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FAQs on Dianema (Porthole) Cats

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(email 2) Porthole Catfish   12/16/11
Hello again.
I have one other quick question which has nothing to do with my previous email, therefore I assumed it would be preferable to send separately.
I purchased a Porthole Catfish earlier tonight at the local pet shop.
<Dianema longibarbis?>
The store owner mentioned that she thought she had read these fish like to be in groups.
<Very definitely.>
However, I decided to purchase just the one since he seemed to be perfectly content hanging out at the upper corner of the tank all by himself - while also considering that out of the other three in the tank only two seemed to be interested in the buddy system while the other was alone in the opposite corner enjoying the top of a plant.
Once back home I did some internet research and have been finding most websites do mention these fish should be in a shoal.
So the question is: Should I go back to the store and purchase my new catfish a buddy, or is it likely that he will be happy on his own?
<Likely happy enough on its own for now, but do try and find some more.
They are shy and nervous kept singly. Nippy or aggressive tankmates can cause serious problems and need to be avoided. Somewhat delicate as well, so excellent water quality and plenty of oxygen are essential.>
Thank you!
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: (email 2) Porthole Catfish   12/16/11

Yes, it is Dianema longibarbis. I Googled photos and checked to make sure.
<Cool. Nice fish.>
I try to keep only peaceful fish in my tank (it saves ME from huge amounts of anxiety!), so there should be no danger of him being bullied. As I mentioned in the previous email, I will install (today) another large air stone to make sure that my bottom dwellers are all happy.
He is actually not timid at all - has made himself right at home and does not even flinch when I approach the tank or open the lid - he'll even come right to me in either case. He's quite a laid-back friendly little guy!
I just adore him.
I will also call the store today and have them put the others on hold for me so  I can pick up some friends for him. I know this is the first time the store has ever had Dianema longibarbis, and that they are difficult to come by in general...Do I need to worry if they have sold out and I am not able find any others?
<If he's feeding and sporting himself in the front of the tank, no, you don't need to worry. But add two or three more, should you find them, and he should be even happier.>

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