Species spotlight- Centromochlus perugiae
The oil or honeycomb catfish originates in Peru and Ecuador, the specific fish I have coming out of Peru, and inhabits fast moving rivers near the shoreline, where it is very sandy and there is little aquatic vegetation. They are adaptable to a wide range of parameters, with a temperature range of 74-86 and a wide range of hardness and pH with neutral probably being most ideal. They are insectivores in the wild, but are easy to feed in home aquaria readily accepting frozen worms or small dried sinking foods, often from the water’s surface. They are appropriate for community tanks with other peaceful fish, south american types (tetras, cories, ancistrus, otocicnlus, etc) and are not at all aggressive, content to be housed singly or in groups.
They also have interesting breeding, with the male having an elongated anal fin which is used similar to a gonopodium for internal fertilization. They appreciate having lengths of driftwood, or even pvc, for the female to deposit their eggs along crevices or within the privacy of cover, where she will guard them until they hatch. A decent amount of water movement via powerhead or directional spray bar facilitates breeding. A 10g tank is appropriate for a breeding group.