Fusco Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: November 5, 2022

The Fusco is a beautiful freshwater fish that is perfect for the beginner fish keeper. They are easy to care for and are very peaceful, making them a great addition to any community tank.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about Fusco care. You’ll learn about their diet, size, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

Fusco (Lophiosilurus alexandri) is a type of catfish that’s native to Brazil. They are most commonly found in the Rio Tocantins but have also been spotted in the Rio Paraná.

They prefer waters that are slow-moving and have a lot of vegetation. This is something that’s common among many species of freshwater catfish.

Fusco are bottom-dwellers and primarily eat plants. In the wild, they will also eat small invertebrates on occasion.

This fish is not very popular in the aquarium scene but is starting to gain some traction. They are most commonly kept by experienced fishkeepers who are looking for a challenge.



Fusco is a very striking fish that is sure to stand out in any aquarium. These fish have a black body with white spots all over. The spots are different sizes, but they’re all rather small.

The fins on these fish are also black with white spots. The fins are all moderately sized with the exception of the dorsal fin. The dorsal fin is rather long and extends almost the entire length of the fish’s body.

The face of these fish is also black with white spots. The eyes are rather large and stand out against the dark background.

The mouth of these fish is rather small and slightly upturned. This gives them a rather comical appearance.


The average lifespan of a Fusco is 10 to 15 years. This is a rather long lifespan for a fish and is a testament to their hardiness.

Of course, there are a number of factors that can impact a Fusco’s lifespan. Poor water quality, for instance, can shorten their life significantly.

The level of care they receive is also important. If they’re kept in suboptimal conditions then their lifespan will be shorter than if they were kept in ideal conditions.


Fusco cichlids can grow to be about 6 inches in length. Males are typically larger than females, but both sexes can reach the same size.


Tank Size

Fusco corydoras catfish should be kept in at least a 10 gallon tank, with 20 gallons being even better. If you’re planning on keeping a school of these fish, you will need even more space.

A good rule of thumb is to add 2-4 gallons of extra space for each additional fish. So, if you’re looking to keep a school of 6 fusco corydoras, you should have a tank that’s at least 30 gallons.

Water Parameters

The Fusco is a very adaptable fish and will do fine in a variety of water conditions. However, they do prefer a little bit on the acidic side.

The optimal water parameters for Fusco are:

  • Water temperature: 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH levels: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Water hardness: 5 to 19 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

Fuscos are bottom dwelling fish, so the substrate you choose is very important. A sand substrate is ideal, but a gravel substrate will also work well.

Fuscos are not known to be fin nippers, but they can be aggressive with other bottom dwelling fish.

It is best to keep only one Fusco per tank, or to keep them with other fish that are not bottom dwellers.

Fuscos are not known to be plant eaters, so live plants can be used in their tank.

Because Fuscos are bottom dwellers, they will appreciate some hiding places in their tank. Rocks, caves, and driftwood are all good choices.

Fuscos are not known to be fussy eaters, so almost any type of food will be suitable for them.

Common Diseases

There are a few diseases that you need to look out for when keeping Fusco cichlids. These fish are rather hardy, but they can still fall ill if the conditions in their tank are not ideal.

The most common disease that affects this species is ich. This is a very common parasite that can become quite serious if it’s not dealt with.

The most obvious sign of this disease is the series of white spots that will begin to cover the body of your fish.

There are plenty of other potential diseases that can affect this species as well, but they’re not as common.

Another thing to look out for is infection from cuts. The most common cause of this is keeping your Fusco in a tank with a rough substrate (or aggressive species that want to fight).

In general, the best way to prevent these fish from getting sick is to maintain the quality of the water in their tank. A tank with clean and stable water conditions always leads to healthier fish who are more resistant to disease.

Behavior & Temperament

The Fusco is a peaceful and timid little fish. They’re not known to be aggressive and will do well in almost any community tank.

Fusco are known to be shy, so they may not be the best fish for a nano aquarium. They need a little bit of space to feel comfortable and will do best in an aquarium with plenty of hiding places.

Fusco are slower swimmers, so they may not do well in a tank with fast-moving fish. They’re also not the best fish for a breeding tank because they’re known to eat their own eggs.

Other than that, they’re relatively easy to care for and make a great addition to any aquarium.

Tank Mates

Fuscos are peaceful community fish that do well with a variety of tank mates.

They’re not finicky eaters, and they’re not aggressive towards other fish.

One thing to keep in mind is that these fish like to stay in groups. They’re social creatures that do best when they have other fish to interact with.

As a result, it’s best to add at least six of these fish to your tank. This will give them the social interaction they need to thrive.

Some compatible tank mates for Fuscos include:

  • Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Swordtails
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Plecos


The Fusco is a mouth-brooding species, which means that the female will carry the eggs in her mouth until they hatch. This process usually takes around two weeks.

The first step is to set up a breeding tank. It should be at least 30 gallons and filled with soft, acidic water. You can use a sponge filter to avoid harming the fry.

When ready, add two females for every male. The male will chase the female around until she’s ready to spawn. When she is, she’ll lay her eggs in a secluded area of the tank.

The male will then fertilize them and the female will scoop them up into her mouth.

During this time, it’s important to feed the female plenty of live food. Brine shrimp and bloodworms are a good option.

After about two weeks, the fry will be big enough to be on their own. At that point, you can remove the adults and put the fry into a grow-out tank. Feed them baby brine shrimp and other live foods.


The Fusco is a beautiful fish that is a great addition to any tank. They are easy to care for and get along well with other community fish.

They are also very hardy, so they are a good choice for beginner fishkeepers. Overall, we think the Fusco is a great choice for anyone looking for a new fish!