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There are over 70 species of Corydoras Catfish.  Corys originally came from the Amazon area.  They are an excellent choice for beginners.  They are armored with bony plates as protection from predators.  Corys spend most of their time on the substrate, so sand or smooth gravel should be used to help reduce injury as they search for food.  They have a reputation for being garbage cleaners because of their constant hunger and food searches in the gravel, but this simply isn't the case.  Don't expect to substitute your Corys for efforts at cleaning your gravel or your water.  Corys need flake foods or sinking tablets.  They take regular trips to the surface to obtain gulps of air too.  Corys are schooling fish and it is recommended to keep at least 6 of each species.

Females tend to be broader than males. For spawning, it's a good idea to have extra males.  Lower temperatures and softer water may induce breeding. The fry will need sinking foods.

Some of the most common Corys are the Bronze Cory (Corydoras aeneus), the Peppered Cory (Corydoras paleatus), and the Panda Cory (Corydoras panda)

 Scientific Name:   Corydoras sp
 Family:   Catfish
 Temperature:   21 - 27 C; 72 - 80 F
 pH   6.0 - 8.0
 Size:    3 - 8 cm; 1 - 3 inches
 Life Span:    years
 Breeding:    Normal, Egg layer

Tropical Fish Compatibility:

Angelfish, other Corydoras species, Livebearers, Tetras
Featherfin Squeker
The Featherfin Synodontis originates from the rivers of the White Nile in Africa.  It is also know as the Squeaker Synodontis or the Featherfin Squeaker.  The Featherfin is a catfish whose name originates from the Greek words “Syno” meaning “close” and “odontis” meaning “tooth”, which refers to the teeth of the lower jaw of the fish that are spaced close together.  The second attribute of its name, “Eupterus”, refers also to the Greek word “Beautiful wings”, which refers to its dorsal fin.  The Featherfin belongs to the family of Mochokidae and shares its place among approximately 170 species, 50 of which belong to the same group of Synodontis.

The Featherfin colour pattern changes quite a lot between its juvenile and adult stage, the juvenile having a body of attractive lines of black and white intervened with irregular spots revealing a “zebra” appearance, only to lose that to a more dull gray/brownish coloration with spots on the body at the stage of adulthood, though keeping a more “lined” appearance at his tail.  The feature that makes this catfish unique in its own right is its wonderful dorsal fin, that when raised with all its filaments extended resembles a moving fan and when that is accompanied by its adipose dotted fins, it is certain to make eyes turn.

As a catfish in the wild, it would have spent its days at the bottom of the rivers and lakes prowling for food with its three pairs of barbells (another characteristic feature of this catfish, since only three other synodontis sport three pairs of barbells  - Synodontis decorus,  Synodontis clarias and Synodontis flaevitaeniatus).  Being opportunistic and not such a finicky eater, it would have eaten whatever fits in its mouth.  In the aquarium it will eat flakes, shrimp pellets and whatever falls at the bottom, but the diet should be enriched with frozen bloodworms and shrimp to keep its diet in a healthy balance.

As a catfish, the Featherfin is quite hardy and can be forgiving and accommodating to a variety of water conditions and tankmates (since it has the protection of his spiked fin), making it an ideal beginner's fish.  It is relatively peaceful in temperament, and despite its omnivorous nature, hardly ever bothers other bottom dwellers even if they are very small in size, but can be picky with its tankmates, harassing the unlucky one that it dislikes.  Synodontis Eupterus is also quite moody in attitude, therefore it should have caves to dwell in and feel at ease.  They usually like a piece of bogwood or a raised area at the bottom of the tank, preferably to overview the tank from a pot of clay and to patrol to show who is the boss.  It is not advised to put more than one of its species in a tank, since it can be very territorial with its own and it is a loner.  Nevertheless, other species of synodontis can be added, but keep in mind the prospect of aggressive behaviour toward some synos and also some plecos.

Sex is not easy to differentiate at the juvenile stage, but when they reach adulthood the male is usually more slender, while the female is much more bulky.  Breeding has not been successful in hobbyist’s aquariums.

