site logo

Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > The Tetras > Anostomus
18 visitors reading profiles


This page will give a completely detailed profile of the selected fish, from A to Z. The profiled fish will be chosen randomly by Badman, and will come from the complete genre of tropical fish. New profiles are added on a regular basis. If you would like to submit a profile for the site please contact me. Don't forget to let us know you experiences with this fish by filling out the

South America



Anostomus anostomus


    The Striped Anostomus is not as common as it once was, but it is still a beautiful addition to your tank. They have been known to nip, so judge accordingly.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Up to 7 inches (20 cm)
    Tank: 30 inches
    Strata: Bottom, middle
    PH: 5.8 to 7.5
    Hardness: Soft to medium hard, dh range 2-18
    Temperature: 73° to 82° f (22-28°C)


    Order: Cyriniformes
    Suborder: Characoidei
    Family: Anostomidae
    Genera: Anostomus

Common name:

    Striped anostomus

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    The Amazon and Orinoco river basins, as well as rivers in Guyana.

General Body Form:
    Cigar shaped and very elongated. The head tapers to a pointed nose with a small up facing mouth.

    The most noticeable feature of the fish are the dark longitudinal stripes that start at the front and extend all the way to the tail area. The top one starts at the head and goes through the dorsal fin area and can be seen from both sides. The middle one starts at the mouth, goes through the eye and runs all the way to the tail. The bottom starts at the throat area and runs to the base of the tail fin. All these stripes get wider as the fish ages. The Dorsal and Caudal fins are a bright Red edged in clear. The Pectoral and Anal fins have Red striping, interlaced with clear. The area between the stripes is a Gold or Mustard color. A very nice looking fish.

    The Anostomus should be kept alone as they will fight with members of its' family. The are usually peaceful with other fish species, although they have been known to nip the fins of Angela and other long finned fish. I always see a sneaky look in their eye. It should have a fairly large tank (30 or 20 gallon long) with a dark substrate and plenty of hiding areas, like bogwood and rocks, a few plants will finish the decor. You will want good water circulation as well. Keep the tank in the 75 to 80 degree range (24 to 27c) and in neutral water. The anostomus is Omnivorous feeding on flake, Frozen and live foods. They are great at removing small worm pest in the tank. They are a shy fish and if kept with aggressive feeders can starve in a tank.

    A South American Riverbank setup.

    It has breed in captivity, but I was unable to find any details. If you know of them please send them to me and I will add them here. Thanks.

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: Joe nemeth
I have 6 of these fish in a 300 gallon tank together with various loaches, tilapia buttikoferi, gouramis. I find they don't bother any other fish due to the room they have. pH 6.8 temp 77 I feed them a varied diet of pellets, tubifex worms, bloodworms, and either blanched lettuce or nori which they love.
From: Brian W
Just an addition to earlier comments about these fish nipping tankmates. My Anostomus lives with a group of large and very active Silver Dollars and Red Hooks that are very able to look after themselves. I recently noticed small light patches on the flanks of some of these fishes, then on watching carefully I saw one of them floating stationary while the Anostomus busily scraped away a patch of scales. The Silver Dollars seem to actually enjoy this process and certainly do not try to avoid the Anostus. It looks very like the situation you find with marine fish where large fish wait at cleaning stations for smaller fish to remove their parasites - only there are no signs of parasites on the Silver Dollars. Fortunately, the scales regenerate very quickly, with no harm done.

From: Robert
I have had this fish for about a year now. It is a very interesting headstander, and I have enjoyed having it in my 55gal tank. Mine is about 5.5" and I have read that they don't get more than six inches. My Anostomuus chases everything in my tank, my green terror, sevrum, convict, parrot cichlid, ect, but it never leaves a mark when it seems to bite them. It looks like it's only trying eat small particles off of them. I recommend this fish, but only with fish larger than itself.

From: Gil
I've kept a school of 7-9 anostomus over the past 3 years and they add a unique interest to my 125 gallon tank. Everybody always wants to know what kind of fish it is as it hovers in the water at such a steep angle. They are great fish but they do tend to sneak up on the Festivums to nip a fin or scale, but no real damage is done. Though a recently introduced Leporinus had its caudal fin nipped nearly to the base. I guess it was competing for territory or was included in the Anostomus' continuous bout for dominance. They are great at keeping the algae in check and will graze on finer plants. They eat anything including large cichlid pellets which they balance on their mouths as they rotate the pellet to graze the outer layer. They add great color to a tank containing Microsorium pteropus, Anubias spp., Bolbitus and Acorus. Saw 4 or 5 in a LFS...Think I'll add a few more!





Privacy Policy | Contact Badman's Tropical Fish
Copyright ©
All rights reserved. Reproduction of any portion of this website's content is forbidden without written permission.