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Catfish / Loricariidae / Giant Whiptail

Giant Whiptail, Golden Whiptail
Sturisona aureum


Synonyms: Loricaria aureum
Physical description: An elongated species having a flattened, slender body. The snout is slightly upturned and the caudal fin is forked. The dorsal fin is large and tall. The base body coloration is light brown with a broad brown marking running from the snout through the caudal fin. The body and the fins are marked with other brown markings.
Size/Length: To 12" (30 cm)
Similar species: Other Sturisona species, Rineloricaria and Farlowella species.
Habitat: Inhabits areas having a mud or sand substrate with submerged wood in South America; Colombia.
S: bottom (substrate dependent)
Aquarium: A tank measuring 40" (102 cm) with a capacity from 45-55 gallons (170-209 L) is sufficient for fish up to 8" (20 cm) in length. Use a fine gravel or sand substrate. The tank can be well-planted with a moderate current. Hiding places among wood and rocks are suggested. In order to thrive, this species must be provided with algae.
Water chemistry: pH 6-7.5 (6.8), 5-15 dH (8), 73-81°F (23-27°C)
Social behavior: A quiet, nocturnal species that may be territorial towards others of its own kind. Otherwise an excellent community fish that will not harm smaller tank mates. This species should not be kept with large aggressive fish.
Suggested companions: Discus, Angelfish, Corydoras, Tetras
FOOD: Algae; vegetables; lettuce, spinach, mashed peas; live; insect larvae; Artemia.
Sexual differences: Males develop cheek bristles during the spawning season.
Breeding techniques: Spawning takes place during the winter months at a temperature around 82°F (28°C). The eggs are laid against the sides of the glass and number up to 200.  The eggs are carefully guarded by the male. The eggs hatch after 6 days and the fry adhere to the tank's glass. The fry begin to feed after three days on algae and tablet foods. Later the fry accept mashed peas. A good pair will spawn every three weeks during the spawning season.
Breeding potential: 6. This species is fairly easy to spawn, although the young may be difficult to rear.
Remarks: This species is sensitive to water conditions and water changes should be preformed regularly.
Difficulty of care: 7. A somewhat delicate fish that requires algae on which to feed.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com