Striped Headstander (Anostomus anostomus)
When first introduced to the tank, Striped Headstanders tend to be somewhat shy. Therefore, make sure your tank is spacious, well-planted, and has plenty of hiding places. With appropriate hiding places, the fish will lose their shyness once they have been acclimated.
A biotype aquarium setup is ideal for these fish, so the substrate should be soft river sand, and the aquarium must be well planted. Driftwood and piles of rocks will also provide shelter for your fish if you place them at mid-height. Provide many surfaces for algae to grow on, which will provide supplemental nutrition. Algae will also grow better under a bright light.
As a final note, bear in mind that these fish may eat certain types of plants, especially the new tender shoots and leaves, so choose robust species such as Java Fern and Anubias that will not be eaten.
While Striped Headstanders are generally peaceful schooling fish, they can quarrel if kept in small numbers. Therefore, it is recommended to keep these fish in groups of at least eight individuals so that any aggressive behaviour will be distributed throughout the shoal, and no one individual will be subjected to continuous aggression. Nevertheless, unless you have a massive aquarium in which to keep a group, it is recommended to keep one only.
These fish should also not be kept with other species that are particularly slow-moving or long-finned as they can be nippy and avoid fish that demand the same foods as the Striped Headstander as they may not appreciate the competition. In addition, fish like these will not do well with freshwater sharks such as Epalzeorhynchos or Hemiancistrus or Chinese Algae Eaters like Gyrinocheilus, among others.
With Striped Headstanders you could have medium- to large-sized peaceful Cichlids, medium-to-large-sized Characins, medium to large-sized Barbs, Loaches, talking Catfish, and suckermouth Catfish as tankmates in a large community arrangement.
The Striped Headstander has an elongated body that resembles the shape of a pike. With its upward-pointing mouth and small, tapered head, this fish stands out from others. True to their name, these fish will spend most of their time in a "head-down" position.
There are some individuals that can reach 20 cm in length, but most are about 16 cm long.
There are three dark, horizontal bands running along the length of the fish's body, from the nose to the caudal peduncle. A pale pinky-peach stripe separates each bar. There are jagged borders on the lower and middle bands. The dorsal fin is red, and the tail fin gradually loses its solid red arc shape until it becomes transparent at the end. In addition, the pelvic and anal fins are transparent with red striping.
|Scientific Name||Anostomus anostomus|
|Other Names||Striped Anostomus, Anostomus Cigar Fish|
|Best kept as||Groups 8+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||3 - 18|
|73 - 82℉|
22.8 - 27.8℃
In the home aquarium, the Striped 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.
It is somewhat challenging to differentiate between male and female Striped Headstanders, especially when they are young. However, mature females usually grow slightly larger than males and tend to be fuller-bodied.