The Payne's catfish (Mochokiella paynei) is a small catfish found in the Kasawe Forest Reserve, Sierra Leone. This small catfish grows to an adult size of 2.2 inches long. Mature females are more full bodied than males.
The Payne's catfish is the only representative of the Mochokiella genus in the Mochokidae family.
The Payne's catfish should be maintained in an aquarium of 20 gallons or larger. A sand substrate (CS7581) is ideal. It can be very secretive during the day but is certainly happier and more active if the aquarium is furnished with hiding places such as driftwood, pipes (UA227), or rockwork.
The Payne's catfish prefers a temperature of 72°F to 75°F and slightly acidic water, although it seems to adapt to harder water fairly well. It requires clean water with low nitrate levels.
The Payne's catfish is an excellent addition to any community aquarium. Good tank mates include larger tetras, dwarf cichlids, peaceful barbs, Corydoras sp. and smaller Loricariids. It is not generally aggressive towards conspecifics, and is equally happy when kept singly, or as part of a group.
Payne's catfish will accept live and frozen foods such as blood worms (SF4792) and black worms, as well as sinking dried foods (AL166). For maximum color, growth, and health these fish will look their best when given probiotics (AL169) in addition to a balanced diet.