Handling should be always with care, because of its spiked dorsal fin, to avoid being stuck, but also to avoid injuring the fish.  It is always preferred to use a plastic bag instead of a net to remove the fish to a different location.  I have seen a Featherfin lose a whisker against a large rock and then re-grow a new one.

 Scientific Name:   Synodontis eupterus
 Family:   Mochokidae, Catfish
 Temperature:   22 - 26 C; 72 - 79 F
 pH   6.5 - 7.5
 Size:    20 cm;  8 inches
 Life Span:    15 - 20 years
 Breeding:    Difficult, Egg Layer

Tropical Fish Compatibility:

Buenos Aires Tetra, Bumblebee Goby, Danios, Dwarf Gourami, Emperor Tetra, Flame Tetra, Gouramis, Harlequin Rasbora, Head and Tail light Tetra, Kuhli Loach, Mollies, Platy, Red Eye Tetra, Rosy Barb, Sailfin Molly, Serpae Tetra, Silver Dollar, Silver Hatchetfish, Silver Tip Tetra

African and South American cichlids, provided they are not small.

Caution should be used in combining with other synodontis and plecos, as the Featherfin can sometimes be aggressive toward these.  There are sad stories out there about the plight of neon tetras with the Featherfin.

Asian Glass Catfish

We don't stock Glass Catfish at Tim's Tropicals due to the difficulty associated with shipping them.  The Glass Catfish originates from southeast Asia.  They are also known as the Ghost Fish and the Ghost Glass Catfish.  They are an excellent community fish, but they are difficult to care for.  Their eye sight is poor.  They have long barbells which help them to find food.  The body is transparent, allowing the skeleton to show through.  The internal organs are all near the head and are not transparent.  Due to their lack of scales, they are very sensitive to water temperature and quality.  This catfish is unusual in that it swims in the mid levels of the tank instead of at the bottom.  The tank should have dim lighting, plenty of swimming room, some hiding places and areas of water flow to simulate stream life.  They are fairly shy and should be isolated from areas of frequent human traffic.  Glass Catfish need the company of their own kind to survive and it is recommended to have at least 5 or preferably 10 in a group.  The Glass Catfish cannot be combined with any aggressive types of fish.  Live food is an essential part of their diet and bloodworms are a favorite.

Males are not distinguishable from females.  Glass Catfish are imported from southeast Asia, because they cannot be successfully bred in captivity.

 

 Scientific Name:   Kryptopterus bicirrhis
 Family:   Catfish
 Temperature:   21 - 26 C; 70 - 79 F
 pH   6.0 - 7.5
 Size:    10 cm;  4 inches
 Life Span:    6 - 8 years
 Breeding:    Difficult, Egg Layer

 

 

African Glass Catfish

Tropical Fish Compatibility:

Corys, Gouramis, Livebearers, Loaches, Tetras (except the Serpae Tetra and Silver Tip Tetra are too aggressive)

 

 

 

Upside Down Catfish
 
There are two main species of Synodontis catfish that are identified as Upside Down Catfish.  Both of them originally come from Zaire in Africa.  One is Synodontis Contractus, which is also called the Bugeye Squeaker.  The other is Synodontis Nigriventris, so called because of its dark belly (remember that would be at the top when it swims).  They are both nocturnal, very active and very peaceful.  They have a large adipose fin.  Upside Down Catfish spend the daylight hours hiding in caves and their nights are spent swimming continually upside down.  The aquarium should have flower pots or plastic pipe for them to hide in.  A floating plant cover will help them feel secure.  They are schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least 4 - 6 whenever possible.  In the wild, they school in much larger groups.  Upside Down Catfish eat flake foods, but should be given live foods too, such as brine shrimp, blood worms, glass worms, and earthworms.

Females are broader and sometimes lighter.  Breeding is very difficult.

