial fish that love the current (stiphodon, garra, rhinogonius...).
How to breed the Gastromyzon?
Breeding is very rare, if not impossible for the majority of aquarists.
Which aquarium for the Gastromyzon?
In its natural environment, Gastromyzon lives in torrents and near waterfalls. It also has a suction cup allowing it to hang firmly among all this eddy! The best for it is to recreate similar conditions in aquarium. Powerful filtration will ensure good oxygenation and a good mixing of water. Direct the current rather on the lower part of your aquarium. Moreover, know that this point is essential for the maintenance of this fish, because it supports very poor low oxygen (and nitrates in passing). It is not uncommon for fish to die quickly due to a lack of brewing.
On the decor side, install a soil composed of sand or fine gravel (both non-cutting), then add some rocks. It will be essential to provide large pebbles (non-salient) on which the fish can hang. In fact, the Gastromyzon will spend a lot of time hanging on its rock, which explains why it does not have a big need in terms of space (60 liters or 13 Imp Gal or 16 US Gal alone and 100 liters or 22 Imp Gal or 26 US Gal in a group will suffice). It’s mostly electricity that it needs. Finally, you can finish your decor by planting some Elodea densa and Hygrophila polysperma.
Pay attention to the temperature of your aquarium: Gastromyzon is very sensitive to too hot water. Moreover, a temperature of 28°C or 82°F can kill it. It will be particularly necessary to remain vigilant in the summer so that your aquarium remains below 24°C or 75°F. If your fish becomes abnormally pale, it suffers from heat!
Good To know
Good To know
Find all additional information!
Gastromyzon is quite difficult to find in stores, often under the name Gastromyzon ctenocephalus or Gastromyzon punctatus:
Little useful info: it is absolutely not a fish cleaner!
Curiosity: they store fat on their backs!
When buying, avoid fish with discolorations on the body, it’s a very bad sign!
There are 36 species of Gastromyzon. Let's mention some of them:
Gastromyzon ocellatus :
Gastromyzon scitulus :
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