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Catfish / Doradidae / Hancock's Catfish

Hancock's Catfish, Croaking Spiny Catfish, Talking Catfish
Amblydoras hancockii


Synonyms: Amblydoras affinis, Doras affinis, D. hancockii
Physical description: A flattened, stocky fish having three pair of large barbels extending from the mouth. The dorsal fin is tall and a row of spines runs from gills to the caudal fin. The body coloration is variable, although usually ranges from light brown to gray with various lighter and darker markings.
Size/Length: To 6" (10 cm)
Similar species: Other Doradids.
H: Inhabits still and slow moving waters in South America; widespread throughout the Amazon basin.
A: bottom
Aquarium: A 32" (81 cm) or 30 gallon (114 L) tank is sufficient. The tank should be well-planted and have hiding places among rocks, wood, and roots. Leave open swimming areas and allow the growth of algae. This species appreciates a shallow tank with a low water level.
Water chemistry: pH 5.8-7.5 (7.2), 2-20 dH (10), 73-82°F (23-28°F)
Social behavior: A peaceful, nocturnal species that is suited for a community tank having medium to large sized fish. This fish lives in large schools (exceeding 1000) in nature.
Social behavior: Angelfish, larger Characins, Heros, Mesonauta, Eartheaters, Gouramis, Pimelodus
FOOD: Algae; plant matter; live; insect larvae, worms, crustaceans; tablets.
Suggested companions: The belly of the female is said to be brownish-white, while the male has a speckled belly.
Breeding techniques: Has not been successful in captivity, although has been observed in nature. Spawning is said to occur during the rains, after the male constructs a nest of leaves.
Breeding potential: 10. No reports of spawning in captivity.
Remarks: When removed from the water this species makes a growling noise.
Difficulty of care: 3. This robust species can be kept in a community tank having similarly sized fish. Its diet should include live foods.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com