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The Bumble Bee Catfish is a unique looking catfish that is hardy and easy to keep. Also known as the South American bumblebee catfish. It is primarily found in Columbia and Venezuela. They are found in fast flowing streams with rocky beds. The Bumble Bee Catfish gets it's name from it's yellow and black striped appearance, much like a bumble bee, and is ever growing in popularity. 

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Features of Bumble Bee Catfish:

  • Black and yellow vertical bands 
  • Long cylindrical body
  • Large splayed ventral fins
  • Wide mouth and prominent barbels
  • Bottom dweller
  • Grows up to 8cm
  • Level of care: Easy


The Best Aquarium Size for Bumble Bee Catfish:

We recommended a minimum aquarium size is 75 litres for Bumble Bee Catfish. If you wish to keep this species in a small group, they will require an additional 30 litres per extra fish.

Check out these suitable aquarium brands:

After an Aquarium for your fish? Browse Aquarium Tank Selection here.


Tank Mate Compatibility:

Bumble Bee Catfish are a peaceful bottom dwelling species that spends most of it's time sheltering and hiding in rock crevices. They will get on with most other peaceful tropical aquarium species. 

Here are some great tank mates to consider:



Bumble Bee Catfish are omnivores and will readily accept most foods. They search for food in the aquarium substrate. Bumble Bee Catfish will feed on sinking pellets, plant matter, live, frozen and freeze dried foods such as blood worms and brine shrimp. For an optimal diet, ensure it is varied.

Check out our extensive range of aquarium fish foods, or live foods. 

Bumble Bee Catfish Tank Setup:

Aquarium Filtration for Bumble Bee Catfish

The Bumble Bee Catfish is naturally found in fast flowing waters and is a species that requires high water flow and oxygenation, so ensure your filter has an adequate flow rate with surface water agitation for your aquarium size to effectively remove waste and oxygenate the water. 

Shop our comprehensive range of aquarium filters here.

Aquarium Heater for Bumble Bee Catfish

This fish enjoy temperatures between 22 - 25° C. If you are unable to maintain this temperature naturally, use an aquarium heater. Aquarium heaters also stabilize water temperatures.  A thermometer is recommended to monitor the water temperature.

Get yourself a new aquarium heater here. 

Aquarium Plants for Bumble Bee Catfish

To mimic their natural habitat, we recommend adding live aquatic plants to your aquarium. The Bumble Bee Catfish is known to snack on plant material, so this also provides plant matter for their diet. Mix a variety of firmer leaf plants for aesthetics and softer leaf plants to supplement the diet.

Interested in Live Plants for your aquariums? Click here to shop Live Plants

Aquarium Decorations for Bumble Bee Catfish

Bumble Bee Catfish are naturally found in rocky bed river streams and spend much of their time in hiding. Rock and wood crevices are essential for this species. Caves can be created from terracotta pots, large ornaments, caves and piping. You'll find everything you need and more in our aquarium ornaments.

After more nice quality decorations? Check our Aquarium Ornaments.

Aquarium Lighting Bumble Bee Catfish

Bumble Bee Catfish prefer a more dimly lit aquarium. While, plants need sufficient light to grow LED lighting is an excellent choice to provide adjustable lighting as desired. LED lighting is also more efficient and runs cooler than traditional aquarium lights.

Substrate for Bumble Bee Catfish

The Bumble Bee Catfish will search the aquarium floor for food. Smooth gravels, pebbles and sands of all grades are good options. 

A variety of Substrates are available at Coburg Aquarium. 

Additional Information

Fish Keeping Snapshot :

Preferred Water Parameters :