Striped Headstander | Anostomus anostomus

Characins / Curimatidae / Striped Headstander

Profile: Striped Anostomus, Striped Headstander
Anostomus anostomus Synonyms: Anostomus gronovii, A. salmoneus, Leporinus anostomus, Salmo anostomus
Physical description: An elongated fish with lateral compression.   Color varies from brown to black with three yellow horizontal stripes.  The dorsal fin is usually red as is the area on the base of the tail.   Other fins are transparent.   This fish has a pointed head and an upturned mouth for grazing algae.   In reflected light the scale can have a slight reddish iridescence.
Size/Length: To 8" (20 cm)
Similar species: Ternetz's Anostomus ( Anostomus ternetzi), Striped Leporinus ( Leporinus striatus )
Habitat: Along rocky banks with lots of algae of fast moving rivers. South America; the Orinoco and Amazon Rivers in Guyana, Columbia, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: 40" (101 cm) or 45-55 gallons (190-209 l).   The tank should have a dark substrate of fine gravel or sand.  Use a tight-fitting cover as this fish is a good jumper.   The filter should create a strong current to make the fish more comfortable.  Use strong lighting to promote algae growth.   This fish can be kept in a well-planted tank as long as it is fed large amounts of "green food" and there is algae to be grazed upon.   Provide hiding places among rock structures, caves, and driftwood.
Water chemistry: pH 5.8-7.5 (6.5), 2-18 dH (8), 72-84°F (22-29°C)
Social behavior: Should either be kept singly or in groups of six or more.   If kept in smaller groups, fish may fight.  If kept singly, it does well in a community tank with medium to large fish.   It may nip at long-flowing finned fish at night.  Combine with calm fish that are not aggressive towards getting food, because sometimes this species may not compete for food.  This species may be territorial at times.
Suggested companions:  Catfish; Armored Catfish, Pimelodids, Loricarids, Doradids, Synodontis; Central and South America cichlids; characins; tetras, piranha (and allies), hatchetfish; Knifefish; Arawana; gouramis; barbs; and Loaches.
FOOD: Algae; vegetable; spinach, lettuce; fruits; vegetable flake food; plants; live; worms, crustaceans, aquatic insects, insect larvae.
SEX: Mature females are larger and plumper.
Breeding techniques: This fish is commonly bred in fish hatcheries throughout South America and Asia.   Has also reportedly been bred in aquaria although few details are available.   The diet of the fish apparently plays a very important role in initiating the spawn.
Breeding potential: 10.  Spawning is very difficult in aquaria.
Remarks: This species swims in head pointing downwards position, grazing algae off rocks and searching for fallen food. 
Difficulty of care: 5.  A hardy fish that requires a tank set-up that includes rock structures.   This fish must be kept with medium to large sized fish.