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. These species are not at all aggressive and can be rather skittish. Spotted Headstanders are relatively shy and do not appreciate the presence of boisterous or fast-moving species.

You can maintain these fish in a group; however, some squabbling is inevitable. Physical damage may occur, although this is very rare provided sufficient cover is available. Ideal tank mates for these fish include many Tetras, smaller Loaches, Corydoras Catfish and peaceful Cichlids such as Mikrogeophagus or Cleithracara.

The ideal aquarium for the Spotted Headstander would be a biotope style setup containing soft, sightly 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 biologically immature 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.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameChilodus punctatus
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℃

Photos of the Spotted Headstander

Spotted Headstander

Natural Habitat

Spotted Headstanders are endemic to Lake Amuku in the upper Essequibo River system in Guyana in South America. These species are also currently considered to range throughout much of the Amazon system in Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil, as well as the Apeu drainage in Para state, eastern Brazil, the western Orinoco in Colombia, and various coastal river systems of Suriname and Guyana. Spotted Headstanders inhabit shallow rocky areas with some vegetation in slow-moving rivers, tributaries, floodplain lakes and oxbows.

What to feed the Spotted Headstander

Spotted Headstanders will feed on aquatic plants, algae, detritus, insects and small invertebrates in the wild. However, in the aquarium, you will need to keep a good balance. For example, it would be best to give them high-quality flake food daily alongside good spirulina formula fish food or algae wafers. You may also occasionally provide them with live or frozen foods such as bloodworm, red mosquito larvae and Cyclops as a treat.

This species will also enjoy other vegetables, such as spinach leaves, stewed lettuce leaves, chickweed and watercress. It may also be handy to know that these fish may nibble on aquarium plants, especially if there is not enough algae growth in the aquarium. Spotted Headstanders do best when fed several times a day; however, only offer them what they are able to consume in 3 minutes or less at each feeding.

How to sex the Spotted Headstander

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.

How to breed the Spotted Headstander

Breeding Spotted Headstanders is achievable; however, unfortunately, there is little to no information on breeding them successfully. The available information only tells us that they are egg scatterers that exhibit no parental care and spawn at the onset of the wet season.

We also know that you will need to remove the parents after they have spawned, which they do so among the roots of floating plants and that these fish will lay around 200 eggs. Lastly, the fry swims with their head down from birth, and you can give them baby brine shrimp as a first food.

Other Headstanders of interest

Striped Headstander(Anostomus anostomus)
Date Added: 20/10/2021 12:10:29 - Updated: 17/11/2021 03:32:08