- Scientific name: Heteropneustes fossilis
- Synonyms: Silurus fossilis
- Common name: Asian stinging catfish, Fossil Catfish, Liver Catfish
- Group: Catfishes
- Habitat: Asia; India, Sri-Lanka, Thailand, Burma
- Size: 30 cm
- Biotope: Most often found in swamps, ditches and ponds, also in rivers.
- Social behavior: An agressive fish, which likes to prey on smaller tankmates. Nocturnal, rarely moving during the day. The species likes to live with conspecifics, therefore a species tank is recommended.
- Diet: Omnivorous; small specimens like tablet foods. Later, the hardy apetite must be appeased with heart, fish flesh, meaty worms... Many specimens eat from the surface.
- Breeding: Quite hard
- Tank: Minimum 280 litres
- Population: 1 pair for 280 litres
- Decoration: Provide several hiding and resting places. These are sought during the day and must be available. Plant only with non delicate, larger species (Giant valisneria, Java fern). Filtration should be strong and efficient as it produces a lot of waste. Cover the tank, because they will escape.
- Temperature: 21-25 °C
- pH: 6-8
- Hardness: 5-30 NK°
- Lifespan: 5-8 years
Description: The body is elongated and compressed with a rounded abdomen. Liver Catfish has 4 pairs of barbels. Its body color is grey-brown to olive-brown. The albino form is very, very rarely available to the aquarium trade.
This is one of the most dangerous freshwater catfish kept by aquarists. The pectoral fin rays of the fish are poisonous, therefore use caution when catching. If stung, the wound should be immersed in hot water, as this will help to denature the proteins in the venom. Medical advice should also be sought.
Male has a thinner vental line, female is stockier. Breeding has occured in aquarium. The 2 mm eggs are liad in a cluster in previously fanned out gravel pits. Eggs and juveniles are guarded by the parents. Give fry small live foods. The fry grow rapidly and can attain lengths of greater than 80 mm in a matter of months.