Synonyms: Pimelodella angelicus, Pimelodella pictus, Pimelodus picta
Physical description: 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/Length: To 8" (20 cm), although not usually more than 5" (12.5 cm) in captivity.
Similar species: Dusky Pimelodus ( Pimelodus blochi), Spotted Pimelodus ( Pimelodus maculatus )
Habitat: 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
Aquarium: 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 chemistry: pH 6-7.5 (7.2); 4-15 dH (10); 68-82°F (20-28°C)
Social behavior: 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.
Suggested companions: 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.
Breeding techniques: Unsuccessful, possibly because fish do not reach maturity in aquaria.
Breeding potential: 10. Breeding has not been recorded in captivity.
Remarks: 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.
Difficulty of care: 4. A hardy catfish that requires an occasional feeding of live foods.