Two experiments were conducted in order to determine the appropriate age and stocking density of vundu catfish Heterobranchus longifilis at the weaning time. In the first experiment, five triplicate groups of 100 larvae (initial mean weight=3.4 mg) per aquaria were stocked from first feeding [day 3 post-hatch (p.h.)] to day 30 p.h., and then weaned, on days 3 (W3), 5 (W5), 8 (W8) and 14 (W14), and an unweaned group (An). Significant differences were observed in growth, survival, cannibalism, coefficient of weight variation and body composition among larvae weaned at different ages and the control group. The later the larvae were weaned, the better were the growth performances [final mean weight: from 65.1 to 201.1 mg and specific growth rate (SGR): from 11.0 to 15.2% day] and the survival (from 36.5% to 74.3%). The experiment with stocking densities of 5, 10, 25 and 50 larvae L showed that increasing the stocking density decreased growth performances and weight variation but improved the survival rate of larvae. The best growth performances (SGR=13.4 and 11.4% day) with the lowest survival rates (70.3% and 77.3%) were observed in larvae stocked at densities of 5 and 10 larvae L respectively. © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.