Asian Stone Catfish (Hara jerdoni) Species Profile: Care, Tank Size, Food & Tank Mates

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The Asian Stone Catfish is a gregarious and miniature species out there. These nano creatures have their own special charm, and it’s why they’re so popular in the aquarium hobby.

This sedentary bottom feeder can be kept with other peaceful fish species and is also very easy to care for, which makes them a great choice for beginner aquarists.

However, there are a few things you should know about Asian Stone Catfish care before you decide to add them to your tank.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about Asian Stone Catfish care, tank size, diet, habitat, and more!

Species Summary

The Asian stone catfish (Hara jerdoni), often known as the Sylhet Hara or Dwarf Anchor Catfish, is a very sluggish catfish native to slow-moving streams in northeastern India and Bangladesh.

Their natural habitat is said to be small-to-medium-sized rivers with sandy substrates where they prefer clean, cool, and well-oxygenated water.

It belongs to the genus Hara, a group of South Asian river catfishes, which contains 10 recognized species. The generic name means “serratus,” referring to the serrated dorsal spine of these fish.

Scientific Name:Hara jerdoni
Common Name:Asian Stone Catfish, Sylhet Hara, Dwarf Anchor Catfish,
Origin:South Asia
Care Level:Easy
Size:1.2 inches (3 cm)
pH:5.6 – 7.6
Temperature:64° – 75° F (18° – 24° C)
KH: 8 – 15°H
Minimum tank size:3 gallons


Stone catfish is subtle, mysterious, and rarely seen. While they can’t become the show-stopper of your tank, they reward those who slow down and pay attention. These species are prized for their unique, long pectoral spines protruding from their bodies. Their elongated pectoral fins give them the shape of an old-fashioned ship’s anchor. 

They also feature intricate, striped patterns across their bodies and fin, making them unique and appealing. It also boasts various shades of mottled brown and gray to blend in with the surroundings. Their shape is typical of the Hara genus, and their eyes can turn from a dark brown to beige color. 

Asian Stone Catfish (Hara jerdoni) Size

Hara jerdoni is the smallest species in its genus.

The average Asian Stone Catfish size is only about 1.2 inches (3 cm) in length. Some specimens can reach a maximum size of 1.6 inches (4 cm) in the wild, but this is rare.

Their max sizes vary slightly depending on their purchase size and the quality of care they receive.

The average purchase size of Hara jerdoni is ½ to 1 inch (2.5cm). Their small size and passive demeanor make them popular with nano and planted aquarium enthusiasts. 


With the right care in well-maintained environments, the average lifespan of an Asian Stone Catfish is 5 years.

Of course, this number is only an estimate – many factors can affect how long these fish live, including the quality of care they receive. Poor care and living conditions will shorten their lifespan considerably.

Asian Stone Catfish (Hara jerdoni) Care

These fish occur in hill streams and rivers with sandy bottoms.

This fish is pretty simple to find, inexpensive, and easy to care for. In their preferred habitat of rocks and leaf litter, they are nearly impossible to spot when they aren’t doing any movement. 

While they are easygoing species and don’t need much attention or care, it doesn’t mean that you can skimp on care. As a fishkeeper, it is your sole responsibility to replicate the fish’s natural habitat to keep them comfortable. 

Here’re some guidelines to follow. 

Tank size

Since these species are small and peaceful, a minimum tank of 3 gallons is enough to keep Asian stone catfish. However, you can also put them in a large aquarium space with other compatible tank mates. 

Not only are these species tiny, but they are also very inactive and hence, don’t need much room. It is recommended to keep them in a group of 6 or more, owing to their gregarious nature. 

Water Parameters

Asian stone catfish thrive in clean water and prefer gentle water flow. Furthermore, it is essential to keep them in relatively cool water with high dissolved oxygen to ensure the well-being of these bottom-dwellers. It generally prefers subtropical to low tropical temperatures. 

Follow the below-mentioned water parameters and stick to them to keep your Hara jerdoni happy and healthy. 

  • pH: 5.6 – 7.6
  • Water Temperature: 64° – 75° F (18° – 24° C)
  • Hardness: 8 – 15°H
  • Ammonia: 0 ppm
  • Nitrite: 0 ppm
  • Nitrate: <30 ppm

To keep your water clean and clear, a high-quality surface skimmer, along with a hang-on-back filter, is essential. Be sure to do regular water changes and monitor your levels closely. 


Hara jerdoni is nocturnal and will be more active when it feels secure. These species thrive in an aquarium with sandy substrates and plenty of hiding places, such as driftwood, plants, and rockwork. Unlike many other catfish, they don’t bother live plants.

The substrate should be soft sand in which the catfish may dwell and search for food items. You can also add dry Indian almond leaves to the bottom of the tank to provide a naturalistic feel, but these will need replacing periodically. 

Asian Stone Catfish Food

Before adding Asian Stone Catfish to your aquarium, it is vital to understand their diet so you can feed them well. Their diet should comprise small live and frozen meaty food, especially when added into a new tank. It includes bloodworm, cyclops, brine shrimp, white mosquito larvae, etc. 

Fishkeepers can also feed them with small high-quality dry foods, but a large portion of their diet must be composed of meaty, frozen items. Be sure to feed them after lights out as they won’t usually eat during the daylight hours, owing to their nocturnal, shy nature. 

They are strictly bottom scavengers and never show any interest in algae or taking food out of the water column. Always ensure that they can get enough food to the bottom as faster bottom feeders easily outcompete them. 

Asian Stone Catfish Tank Mates

Since Asian stone catfish are quite peaceful, finding the ideal tankmates isn’t a challenge for fishkeepers. However, remember that the tankmates must be peaceful, petite, and enjoy the same water conditions. Some popular Hara jerdoni tank mates are smaller danionins, cool water barbs, and other badis species like Dario Dario. 

You can also keep them with adult dwarf shrimp, although it might be possible that these fish eat small dwarf shrimp fry. It is a highly gregarious species and should be kept in the largest group possible.

You should avoid Boisterous bottom-dwellers as they will intimidate and outcompete these species for food. 

Final Thoughts

That’s it, folks! We hope our in-depth research will help you make an informed choice. Asian Stone Catfish is amusing, inexpensive, and easy to get along with. Moreover, they are relatively easy to breed in captivity, making them an excellent choice for beginner fishkeepers. 

This gregarious little catfish is a peaceful micro predator that won’t usually leave its refuge during daylight hours. Hara Jerdoni is an excellent scavenger and generally thrives in subtropical setups. As far as food is concerned, they aren’t fussy, and it’s fun to watch them picking up whatever bits are leftover and probing through the gravel. 

What are your thoughts on adding Asian Stone Catfish to your freshwater aquarium? Do you have any suggestions for other fishkeepers? Please let us know in the comments section below!

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Jeff Colt

Jeff Colt

Hello, I'm Jeff- an aquarium enthusiast with over 25 years of experience caring for a wide array of tropical fish, including koi, goldfish bettas, cichlids and more! For me: Aquariums are like jello - there's always room for more!

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