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Hara jerdoni

Hara jerdoni


    Seen from above, Hara jerdoni's long, thin body and great, arching pectoral fins resemble a ship's anchor, giving this fish it's common name of “Anchor Catfish.” Alternately, it's called a Dwarf Moth Catfish because of it's tiny size, very delicate appearance and mottled brown patterning.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Common length : .98 inches (2.5 cm) Max length : 1.57 inches (4.0 cm)
    Tank: Individual: 10 gallons (37.85 liters) or larger School of 3-4 fish: 30 gallons (113.56 liters) or larger
    Strata: Will go everywhere but predominantly bottom. Likes Sand - Fine Gravel.
    PH: 6.0 - 7.2
    Hardness: Medium, dh range 8 to 15dH
    Temperature: 54°F to 75°F (18°-24° C)


    Order: Siluriformes
    Family: Erethistidae
    Genera: Hara
    Species: Hara jerdoni


Common name:

    Anchor Catfish, Asian Moth Catfish, Asian Stone Cat, Dwarf anchor Catfish, Dwarf Moth Catfish, Mini Moth Catfish

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    Asia: North Eastern India, Bangladesh and Western Thailand. Ganges-Brahmaputra River drainage to the Salween River drainage. Occurs in slow-moving hill streams, current-rich rivers, creeks, and wetland ponds.

General Body Form:
    A tiny, delicate, streamlined, mildly depressed body that is compressed, slightly, from the head to just past the dorsal fin. The posterior body (from the end or the dorsal fin out to the caudal) is laterally compressed, resulting in a very straight, whip-like tail. The rays of the pectoral fins are extremely long (their span measuring nearly the length of the fish,) and feature downward-curving serrations on the anterior edge of the fins. These strong, adaptive fins may be used for traction in rushing rivers and in stiller waters when they are suddenly overtaken by snow melts and heavy rains. Caudal fin is forked. Dorsal fin is a gently rounded arch. The distal margins of the fins are minutely scalloped and lacy. Two sets of antenna-like barbles frame the snout. The skin is covered in tiny, tuberculate bumps.

    Basic head and body colors range from dark brown, reddish brown, light brown to gray. Colors are mutable and respond to seasonal and environmental changes. Color is also a influenced by the color of the foods they consume. Overall, their patterning is disruptive, helping them mimic their surroundings. Caudal and anal fins have alternating bands of dark and light.


    Calm, cool, well-oxygenated, well-filtered water is essential for Hara jerdoni, the most delicate of the Moth cats. A sudden drop in dissolved oxygen can result in death and nitrates over 12.5mg/l can result in these fish appearing to shed their skin. Ideal for smaller, planted aquariums. Provide a sandy substrate, a few small stones, driftwood/bogwood, bamboo and lots of places to hide and relax. A lush planting of Java fern, Java moss and grass-like plants complemented with dried oak or beech leaves simulate their natural environment. Lighting should be kept low or filtered through surface plants. Perfect for the peaceful, smaller tank. An extremely gentle, very sociable, nocturnal addition to to a community tank, especially an Asian hillstream biotope tank with other Moth cats. Timid and extremely shy, you're more likely to see them out when they are in a school of at least 3 to 4 of their own. Excellent tankmates include Celestial Pearl Danios, False Harlequin Rasboras, Golden Dwarf Barbs, Mosquito Rasboras, Polka Dotted Loach, Scarlet Badis as well as many small, peaceful Indian fish. It's best to make these fish your tank's only bottom-dweller so they're not harassed or competed with for resources.


    Hara jerdoni


    Hara jerdoni


    Ominivorous, Prefers a diet rich in live and frozen proteins including artemia, small bloodworms, brine shrimp nauplii, cyclops, small daphnia, grindal worms and microworms. Algae tablets and catfish pellets round out the diet. Feed after lights-out to ensure that these small, energetic, nocturnal feeders can enjoy their food without competition.

    Susceptible to bacterial and fungus infections, which frequently occur in the bottom substrate. Regular vacuuming needed.

    Slow-moving hill streams in India and Bangladesh.

    Difficult. Egg layers. Sexual dimorphism: Females are fuller-bodied, and their pectoral fin spines may have more of an inward curve. Males have longer fins and barbels. Has bred in captivity, but many details are still unknown. Four to five prospective mates are fed live foods for a few days to condition them for breeding. The breeding aquarium (which may be their main tank) should contain either Java moss, baby grasses or spawning mops. After spawning, you may find miniscule fry eggs (gelatinous orbs with tiny black centers) in the moss or baby grass. Once the fry emerge, considerable time and attention must be devoted to their care. The fry are extremely delicate. The water must be kept very clean (a sponge filter is recommended,) highly-oxygenated and calm. Feed them very, very tiny live foods and liquid fish food.

Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Jose
I keep mine at 72 degrees and find they do very well at that temp . I have 4 in a 20 gallon long heavy planted tank without C02. They hide during the day but out at night and they do come out after water change even when lights are on. They aren't as shy as I have read because they seem to come out at night even before I shut the lights off. I would not keep them without plants as they seem to need them . I also have driftwood with Java fern growing on it and they hide in the driftwood during day. They LOVE Java fern and other broad leaf plants like anubias which they rest on . They seem to graze the micro fauna on them. They are very active when out and about . I keep them with shrimp and feed them blood worms as add a little every night but again they seem to graze the leaves and suspect they eat planaria.






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