Synonyms: Platystoma lima, P. luceri, Silurus lima, Sorubim luceri
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 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/Length: To 30" (75 cm) in nature, not usually more than 18" (45 cm) in captivity.
Similar species: None
Habitat: South America; the Amazon River in Columbia, Brazil, and Peru; to Paraguay.
Aquarium: 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 chemistry: pH 6.2-7.5 (6.8), 6-18 dH (8), 72-86°F (22-30°C)
Social behavior: An active nocturnal predator that will eat smaller tank mates. Combine only with other large, hardy fish. Can be kept in groups or singly.
Suggested companions: Anostomus, Colossosma, Metynnis, Myleus, Serrasalmus, Chalceus, Acestrorhynchus, Crenicichla, Cichlasomines, Cichla, Astronotus
FOOD: Live fish; earthworms; other large live foods; tablets; chopped meat.
Breeding techniques: Unknown
Breeding potential: 10. Spawning in captivity has not been recorded.
Remarks: Another catfish used for eating in its native lands.
Difficulty of care: 7. This predator reaches a large size and must be fed live foods.
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