Max Size: 8cm

Spotted Headstander (Chilodus punctatus)

Spotted Headstanders are peaceful fish that prefer to be in groups and should be kept at least in a trio. However, these species are not aggressive and can be skittish. Spotted Headstanders are relatively shy and do not appreciate the presence of boisterous or fast-moving species.

It is possible to maintain a group of these fish, but there will be some squabbling. Insufficient cover may result in physical damage, but this is rare. Tetras, small loaches, Corydoras Catfish, and peaceful Cichlids such as Mikrogeophagus or Cleithracara are ideal tank mates for these fish.

The ideal aquarium for the Spotted Headstander would be a biotope setup containing soft, slightly acidic water, a sandy substrate with driftwood branches and roots alongside leaf litter and floating vegetation. However, this species is sensitive to dissolved organic wastes; therefore, you should never introduce them to a non-established aquarium.

The Spotted Headstander has an elongated body that displays greenish-brown colours throughout with rows of small brown spots. The throat and belly of these fish are silvery, and some individuals exhibit a dark longitudinal line that runs from the snout to the caudal fin depending on their location. In addition, These fish have tiny, slightly upward mouths and a thick upper lip.


Spotted Headstander
Quick Facts
Scientific NameChilodus punctatus
Year Described2003
Other NamesPearl Headstander, Checkered Headstander
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asTrios
Lifespan8 - 12 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.0 - 7.5
GH2 - 10
68 - 82℉
20 - 27.8℃


In the home aquarium, the Spotted Headstander will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is super easy to distinguish the males from female Spotted Headstanders. This is because males possess a more extended dorsal fin, and they have slimmer bodies than females. In contrast, females are usually much rounder than males and have a shorter dorsal fin.

Other Headstanders of interest

Striped Headstander(Anostomus anostomus)
Date Added: 20/10/2021 12:10:29 - Updated: 06/12/2022 14:54:17