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May 12, 2021
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Title Spotted Headstander

Caleb Klingerman

Last Updated



A quick synopsis of the spotted headstander.

The Spotted Headstander (Chilodus Punctatus) is native to South America, and can be found throughout most of the Amazon basin.  At only 3.5 inches, it is the smallest of the headstanders, and a 15 gallon tank or larger should suffice to hold them.  They do prefer to be in groups and should be kept at least in a trio.  They are not at all aggressive, and in fact are rather skittish, so their tankmates should not include any overly aggressive fish.  It should also be noted when acclimating them that they lean towards being a sensitive fish, and should not be subjected to rapid water quality changes or used as a cycling fish.

A close up of a spotted headstander

Despite not being built like one, headstanders are bottom feeders, deriving their name from their habit of tilting their heads down, at times almost 90 degrees, to scrounge for food.  They are mostly herbivorous, and in the aquarium can be used to eat hair algae.

A pair of spotted headstanders

Sexing headstanders follows a pattern that should be familiar to many fish keepers.  Males possess longer dorsal fin, and a slim body, while females should be more rotund and have a shorter dorsal fin.  Breeding is not well documented, though many claim to have successfully bred them in captivity.

An ideal tank for spotted headstanders would include places to hide, especially plants (that they are not likely to eat), and peaceful tankmates.  Their diet should mostly consist of algae wafers or even bits of vegetables, with the occasional meaty snack such as bloodworms.

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