Dwarf Goonch

From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Bagarius bagarius - (Hamilton, 1822)
Dwarf Goonch

Bagarius bagarius.jpg

Smaller version of the giant Gooch. Photo: Dept. of Fisheries, Bangladesh.


This is the smallest member of its genus and a miniature version of the 2-meter (6.5 ft) Goonch. There is some confusion about the maximum length of this species, but several sources indicate it to grow to 20 cm or about 8 in.

Identifying young goonch can be a challenge, and at least two other larger species are occasionally found among Asian imports.

For some perspective on the lore of the goonches, see: Tabloid Science: Attack of the Maneating Catfish.

Family: Sisoridae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Maximum length: 20 cm (8 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 380 L (100 gal)

Water: Freshwater 20 °C (68 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)

General swimming level: Bottom.


Carnivore. In the wild, it eats insects, amphibians, and small fishes.

Aquarium Compatibility

Like its much larger congenor, the behemoth Goonch, the Dwarf Goonch is predatory and will eat smaller tankmates. Keep with its own kind or fishes too large to be swallowed.

Text credit: JL