 Scientific Name:   Synodontis nigriventris
 Family:   Catfish
 Temperature:   22 - 26 C; 72 - 79 F
 pH   6.0 - 8.0
 Size:    10 cm;  4 inches
 Life Span:    decades
 Breeding:    Difficult, Egg Layer

 

Upside Down Cat
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 75-82F; pH 6.0-7.5; KH 4-12
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 4"
Color Form: Black, White Markings
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Central Africa
Family: Mochokidae

The Upside Down Cat is also known as the Blotched Upside Down Catfish and is from the rivers and lakes of Central Africa within the Congo Basin. It is one of the smaller Synodontis catfish, and is an opaque color with many black spots and markings. This species is an upside-down catfish, as it will hang in an inverted position, as well as feed from the surface of the water. These catfish will also feed upon algae that forms on the decorations and plants within the aquarium.

The Upside Down Cat will appreciate a heavily planted aquarium of 30 gallons or more, with driftwood and crevices for hiding. Sensitive to nitrates, good water conditions are necessary. It prefers a current in the aquarium. It can be kept as a schooling fish or in an aquarium with other small Synodontis species.

Currently, the Upside Down Cat is not being successfully bred in the aquarium.

The Upside Down Cat is an omnivore and should be offered sinking catfish pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, plus a good quality flake food. They will also feed upon algae in the aquarium, and is a good algae controller for a planted community aquarium.

Tropical Fish Compatibility:

Other synodontis catfish, Gouramis, Bettas, Silver Hatchetfish, some Cichlids (see individual listings), Loaches, Plecos
Otto Catfish
The Otto originates from southeastern Brazil.  It is also known as the Golden Otocinclus, the Dwarf Suckermouth, the Pygmy Suckermouth and the Midget Suckermouth Catfish.  The scientific species names for the Otto include Otocinclus affinis and Otocinclus vittatus.  The body shape and coloring are similar to a Flying Fox and a Chinese Algae Eater.  There is a dark, black mottled band running from its head into its tail fin. Below the banding it is silvery white.  Above the banding it is brown in a mottled pattern. Water conditions should be very clean.

The Otto is the perfect algae eater.  It eats soft algae exclusively, so make sure a food supply is established in the tank before an Otto is introduced.  It will clean algae off of plants without harming the plant.  It also will clean algae off of plastic plants and glass.  Ottos are seldom active in a tank, but they are always entertaining to find.  They will stick themselves to the glass in any direction.  They will stick to plant stems and the underside of leaves.  Occasionally they will swim across the tank to take up a new resting or eating position.  Ottos won't harm other species and the only concern is that some larger, aggressive fish, such as cichlids, will eat them.

Although the literature indicates they should be kept in groups of three or more, we had a lone Otto for years at Tim's Tropicals and "Norbert" was always a source of pleasure and a challenge to find.  "He" went through lots of tank mates without paying any attention to them and was impervious to disease.  Best of all, he loved algae all his life!

Differentiating the sexes of Ottos and breeding them is very difficult.

 Scientific Name:   Otocinclus affinis
 Family:   Catfish
 Temperature:   20 - 26 C; 68 - 79 F
 pH   6.0 - 8.0
 Size:    4 cm; 1.5 inches
 Life Span:    7 years
 Breeding:    Difficult, Egg layer

Tropical Fish Compatibility:

Corydoras, Danios, Gouramis, Guppies, Large Tetras, Loaches, Mollies, Platies, Sharks, Swords

Pictus Cat

(Pimelodus pictus)
  Click here for a larger image
Pictus Cat
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 75-81F; pH 7.0-7.5; KH 5.8-6.8
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 10"
Color Form: Black, Silver
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: South America
Family: Pimelodidae

The Pictus Cat is part of the antenna catfishes and usually has a pale to gray body with a black spotted pattern. The pectoral fins are serrated, so it is recommended that a glass bowl or cup be used to capture the fish rather than a net.

As one of the more peaceful fish that adds beauty to your aquarium, the Pictus Cat can be housed with any soft water tank mate. Tanks with dim light that are heavily planted are ideal for this fish. Rocks, caves, and driftwood also aid in providing an optimal environment for the Pictus Cat. In the wild, this fish grows a bit larger than in the aquarium setting, but a minimum of 70 gallons is recommended for proper housing.

These fish are an egg-laying catfish that are very difficult to breed in an aquarium setting.

The Pictus Cat will feed on left over flake food that accumulates at the bottom of the tank. In addition, small live food and sinking catfish pellet food should be provided for complete nutrition.

