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CATFISH



PIMELODIDAE FAMILY
The Pimelodidae, Naked Catfish, or Long-whiskered catfish family consists of the genus Brachyrhamdia, Leiarius, Phractocephalus, Pimelodella, Pimelodus, Perrunichthys, Pseudoplatystoma, and Sorubim, and are found in Central and South America; especially the Amazon Basin. About 300 species are known.
SIZE: The Pimelodidae Family includes medium to large sized fish, often larger than 40" (100 cm).
S: The fish of this family usually swim in the lower levels.
TANK: The tank size ranges depending on the size of the fish. For most, it should be at least 40" (100 cm) long or 45 gallons (170 L). The tank should be arranged in dark colors and have floating plants to diffuse the light. Provide hiding places.
WATER: These fish can tolerate a pH from 6-8, but prefer neutral water. They like soft water ranging from 4-18 dH, and require a temperature of 72-82F (22-28C).
SB: The fish in this family are often large and can be combined only with other large fish. All fish in this family are predatory catfish. See individual descriptions.
SC: Cichlasoma, large Loricarids, large characins, other large fish
FOOD: Large live, and sometimes dry and frozen foods that reach the bottom. These fish should be fed in the evening.
B: Little success with the breeding of these fish has been reported. Some species during the electrical storms of the rainy season in their natural habitat.
BP: Very difficult.
R: The fish in this family have three pairs of long barbels and have an adipose fin.
DC: Depends on species. See individual descriptions.

Reticulated Pimelodid [Pictures]
Perrunichthys perruno
SYN: None
PD: An elongated catfish with a heavily forked tail. The dorsal fin stands tall when erect. A long pair of barbels extends from the upper jaw and two smaller pairs are located on the lower jaw. The body color is made up of dark brown, round splotches with thin, light brown markings between. The flanks have the same pattern.
SIZE: To 24" (60 cm)
SS: The False Perrunichthys ( Leiarius marmoratus) is very similar, but easily distinguishable by its lesser amount of dorsal rays and rounded head.
HAB: South America; tributaries of, and in the Rio Negro (Southern Venezuela and Brazil).
S: bottom
TANK: 72" (183 cm) or 100 or more gallons (378 L). Leave large open swimming areas. Use a powerful filter that provides a moderate current and is able to handle the waste of this fish. Provide large rock shelters and caves that will not collapse when bumped by this catfish. If plants are used, they should be large, robust, and well-rooted ones. Use a cover of floating plants to diffuse the lighting.
WATER: pH 5.8-7.5 (6.5), 1-15 dH (7), 72-79F (22-26C)
SB: A large, nocturnal predator that will eat any swallow able tank mates. Combine with larger fish.
SC: Large cichlids, large characins, Arawana, large loricarids
FOOD: Live; fish, earthworms, crabs; occasionally tablets; chopped meat. Like other large, predatory catfish, once mature, this fish should be fed only two or three times a week.
SEX: Unknown-possibly males are more slender than females.
B: Unknown
BP: 10. Spawning has not been recorded in captivity.
R: Frequent water changes are necessary because of the large volume of waste this fish will produce. This fish can attain a length of over 12" (30 cm) in its first year.
DC: 7. A large, predatory catfish that must be fed live foods.

Red tail Catfish [Pictures]
Phractocephalus hemioliopterus
SYN: Phractocephalus bicolor, Pirarara bicolor, Silurus hemioliopterus
PD: An elongated catfish with a rounded snout. Three pairs of barbels are located around the mouth. The base body color is light black and little dark spots can be seen on the head. A wide, white band extends from the caudal peduncle to the tip of the snout. The belly is black, as are the fins. The caudal fin is a stunning red color. The upper tip of the dorsal fin may be orange to red.
SIZE: To 40" (100 cm) in nature, not usually more than 18" (45 cm) in captivity.
SS: None
HAB: South America; in deep river channels and pools of the Amazon and the Rio Negro.
S: bottom
TANK: 72" (200 cm) or 100 gallons (378 L). A large tank is needed for the Red tail catfish. Large open swimming areas should be provides. Large, hardy plants should be used for small ones will be hopelessly buried or uprooted. Use a large cave or grouping of rocks for a hiding area.
WATER: pH 5.5-7.2 (6.8), dH 3-12 (8), 68-79 F (20-26C)
SB: A large, nocturnal predator that will eat any tank mates that it can swallow. Only combine with large, robust fish. During the day the Red tail catfish remains motionless, but when evening comes, it searches the tank for prey.
SC: Large cichlids, large characins, Arawana, large loricarids
FOOD: Live; fish, earthworms, crabs, other large live foods; occasionally tablets
SEX: Unknown; possibly males are slenderer with a brighter red color.
B: Impossible in an aquarium because of required size of tank.
BP: 10. Breeding has not be accomplished in aquaria.
R: The Red tail catfish is not recommended for private aquaria. When handled, the Red tail catfish secretes a red substance from its tail. Some specimen have lived for over 20 years. The Red tail catfish will try to consume anything it can accommodate into its mouth-including heaters, rocks, and air diffusers. Phractocephalus is a monotypic genus-only including one species.
DC: 8. The Red tail catfish is difficult to care for. It requires a huge tank and a diet of live fish. This catfish is difficult to combine with other
fish because of its predatory nature.

