Striped Headstander (Anostomus anostomus)
The Striped Headstander, also known as Banded Headstander, is an eye-catching freshwater fish known for its unique head-down swimming posture and striking color pattern. These fish have slender, elongated bodies with a silver base color and black horizontal stripes running from head to tail.
They are generally peaceful but can be territorial towards members of the same species. Adult Striped Headstanders can reach 6 to 7 inches in length. In the aquarium, Striped Headstanders should be kept in a group of at least 5 to 6 individuals to help diffuse aggression. They are best suited for a community tank with similarly sized, peaceful to semi-aggressive tank mates such as tetras, rasboras, or peaceful cichlids. Avoid housing them with slow-moving, long-finned fish, as they may nip at fins.
Striped Headstanders are omnivorous, with a preference for algae and biofilm. In the aquarium, they should be provided with a varied diet that includes high-quality flake or sinking pellet foods, algae wafers, and occasional treats of live or frozen foods like bloodworms or brine shrimp.
A well-decorated tank with ample swimming space is essential for Striped Headstanders. They prefer a tank with a soft, sandy substrate, driftwood, and rock formations for hiding spots, as well as dense vegetation for grazing. Incorporate dense vegetation for Elongate Headstanders to graze on algae, as this species is unlikely to eat plants' leaves or tender shoots. Anubias species are an ideal plant choice to accompany this headstander, as they can promote substantial biofilm and algae growth in an aquarium with moderate to high lighting.
A minimum 55-gallon tank is recommended for these active swimmers. The ideal water parameters are a pH of 6.0-7.5, a hardness of 5-15 dGH, and a temperature of 75-82°F (24-28°C).
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