Columbian Shark

(Arius jordani)
Columbian Shark
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 74-79F; pH 7.0-7.5; KH 10-12
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 10"
Color Form: Gold, Silver
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Central America, North America, South America
Family: Ariidae

Also known as the Black Fin Shark, the Columbian Shark is a catfish which will grow quite large in an aquarium. It may also be referred to as Jordan's Catfish or the West American Cat Shark. The Columbian Shark has a high fin and long "whiskers" that gives it a classic catfish appearance.

Setting up a tank to match its natural environment will require plenty of plants and rocks. Since it grows quite large, starting with a minimum tank size of 70 gallons is recommended. As the Columbian Shark grows larger, there is a chance that the shark will eat smaller tank mates. This species prefers some aquarium salt in the water, and may also be acclimated slowly into a saltwater aquarium, as they live in both freshwater and saltwater during different times of their life.

The female Columbian Shark will lay the eggs and the male will incubate them in his mouth to protect them.

Feed this fish sinking catfish pellets, bloodworms, or a high quality algae food.

Redtail Cat

(Phractocephalus hemioliopterus)
Redtail Cat
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 300 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Tank Conditions: 70-76F; pH 5.5-6.8; KH 9-10
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 4' 7"
Color Form: Black, Red, White
Temperament: Aggressive
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: South America
Family: Pimelodidae

The Redtail Cat has a broad head and body that tapers towards the tail. The fish has a dark black body, white underbelly, and a bright red tail.

It can grow impressively large in an aquarium setting and should be given plenty of room to swim. Due to its size and high energy this fish should be kept with larger tank mates. Besides the minimum tank size of 300 gallons, rocks, plants, and large driftwood should be used to enhance and simulate a natural environment. Since the Redtail Catfish is a highly active fish, a tightly covered aquarium should be used to prevent it from jumping out of the tank. They mature into a very heavy fish and should be maintained in a reinforced aquarium.

Redtail Cats breed using external fertilization after laying their eggs. Breeding in an aquarium setting is rare.

Feeding the Redtail Cat is not difficult due to the fact that it is not picky. In the wild, this fish will eat fish and crustaceans. In the aquarium setting, assorted worms, frozen foods, sinking catfish pellets, and dry foods will provide the proper nutrition.

Synodontis Ocellifer Catfish

(Synodontis ocellifer)
Synodontis Ocellifer Catfish
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 75-82F; pH 6.5-7.8; KH 4-15
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 4"
Color Form: Black, Brown, Yellow
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: West Africa
Family: Mochokidae

The Synodontis Ocellifer Catfish comes from various river systems of Western Africa and is a peaceful bottom scavenger. It is yellowish to brown with many black spots.

A 50-gallon or larger aquarium with stable temperature, and plenty of rocks and plants provides a suitable environment. The Synodontis Ocellifer Catfish is a very peaceful tank member and appreciates having several hiding places.

When netting, one must be very careful of the spines on the pectoral fins which have serrated edges. These can become easily entangled in netting and may cause injury to the fish or hobbyist.

Currently, the Synodontis Ocellifer Catfish is not being successfully bred in the aquarium setting.

Synodontis Catfish are omnivores and should be offered sinking catfish pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, and a good quality flake food.

Whiptail Cat

(Farlowella acus)
Whiptail Cat
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Tank Conditions: 73-79F; pH 6.5-7.0; KH 4-8
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 6"
Color Form: Black, Brown
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: South America
Family: Loricariidae

The Whiptail Cat, also known as the Twig Catfish, originates from the lakes and rivers of South America, and has a very long and slender body. They are an armored catfish with a brown and black coloration, and have an elongated nose. Like many of the other fish within the Loricariidae family, they have a sucker mouth, which aids them in feeding upon algae from the plants and decorations within the aquarium. They make a wonderful addition to any freshwater, peaceful community aquarium.

Planted aquariums with high aeration and water movement make for a healthy environment. Rocks and driftwood help to accent a natural habitat and provide hiding spaces to reduce stress for the Whiptail Cat. A 50 gallon aquarium or larger is recommended for this species.