Spotted Pimelodus [Pictures]
Pimelodus maculatus
SYN: Pimelodus clarias, P. rigidus, Piramutana macrospila, Pseudorhamdia piscatrix, Silurus clarias
PD: An elongated catfish that has long barbels extending for the mouth. The body is brownish-sliver in color with many large, brown spots. The fins match the body color. The mouth is wide and three pair of whiskers extend from it. It has a large head and the tail is forked.
SIZE: To 10" (25 cm), although not usually more than 7" (18 cm) in captivity.
SS: Dusky Pimelodus ( Pimelodus blochi), Pictus Catfish ( Pimelodus pictus )
HAB: South AmericA: the Rio Velhas (Brazil) to the Rio Paraguay (Paraguay).
S: bottom
TANK: 48" (122 cm) or 50 or more gallons (190 L). See P. pictus.
WATER: pH 6.8-7.8 (7.4); 4-20 dH (12); 68-75F (20-24C)
SB: A group fish that gets along well with large community fish, such as Angels or other Cichlids. Smaller fish (under 2.5" or 6.4 cm) will be eaten by this nocturnal predator.
SC: Central and South American cichlids, large characins, Arawana.
FOOD: Live; earthworms, fish, Tubifex, insect larvae; tablets; chopped meat.
SEX: Females are plumper and larger than males.
B: Unsuccessful, possibly because fish do not reach maturity in aquaria.
BP: 10. Breeding has not been recorded in captivity.
R: This catfish has serrated pectoral fins that easily get caught in a net or pierce the skin. The Spotted Pimelodus has the ability to make an audible, creaking sound.
DC: 5. A hardy catfish that requires an occasional feeding of live foods.

Pictus Cat; Spotted Pimelodella; Angelicus Catfish
[Pictures]
Pimelodus pictus
SYN: Pimelodella angelicus, Pimelodella pictus, Pimelodus picta
PD: An elongated catfish that has long barbels extending for the mouth. The body is sliver in color with many black spots. These spots can also be found on the fins, which are transparent. The mouth is wide and three pair of whiskers extend from it. It has a large head.
SIZE: To 8" (20 cm), although not usually more than 5" (12.5 cm) in captivity.
SS: Dusky Pimelodus ( Pimelodus blochi), Spotted Pimelodus ( Pimelodus maculatus )
HAB: Above muddy, sandy, or pebbly ground in shallow, often murky water of tributaries of large rivers. South AmericA: Columbia and Venezuela; Rio Meta and its tributaries.
S: bottom, middle
TANK: 40" (100 cm) or 45-55 gallons (170-209 L). The tank should be well-planted with robust plants and have a cover of floating plants to diffuse the lighting. Leave large, open swimming areas and use a powerful filter that creates strong current. The substrate should be fine gravel or sand. Provide hiding places with roots, caves, and wood.
WATER: pH 6-7.5 (7.2); 4-15 dH (10); 68-82F (20-28C)
SB: A group fish that gets along well with large community fish, such as Angels or other Cichlids. Smaller fish will be eaten by this nocturnal predator.
SC: Central and South American cichlids, large characins, Arawana.
FOOD: Live; earthworms, fish, Tubifex, insect larvae; tablets; chopped meat.
SEX: Females are plumper and larger than males.
B: Unsuccessful, possibly because fish do not reach maturity in aquaria.
BP: 10. Breeding has not been recorded in captivity.
R: Suffers from lack of exercise in small tanks. With their long barbels, they "taste" the bottom of the tank in search of fallen food. The Pictus Cat has very sharp spines that easily get caught in a net. Do not handle these fish, these spines can pierce the skin.
DC: 4. A hardy catfish that requires an occasional feeding of live foods.

