Aquarium Livestock Pet Care Guides




Average Size

Varies by species


Up to 10 years


Headstanders are primarily herbivores (vegetable eaters) Lettuce, peas, zucchini, algae wafers. Feed small worms, plankton, or beef heart as occasional treats.

Tank Environment

Provide lots of cover with artificial plants, live plants will be eaten/destroyed. Remove un-eaten vegetables to avoid water fouling. Headstanders prefer slightly dimmer tanks, and may hide if the lighting is too intense. Breeding in captivity is not recorded.

Tank Mates

Most are best kept with medium sized, moderately aggressive South American fish. Angels, Severums Pacu, Silver Dollars, most catfish and larger tetras.

Interesting Facts

Headstanders get their name by swimming at a 45 degree angle, head down. They do this to graze on algae and to search for small worms.

Common Species

Marbled Headstander - Abramites hypselonotus
Max. Size: 6"
Temperament: A bit nippy, aggressive to own kind, keep only one per tank.

Striped Headstander-Anostomus anostomus
Max. Size: 6"
Temperament: Nippy to other species, keep in schools of 5 or more to avoid aggressive behavior.

Spotted Headstander-Chilodus puntatus
Max. Size: 4"
Temperament: Peaceful to others, more skittish than other headstanders, keep in schools and provide lots of cover.

Striped Leporinus - Leporinus fasciatus
Max Sixe: 12"
Temperament: Peaceful to other species, keep in schools of 5 or more to avoid aggressive behavior.