Feeding the Whiptail Cat is not difficult due to the fact that it is not picky. Feeding off the bottom of the tank, it gets most of its nutrition from left over food and algae. If there is no algae or left over food present, supplement their diet with a high quality flake food, sinking herbivore pellets, or freeze-dried bloodworms.

Synodontis Eupterus Catfish

(Synodontis eupterus)
Synodontis Eupterus Catfish
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 75-82F; pH 6.5-7.8; KH 4-15
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 8"
Color Form: Black, Pale
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Diet:  Insectivore: Algae
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Africa - Zaire, Cameroons
Family: Mochokidae

The Synodontis Eupterus Catfish is also known as the Featherfin Squeaker and is from the rivers and lakes of Africa. It is a wide-bodied catfish and is pale in coloration with many black spots. This species is also known as an upside-down catfish, as it will hang in an inverted position.

As a digger, the Synodontis Eupterus Catfish will appreciate a fine sandy bottom with large roots and crevices for hiding places in a tank of 50 gallons or more. Sensitive to nitrates, good water conditions are necessary. It prefers a current in the aquarium. It can be kept as a schooling fish or in a tank with other Synodontis species. The Synodontis Eupterus Catfish may also be maintained with most African cichlids of similar size.

Currently, the Synodontis Eupterus Catfish is not being successfully bred in the aquarium.

Synodontis Catfish are omnivores and should be offered sinking catfish pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, plus a good quality flake food.

Tiger Shovelnose Cat

(Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum)
Tiger Shovelnose Cat
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Tank Conditions: 75-82F; pH 6.0-8.0; KH 6-20
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 3' 3"
Color Form: Black, Silver
Temperament: Aggressive
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Farm Raised, South America
Family: Pimelodidae

14-Day Guarantee The Tiger Shovelnose Cat, which is also known as the Tiger Catfish, is from the rivers and tributaries of South America. It is a large catfish that can attain a length of over 3 feet in captivity. The body of this cat is long and slender and has a beautiful silver coloration. Black stripes and spots cover the entire body, giving the fish a tiger-like appearance. The mouth is adorned with very long whiskers, and is long and flat in shape.

It can grow impressively large in an aquarium setting and should be given plenty of room to swim. Due to its size and high energy this fish should be kept with larger tank mates. Besides the minimum tank size of 180 gallons, rocks, plants, and large driftwood should be used to enhance and simulate a natural environment. Since the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish is a highly active fish, a tightly covered aquarium should be used to prevent it from jumping out of the tank.

Little is known about the breeding habits of the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish, but it is speculated that the females have a fuller stomach and overall shape.

Feeding the Tiger Shovelnose Cat is not difficult due to the fact that it is not picky. In the wild, this fish will eat fish and crustaceans. In the aquarium setting, assorted worms, frozen foods, sinking catfish pellets, and dry foods will provide the proper nutrition.

Lima Shovel-nosed Cat

(Sorubim lima)
Lima Shovel-nosed Cat
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Tank Conditions: 75-81F; pH 6.8-7.3; KH 10-12
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 1' 7"
Color Form: Black, Silver
Temperament: Aggressive
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Amazon, South America
Family: Pimelodidae

Also known as the Duckbill or Duckbeak Catfish, this South American catfish is a peaceful candidate for the home aquarium. Its slender body and long antennas make for an impressive specimen for a larger tank.

The Lima Shovel-Nosed Cat requires a larger tank with a minimum of 180 gallons. Because of its high activity, it has been known to jump out of uncovered tanks, so covered aquariums are recommended. Plants, rocks, and driftwood, all accent the natural habitat and give hiding spaces for this fish. Protection from light is necessary to maintain proper health, so live floating plants can be used for added aesthetics.

In the wild, breeding activity of the Lima Shovel-Nosed Cat's peeks once per year. It reproduces using external fertilization after the eggs are laid. Breeding in an aquarium setting is rare.

Feeding the Lima Shovel-Nosed Cat is not difficult. In the wild, this fish will eat smaller fish and crustaceans, but in the aquarium setting, assorted worms, frozen foods, and pellet foods will keep this catfish healthy.

Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish

(Synodontis multipunctatus)
Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 75-82F; pH 7.5-9.0; KH 10-20
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 5"
Color Form: Black, Gold, Silver
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Africa - Lake Tanganyika, Tank-Raised
Family: Mochokidae

The Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish originates within Lake Tanganyika, Africa. It is silver to gold in color with many black spots arranged in a leopard-like pattern. This species is also known as an upside-down catfish, as it will hang in an inverted position. They are a beautiful catfish and are wonderful scavengers that are not overly aggressive.

The Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish will appreciate a fine sandy bottom with large caves and crevices for hiding places in an aquarium of 50 gallons or more. Sensitive to nitrates, good water conditions are necessary. It prefers a current in the aquarium. It can be kept as a schooling fish or in a tank with other Synodontis species. The Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish may also be maintained with most African cichlids of similar size.

The Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish has a rather unusual breeding habit. They will use a pair of surrogate fish as parents to incubate their eggs. When a pair of mouth brooding Cichlids are in the process of dropping eggs, these catfish will dart in and devour the newly dropped eggs. During this time they will conveniently drop their own eggs, thereby confusing the Cichlid parents into believing they are their own. The Cichlid parents will then care for and incubate the eggs. The Catfish eggs will hatch before the eggs that the Cichlid parents were able to save, and the catfish fry then feed upon the Cichlid eggs. It is advised to remove the catfish fry once all of the eggs have been devoured to reduce the chances of the fry eating each other. Feed the fry baby brine shrimp until they are able to accept larger foods.

Synodontis Catfish are omnivores and should be offered sinking catfish pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, plus a good quality flake food.

Synodontis Decorus Catfish

(Synodontis decorus)
Synodontis Decorus Catfish
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 75-82F; pH 6.5-7.8; KH 4-15
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 10"
Color Form: Brown, Tan
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Africa - Upper Zaire, Cameroons
Family: Mochokidae

The Synodontis Decorus Catfish, also called the Decorus Catfish or Decorated Synodontis, is known scientifically as Synodontis decorus, S. vittatus, and S. labeo. It is a member of the naked catfish group.

A 50 gallon or larger aquarium with a warm, stable temperature, and plenty of rocks and plants is a suitable environment. The Synodontis Decorus Catfish is a very peaceful tank member and appreciates having several hiding places. It co-exists well with larger Tetras and most African Cichlids similar in size.

When netting, one must be very careful of the spines on the pectoral fins which have serrated edges. These can become easily entangled in netting and may cause injury to the fish or hobbyist.

Currently, the Synodontis Decorus Catfish is not being successfully bred in the aquarium.

Synodontis Catfish are omnivores and should be offered sinking catfish pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, and a good quality flake food.

Synodontis Flavitaeniatus Catfish

(Synodontis flavitaeniatus)
Synodontis Flavitaeniatus Catfish
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 75-82F; pH 6.5-8.0; KH 4-15
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 6"
Color Form: Silver
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Central Africa
Family: Mochokidae

The Synodontis Flavitaeniatus Catfish originates within the Zaire Basin of Africa. It is black in color with an interesting pattern of silver lines and spots. This species is also known as an upside-down catfish, as it will hang in an inverted position. They are wonderful scavengers, and are not overly aggressive. They also do not dig as much as other large catfish, making them a great addition to a larger freshwater planted aquarium.

The Synodontis Flavitaeniatus Catfish will appreciate a fine sandy bottom with large roots and crevices for hiding places in an aquarium of 50 gallons or more. Sensitive to nitrates, good water conditions are necessary. It prefers a current in the aquarium. It can be kept as a schooling fish or in a tank with other Synodontis species. The Synodontis Flavitaeniatus Catfish may also be maintained with most African cichlids of similar size.

Currently, the Synodontis Flavitaeniatus Catfish is not being successfully bred in the aquarium.

Synodontis Catfish are omnivores and should be offered sinking catfish pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, plus a good quality flake food.

