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Catfish / Pimelodidae / Tiger Shovelnose Catfish

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish
Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum


Synonyms: Platystoma fasciatum, P. punctifer, Pseudoplatystoma punctifer
Physical description: 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/Length: To 40" (100 cm) in nature, not usually more than 24" (60 cm) in captivity.
Habitat: South AmericA: Rio Negro, Peru; Rio Lebrijo, Venezuela;
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: 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 chemistry: pH 6-8 (7.0), 4-30 dH (15), 75-82°F (24-28°C)
Social behavior: See Sorubim lima.
Suggested companions: See Sorubim lima.
FOOD: Live; fish, earthworms; other large live foods; tablets; dead fish; meat scraps
SEX: Unknown
Breeding techniques: Unknown
Breeding potential: 10. Breeding has not be accomplished in aquaria.
Remarks: 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.
Difficulty of care: 7. A large predator that requires live foods. As it grows very large, the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish must be moved to a huge tank.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com