The fish will grow in length up to 1.5 inches (3.9 centimeters). It lives in a tropical climate in water with a 6.0 - 8.0 pH, a water hardness of 2 - 25 dGH, and a temperature range of 72 - 79 °F (22 - 26 °C). It feeds on worms, benthiccrustaceans, insects, and plant matter. It lays eggs in dense vegetation and adults do not guard the eggs. The female holds 2-4 eggs between her pelvic fins, where the male fertilizes them for about 30 seconds. Only then does the female swim to a suitable spot, where she attaches the very sticky eggs. The pair repeats this process until about 100 eggs have been fertilized and attached.
Schwartz's catfish is of commercial importance in the aquarium trade industry.