Giraffe Nosed Catfish

(Auchenoglanis occidentalis)
Giraffe Nosed Catfish
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 75-82F; pH 6.5-7.8; KH 4-15
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 1' 6"
Color Form: Gray
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Africa
Family: Bagridae

The Giraffe Nosed Catfish comes from lake and river systems located throughout Africa. It has a large head and is a marbled or spotted gray with a few black spots arranged in a line.

A 125 gallon or larger aquarium is required for this catfish due to the large size. Provide an aquarium with a warm, stable temperature, and plenty of rocks and plants. The Giraffe Nosed Catfish is a very peaceful tank member and appreciates having several hiding places.

There is currently no documentation on the sexing and breeding of this species.

The Giraffe Nosed Catfish is omnivorous and should be offered sinking catfish pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and a good quality flake food.

Jaguar Catfish

(Liosomodarus onicinus)
Jaguar Catfish
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 70-78F; pH 5.8-6.5; KH 4-7
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 8"
Color Form: Black, Brown, Cream, Tan
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: South America
Family: Auchenipteridae or Doradidae

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The Jaguar Catfish is a carnivorous fish from South America and gets it's name from the cat-like pattern of brown spots on a light colored body. It is a very attractive fish, especially when fully grown.

A planted tank, of at least 50 gallons, with plenty of hiding spaces provided by rocks and driftwood is recommended. These fish are nocturnal and hide during the day, coming out at night to feed. They require an acidic pH. Jaguar Catfish prefer to be kept in pairs, male and female when possible.

Males are brighter in color than females and have an intermittent organ at the anterior of the anal fin to internally fertilize the eggs within the female before laying.

In addition to the leftover food it will scavenge from the bottom, the Jaquar Catfish should also be fed sinking carnivore flakes, pellets, tubifex, and bloodworms.

Ornate Chaca Chaca Catfish

(Chaca bankanensis)
Ornate Chaca Chaca Catfish
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Tank Conditions: 72-78F; pH 6.5-7.8; KH 4-15
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 8"
Color Form: Black, Brown
Temperament: Aggressive
Diet:  Carnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: India
Family: Chacidae

The Ornate Chaca Chaca Catfish comes from lake and river systems located throughout India. It has a large, flat head and is brown in color with mottled black markings, giving the fish a leaf-like appearance. The mouth of this catfish is very large and should not be housed with any fish that it may swallow.

Provide a 50-gallon or larger aquarium with plenty of rocks and plants for hiding. This catfish will not consume live plants and is suitable for a planted aquarium, as long as the other fish are large enough that the Ornate Chaca Chaca cat will not eat them.

There is currently no documentation on the sexing and breeding of this species.

The Ornate Chaca Chaca cat is Carnivorous and should be offered sinking catfish pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and a good quality flake food.

Ornate Pimelodus Catfish

(Pimelodus ornatus)
Ornate Pimelodus Catfish
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 74-79F; pH 6.8-7.2; KH 8-10
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 7"
Color Form: Black, Gray
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Diet:  Carnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: South America
Family: Heptapteridae

The Ornate Pimelodus Catfish is a long, slender catfish that comes from the regions of South America. It will eat smaller fish in a community tank, so placement with larger fish is recommended. The head has semi-long antennas that help with feeding and also aid in maneuvering in the tank setting.

A heavily planted tank with roots, rocks, and driftwood will help mirror its natural setting. A small rocky, to sandy substrate is recommended in a minimum of 50 gallons of water.

In the wild, these catfish breed by laying their eggs on rocks and plants, but this procedure has not been successful in aquariums.

While they are young, they will eat sinking pellets or other carnivore prepared foods. However, when they get older and larger, chopped meat should be supplemented to their diet.

Paroon Shark

(Pangasius sanitwongsei)
  Click here for a larger image
Paroon Shark
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 500 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Tank Conditions: 70-76F; pH 5.5-6.8; KH 3-7
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 1' 6"
Color Form: Black, Gold, Silver
Temperament: Aggressive
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Asia
Family: Pangasiidae

The Paroon Shark is a large freshwater catfish species that is commonly harvested for the food industry in the Far East. They are mostly silver in color with a contrasting black to gold tint along their back. As these fish mature they develop a large, wide head, and beautiful long flowing fins. This is an interesting addition to any large, oddball aquarium.

