Asian Stone Catfish
Care & Breeding

Asian Stone Catfish: Everything you need to Know

Introduction to Stone Catfish

Stone catfish originates from Asia. They can be also found in India and Bangladesh, especially in slow-moving water. 

They have several other names so don’t get confused if you hear any other name. They are also known as Asian Stone Catfish, Moth Catfish, and Anchor Catfish. They got these names from their appearance for example Moth catfish resembles a moth. 

Asian Stone Catfish
Asian Stone Catfish

They also have multiple scientific names like Hara jerdoni and Erethistes jerdoni. The difficulty I faced was when I went to a local fish store to buy stone catfish and when I told them I need Anchor catfish, so they got confused because they didn’t know stone catfish and Anchor catfish are basically the same fish. 

This is how people get confused because these fish have multiple scientific names and also several other names. Stone catfish is quite popular among fish aquarists due to its small size and calm behavior. They are also bottom dwellers. In today’s article, we will cover all the information you need to know about Stone catfish.

Points to be noted

  • Stone catfish is a miniature species which means it’s a tiny fish, this is the reason it is called dwarf stone catfish.
  • They are not active swimmers.
  • They like slow-moving water.
  • They like to swim in clean and oxygenated water.
  • They are peaceful fish.
  • Don’t overfeed them

Natural habitat

These beautiful tiny creatures are native to slow-moving water streams found in northeastern India and Bangladesh. They are not very active swimmers so they like to swim in calm and slow-moving water bodies. Their natural habitat streams have a sandy substrate, the water is cool and sufficiently oxygenated.

The appearance of Stone catfish

Stonefish comes in different colors like grey, tan, reddish-brown, and dark brown. They have dark patches all around their body. Stone catfish have a moth-like appearance because they have pectoral spines. That is why they are also called Moth catfish. This moth-like appearance of the pectoral spines secures the catfish between rocks when they are swimming in fast-moving water. 

Asian Stone Catfish
Asian Stone Catfish

Size of stone catfish

It is a tiny specie and this is the reason it is also called Dwarf stone catfish or some people call it Dwarf Anchor catfish. Anchor catfish will grow 1 to 1.2 inches which is 2.5 to 3 cm in size. Male stone catfish and female stone catfish are almost the same size but dorsally they have a difference. In short female stone catfish are wider and also their pectoral fins are curved more posteriorly than male stone catfish. This is how you can distinguish between a female and a male stone catfish. 

Care requirements of stone catfish

Stone catfish is a calm fish so it’s easy to take care of them. They like to live in cool temperatures. They can tolerate temperatures up to 78°F but they like to swim in cool temperatures. The ideal temperature range for stone catfish is 64°F to 75°F 

pH levels also play an important role. pH level for them should be between the range of 5.6 and 7.6. Make sure the water is well-oxygenated. Maintain frequent water changes to keep the tank clean and to have the best water conditions for your Stone catfish. 

Trust me when I say water conditions are very important because if water conditions are not right, then your stone catfish will start shedding their skin. 

Points to be noted

  • Make sure to have a cool temperature for stone catfish
  • Have accurate pH levels for their tank.
  • Maintain accurate temperature for them.
  • Water should be sufficiently oxygenated

Tank requirements of Stone Catfish

If you want to keep your stone catfish happy and healthy in your tank, then make sure you fulfill their tank requirements. According to my experience, a 10-gallon tank is absolutely sufficient for a small group of Stone catfish. For the base of the tank, use soft substrates such as sand or leaves as this will resemble their natural habitat. 

Also, add plants in the tank so your stone catfish can hide in them if they feel unsafe. Make sure you have a good filtration system in the tank to keep the water clean. This is very important because you want to keep the water oxygenated all the time. 

Keep the tank clean so your stone catfish have a pure environment to swim. In this way, they will stay safe from disease and parasites

Point to be noted

  • The tank should be clean at all times
  • Have a sandy substrate for them
  • Have a proper filtration system
  • Add sand or leave it on the bottom of the tank

Is Stone Catfish Aggressive 

No, they are not at all aggressive!! They are extremely peaceful fish. They are tiny fishes that are very timid so they are the best pets for beginner aquarists. Overall stone catfish doesn’t give any tough time to its owner. 

Asian Stone Catfish
Asian Stone Catfish

Breeding of Stone Catfish

Some people say that breeding stone catfish is difficult and some of them say that it’s quite easy!! Well, this is debatable!!

The tricky part is to take care of the eggs layer. For the process of breeding, prepare a separate breeding tank, place a special spawning mop in it or you can also place baby grass. Then add 4 to 5 adult stone catfish to start the process of mating. 

Well according to my experience, it’s better to keep 2 males for 3 females stone catfish. Then you have to feed them with live food before the process of spawning. Make sure to perform 30% water changes after every 3-4 days. This is a great way of reducing nitrogenous waste inside your breeding tank. Also, I suggest you install a sponge filter inside the tank to keep the water clean at all times and this will also keep the water well-oxygenated. 

If you follow all these steps carefully, stone catfish will lay eggs in baby grass after the process of spawning. 

After this remove the adults from the breeding tank so you can take better care of the baby fry. 

This is the complete process of breeding. I hope you find it easy as this process doesn’t require any special equipment. 

Diet of Stone Catfish

They like to eat live food as well as frozen food like daphnia, cyclops, brine shrimp, and bloodworms. These all items are rich in proteins and are very good for the health of stone catfish. You should feed them only once or twice a day. Most importantly don’t overfeed them as overfeeding can cause bloating and digestion issues and obviously, you don’t want that. 

Do stone catfish eat shrimp?

Yes, you can feed them baby brine shrimp. They are rich in protein and are healthy for your stone catfish. 

Disease and Parasites

Like other fishes, Stone catfish are also prone to disease and parasites. They can get sick due to several reasons for example if the water condition is not accurate or if the tank is not clean then your stone catfish might get sick.

They can also get dangerous bacterial or fungal infections because they are bottom dwellers and due to this reason they can get infections. 

How to avoid disease

  • Keep the tank clean
  • The tank should be well oxygenated
  • Have a good filtration system
  • Maintain accurate pH level 
  • Make sure the temperature of the tank is accurate
  • Do frequent water changes

If you fulfill all these requirements then your stone catfish will stay safe from parasites and disease.

Best tank mates for Stone Catfish

Stone catfish is a calm fish and a tiny fish so make sure you don’t keep any large fish with them as large fish might attack your tiny stone catfish. 

Stone catfish are extremely peaceful species and you can keep them in community tank also but as I said earlier don’t keep any large fish with them. 

Some of the best tank mates for them are Cherry shrimp, Ghost shrimp, Mosquito rasboras, Adult dwarf shrimp, Cloud minnows, Golden dwarf barbs, Zebra danios, and Cool-water barbs. 

Most importantly just never ever keep them with large fishes as large fishes may eat these tiny stone catfish. 

Can we keep bettas with Stone Catfish?

No!! You shouldn’t keep bettas with stone catfish. Bettas are completely incompatible tank mates for stone catfish. The main reason is catfish have a sluggish nature and it’s not safe to keep both of them together.


Stone catfish are good pets as they are peaceful fish and they don’t give tough time to their owners. Take good care of them so they live long and happy in your tank. Also in my opinion it is quite easy to take care of them as they only need basic care and attention. They can be definitely a great addition to your tank. They are a popular choice among fish keepers because of their cool temperament and non-aggressive nature. 

Asian Stone Catfish: Everything you need to Know
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top