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The Spotted Talking Catfish can create a sound by grating its fin bones in each socket and amplifying the noise via the swim bladder. This is how it gets it name "Talking Catfish”. Native to the Amazon Basin, this species is difficult to breed in captivity.

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Features of Spotted Talking Catfish:

  • Dark brown to blue-black, with numerous pale blotches/spots on the head and body
  • Cylindrical body with a prominent head
  • Nocturnal species
  • Produces audible sounds, “croaks” or “clicks
  • Care level: Easy
  • Grows to 15cm


The Best Aquarium Size for Spotted Talking Catfish:

Spotted talking catfish do well in a tank of 120L or larger. If keeping a community aquarium or multiple talking catfish, consider a larger aquarium. 

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


Tank Mate Compatibility:

Spotted talking catfish are peaceful community dwellers that prefer to be in groups of 3-5. They are nocturnal therefore spend the day hiding and become active under moonlight conditions. They will snack on small species that can fit in their mouth.

Great tank mates include:


Spotted talking catfish are omnivores. Feed spirulina wafers and catfish pellets of wafers. Their diet can be supplemented with live, frozen or freeze dried bloodworms, blackworms, and brine shrimp. 

Check out our extensive range of aquarium fish foods.

Spotted talking catfish Tank Setup:

Aquarium Filtration

Spotted talking catfish enjoy clean, well oxygenated but slow moving waters. Ensure your filter has an adequate flow rate for your aquarium size to effective remove waste and debris while offering only gentle water movement. For extra oxygenation, add an air pump.

Shop our comprehensive range of aquarium filters here.

Plants for Spotted talking catfish

There are no strict cultivars that these fish prefer and they typically do not eat aquarium plants unless plants are deteriorating. They enjoy shaded areas and places to hide, this makes them feel safe.

Interested in live plants for your aquariums? Browse live plants here.

Decorations for Spotted talking catfish

Driftwood is excellent for Spotted talking catfish as this provides lots of structure for the fish to hide in. Other decorations include caves and ornaments the fish can swim and hide in. Stack rocks and create the perfect hideaways.

After more nice quality decorations? Check our Aquarium Ornaments.

Aquarium Lighting

These fish enjoy lower light levels with lots of shade and dark spaces to hide. If keeping live plants, they will need sufficient light to grow. Dimmable LED lighting offers the ability to change to moonlight modes and encourage more activity. 

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Aquarium Substrate

Aquarium sand and smooth small grade gravels are perfect for this species. As it is a bottom dweller it will spend its time on the aquarium floor. 

A variety of Substrates are available at Coburg Aquarium. 

Additional Information

Fish Keeping Snapshot :

Preferred Water Parameters :