It can grow impressively large in an aquarium setting and should be given plenty of room to swim. Due to its size and high energy this fish should be kept with larger tankmates. Besides the minimum tank size of 500 gallons, rocks, plants, and large driftwood should be used to enhance and simulate a natural environment. Since the Paroon Shark is a highly active fish, a tightly covered aquarium should be used to prevent it from jumping out of the tank.

Feeding the Paroon Shark is not difficult due to the fact that it is not picky. In the wild, this fish will eat fish and crustaceans. In the aquarium setting, assorted worms, frozen foods, sinking catfish pellets, and dry foods will provide the proper nutrition.

They are a very active fish and could damage themselves or others in the aquarium when startled. They are best kept in a wide aquarium and an almost square tank would be ideal.

Synodontis Angelicus Catfish

(Synodontis angelicus)
Synodontis Angelicus Catfish
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 75-82F; pH 6.5-7.8; KH 4-15
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 8"
Color Form: Brown
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Diet:  Insectivore: Algae
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Africa - Zaire, Cameroons
Family: Mochokidae

The Synodontis Angelicus Catfish is commonly referred to as the Angel Catfish or Angelicus Cat. It is a peaceful member of the naked catfish group. It may also be known as S. tholloni, S. robbianus, S. werneri, and S. angelicus zonatus.

As a digger, the Synodontis Angelicus Catfish will appreciate a fine sandy bottom with large roots and crevices for hiding places in a tank of 50 gallons or more. Sensitive to nitrates, a good water conditioner is helpful. It prefers a current in the tank. It can be kept as a schooling fish or in a tank with other Synodontis species. The Synodontis Angelicus Catfish may also be maintained with most african cichlids of similar size, such as Congo Tetras and African Tetras.

Currently, the Synodontis Angelicus Catfish is not being successfully bred in the aquarium.

Synodontis Catfish are omnivores and should be offered sinking catfish pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, and a good quality flake food.

Synodontis Soloni Catfish

(Synodontis soloni)
Synodontis Soloni Catfish
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 75-82F; pH 6.0-7.5; KH 4-15
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 6"
Color Form: Silver
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Central Africa
Family: Mochokidae

The Synodontis Soloni Catfish originates within the Zaire Basin of Africa. It is silver in color with many dramatic black spots. This species is also known as an upside-down catfish, as it will hang in an inverted position. They are wonderful scavengers, and are not overly aggressive making them a great addition to a larger freshwater aquarium.

As a digger, the Synodontis Soloni Catfish will appreciate a fine sandy bottom with large roots and crevices for hiding places in a tank of 50 gallons or more. Sensitive to nitrates, good water conditions are necessary. It prefers a current in the aquarium. It can be kept as a schooling fish or in a tank with other Synodontis species. The Synodontis Soloni Catfish may also be maintained with most African Cichlids of similar size.

Currently, the Synodontis Soloni Catfish is not being successfully bred in the aquarium.

Synodontis Catfish are omnivores and should be offered sinking catfish pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, plus a good quality flake food.

Tigrinus Catfish

(Merodontotus tigrinus)
Tigrinus Catfish
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Tank Conditions: 70-78F; pH 6.5-7.5; KH 4-7
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 2'
Color Form: Black, White
Temperament: Aggressive
Diet:  Carnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: South America
Family: Pimelodidae

The Tigrinus Catfish is a rare find from South America that will make an interesting showpiece in your large freshwater aquarium. It has a large shovel-like nose and is black with irregular white stripes. The mouth is adorned with many long white whiskers. It is a very attractive fish, especially when fully grown.

An aquarium of at least 180 gallons with plenty of hiding spaces provided by rocks and driftwood is recommended. The Tigrinus should not be housed with any fish that it can swallow. They should also not be housed with other large catfish that may infringe on its territory.

The Tigrinus Catfish has not been observed breeding in captivity and the sexes are not easily distinguished.

The ideal food for the Tigrinus include live fish, whole prawns, mussels, and earth worms.

Also See:
 
"Suckermouth Catfish"

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