Bumble Bee Catfish, Mottled Catfish [Pictures]
Pseudopimelodus raninus
SYN: Batrachoglanis raninus, Pimelodus raninus
PD:
SIZE: To 6" (15 cm)
SS: Other Pseudopimelodus species
S: bottom
HAB: South America; widespread in the Amazon river from Surinam to Peru
TANK: A 40" (102 cm) tank with a capacity from 45-55 gallons (170-209 L) is sufficient. The tank can be well-planted and should be furnished with several retreats. Dim lighting is suggested.
WATER: pH 5.8-7.5 (6.7), 2-20 dH (8), 70-81F (21-27C)
SB: A seclusive predator that may consume fish up to 3" (8 cm) in length. This nocturnal species may disappear for long periods. Can be kept singly or in groups.
SC: Angelfish, Acaras, Cichlasoma from Central America, Loricarids, Leporinus, Anostomus, Chalceus, Myleus, Metynnis, Pimelodus, Knifefish
FOOD: Live; worms, crustaceans, fish, insect larvae, aquatic insects; tablets.
SEX: Males are said to be slimmer than females.
B: Unsuccessful.
BP: 10. Has yet to be bred in aquaria.
R: As a result of this species's wide distribution, several different forms exist. Thus the species has been broken down into sub-species.
DC: 5. This subtle predator is quite hardy and adaptable to a broad range of water properties.

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish [Pictures]
Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum
SYN: Platystoma fasciatum, P. punctifer, Pseudoplatystoma punctifer
PD: This catfish has an elongated body and a long snout. Its mouth is large and looks like a duck-bill. Three pair of long barbels extend from it. This fish is slender and its body coloring ranges greatly depending on the individuals habitat and age. Its coloration usually ranges between silver and brown while its belly is usually white to silver. Black spots and stripes are arranged in irregular patterns on the fish body and fins. The eyes are relatively small.
SIZE: To 40" (100 cm) in nature, not usually more than 24" (60 cm) in captivity.
HAB: South AmericA: Rio Negro, Peru; Rio Lebrijo, Venezuela;
S: bottom, middle
TANK: 48" (122 cm) or 55 or more gallons (209 L) is sufficient for small individuals under 6" (15 cm). At the point that the fish surpasses 6" (15 cm), it must be moved to a substantially larger tank. Eventually, a full-grown specimen must be donated to a public aquarium or moved to a 180 or more, gallon tank. The tank should have large, open swimming areas. Use large, sturdy, well-rooted plants. Small plants will be hopelessly buried or up-rooted. Provide sturdy hiding places with caves, rocks, or wood. Use fine gravel as a substrate.
WATER: pH 6-8 (7.0), 4-30 dH (15), 75-82F (24-28C)
SB: See Sorubim lima.
SC: See Sorubim lima.
FOOD: Live; fish, earthworms; other large live foods; tablets; dead fish; meat scraps
SEX: Unknown
B: Unknown
BP: 10. Breeding has not be accomplished in aquaria.
R: This is the most popular of the Pseudoplatystoma species of which there are five subspecies. A popular food fish in South America that can be found widely in fish markets.
DC: 7. A large predator that requires live foods. As it grows very large, the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish must be moved to a huge tank.

Shovelnose Catfish [Pictures]
Sorubim lima
SYN: Platystoma lima, P. luceri, Silurus lima, Sorubim luceri
PD: This catfish has an elongated body and a long snout. Its mouth is large and looks like a duck-bill. Three pair of long barbels extend from it. This fish is slender and its body coloring is brown. A thick dark brown to black line extends the length of the body, from the end of the snout to the tip of the tail. A thin white to beige colored line is located right above the darker one. The belly is white and the fins are transparent. The eyes are relatively small.
SIZE: To 30" (75 cm) in nature, not usually more than 18" (45 cm) in captivity.
SS: None
S: bottom
HAB: South America; the Amazon River in Columbia, Brazil, and Peru; to Paraguay.
TANK: 40" (100 cm) or 45-55 gallons (170-209 L) is suitable for small individuals under 10" (25 cm). When full-grown, this fish requires a larger tank. Like most catfish, the Shovelnose Catfish prefers shallow tanks. The tank should have large, open swimming areas. The tank should be dimly lit, with a cover of floating plants. Use large, sturdy, well-rooted plants. Small plants will be hopelessly buried or up-rooted. Provide sturdy hiding places with caves, rocks, or wood. Use fine gravel as a substrate.
WATER: pH 6.2-7.5 (6.8), 6-18 dH (8), 72-86F (22-30C)
SB: An active nocturnal predator that will eat smaller tank mates. Combine only with other large, hardy fish. Can be kept in groups or singly.
SC: Anostomus, Colossosma, Metynnis, Myleus, Serrasalmus, Chalceus, Acestrorhynchus, Crenicichla, Cichlasomines, Cichla, Astronotus
FOOD: Live fish; earthworms; other large live foods; tablets; chopped meat.
SEX: Unknown
B: Unknown
BP: 10. Spawning in captivity has not been recorded.
R: Another catfish used for eating in its native lands.
DC: 7. This predator reaches a large size and must be fed live foods.

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