Catfish: Pimelodidae

Characteristics of Catfish, Cultivation, and Care

Catfish is one of the most popular ornamental fish for the aquarium. Depends on the species, its antenna can be found on the jaw and head and bears a strong resemblance to an alien.

In nature, they live in large rivers, streams, and lakes. Many species are solitary, but there are also group animals. In nature, they feed, depending on the species, on plants, algae or fish, crustaceans, invertebrates, and large specimens that can eat monkeys.

Making the profile for the Catfish turned out to be very difficult this time, as the many species also have very different properties. Another difficulty factor is that there are species such as the blue Catfish, not belonging to the Catfish family (Pimelodidae), but the armored catfish.

The profile serves as a rough guide, and the information must be checked separately for each species. A redfin catfish, for example, eats meat and is challenging to keep in company with other smaller fish.

A yellow catfish has a purely vegetable diet and gets along with other fish as well as shrimp.

  • Life expectancy: many years
  • Size: 13-135 cm
  • Weight: up to 50 kg
  • Colors: yellow, gold, blue, brown, black, red, white (albino)
  • Water: soft to hard, rich in oxygen with a gentle current
  • PH value: 5.5-8.0
  • Water hardness: 2 – 30 ° dGH
  • Temperature: 22 – 28 ° C
  • Behavior: calm to aggressive
  • Origin: South America
  • Attitude: Society, couple, group
  • Nourishment: Plants, algae, vegetables, green fodder, wood, meat
  • Aquarium size: 50 – 400 liters
  • Facility: Caves, roots, woods
  • Ground: Sand, fine gravel
  • Swimming zone: Bottom-disc
  • Family: Antennae (Pimelodidae)

Catfish Attitude and Appearance

Depending on which type of Catfish you choose, the keeping conditions also change. For example, there are nocturnal aerial Catfish, which of course, have special needs.

Antenna catfish come in many different colors; the adaptive eyes of the fish, which have a small spot during the day, are also exciting.

This is a light protection spot that protects and darkens the eyes. This spot disappears at night, making the eyes appear significantly more prominent.

Anyone who accommodates the strange-looking ornamental fish for the first time will find them are lying on their backs without being attached. They also like to swim into openings on the aquarium filter; This behavior is quite normal.

Catfish size

Considerable differences in the size of the most friendly aquarium inhabitants, The redfin catfish can be up to 1.35 meters long.

Of course, you also need a huge aquarium here. Other species remain significantly smaller at 15 cm.

Catfish food

Most of the catfish in this family only eat green fodder, which can be given as tablets. There are even special catfish tablets that are precisely tailored to your needs.

But the antenna catfish also appreciate the new version. Incidentally, most species need wood for digestion. You can also take bamboo from the garden for this, but it should be boiled beforehand. The wood must not go moldy.

The following components are on the menu for most species:

  • Plants and parts of plants – especially wooden parts
  • Seaweed
  • Vegetables like cucumber, lettuce, peppers, zucchini
  • Meat such as live or frozen food and also pieces of the fillet (caution only with a few species)

Catfish sex and reproduction

The sex is difficult to determine in most species up to medium size. This is only shown later in the appearance. The characteristic antennae are predominantly and particularly pronounced in the male.

This also takes care of the brood after spawning, for which a cave is gladly accepted. The popular Catfish does not form enduring partnerships. The next generation is provided with changing partners.

Brown Catfish

The brown Catfish comes from South America (Amazonas) and is one of the most popular and often best-selling of its family. Its scientific name is Ancristus sp.

You can recognize it by its brown color with many yellow spots. It is often sold as a blue catfish in hardware stores and aquarists, but this is incorrect.

This very robust and nocturnal fish lives mainly on the bottom. He loves to clear the pool of algae. If he does not find enough of this, then he has to be fed.

The following sources of food for brown catfish:

  • Seaweed
  • Green forage tablets
  • Salad
  • Spinach (scalded)
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • peas

Given the size of the aquarium, you should allow for a lot of space and plan a minimum length of 80 cm. Catfish likes to gnaw on the wood of roots to stimulate his digestion with cellulose.

The impressive fish needs its retreat during the day; for this, it uses caves and roots. It is effortless to socialize, but you should ensure that each Catfish has sufficient space. The catfish should also have a partner.

In its place, it chases away male conspecifics in particular, and initially also the female, until it allows the entrance to reproduce.

The Catfish chooses its partner freely and cannot eat cherries well with everyone. The males fight territorial fights in which the fish can sometimes seriously injure themselves.

Profile of brown Catfish

  • Size: up to 15 cm
  • Soil: sand, fine gravel
  • Temperature: 22 – 28 ° C
  • pH value: 6 – 7.5
  • Water hardness: 5 – 20 ° dGH
  • Age: up to 19 years

Blue Catfish

The blue Catfish is scientifically known as Ancistrus dolichopterus or Hypostoma punctatum. One can easily distinguish him from the appearance of the brown namesake. This one has no yellow but white points.

The dorsal fin and caudal fin have a white border, and Although the German name is identical, this species of Catfish does not belong to the same family.

It appeared for the first time in 1911 through an import in Germany. Here it is also traded under the designation with the L number L 183.

Beginning of the growth phase, the male Catfish forms the first antlers near its mouth. Later it will grow to the forehead.

In the female, it does not grow to the forehead and remains significantly smaller. When it comes to foraging and eating behavior, it does not differ from its brown colleague.

Reproduction, in particular, is a little spectacle; like the brown Catfish, the male takes care of the brood in a cave. The female’s eggs are highly orange.

The female may lay only a few eggs; later in life, up to 90 eggs, hatch after about 5 days. The female can spawn approximately every 21 days.

Profile of blue Catfish

  • Size: up to 15 cm (females smaller)
  • Soil: sand, fine gravel
  • Temperature: 26-29 ° C
  • pH value: 6 – 7.5
  • Water hardness: 5 – 20 ° dGH
  • Age: up to 15 years

Antenna Catfish Species

The species diversity of the antenna catfish is unbelievably large, with over 300 species and many not yet described.

Some species of catfish can cross, but such crossings are undesirable among enthusiasts as the original species continue to disappear.

Catfish – breeding and care

Breeding terrarium catfish is considered very easy. Usually, this fish reproduces on its own and abundantly. If the animals do not spawn despite the intent to breed, a few tricks can help.

Necessary conditions for breeding Wherever the Catfish feels comfortable, it also multiplies. For spawning, Catfish needs caves, root wood, slate stones, or clay pipes.

Slightly vertical breeding aids are preferred. It is essential for the animals that the cave is narrow enough and has only one exit that the male can fill with his body size.

Antenna Catfish that are given a varied live feed spawn faster and more frequently. A pH value of around 7.2 and a total hardness of about 11 ° are considered optimal.

A drop in temperature caused by a water change can be an enormous incentive to spawn. To do this, half of the water in a 25 ° C warm pool is replaced by approx. 10 ° C.

Please be cautious; a drop in temperature of 5 ° to 6 ° C can do more harm than good to other residents in the aquarium.

– Reproduction happens almost by itself

– as vertical and narrow breeding caves as possible

– possibly a short-term drop in temperature

The catfish courtship behavior

The courtship of the catfish can resemble a stylized fight. The male nudges and pushes the female over and over again. She twitches, moves away, but not far enough for it to be like fleeing.

Occasionally you can also watch the Catfish move up and down while courting while hanging on the panes. Slowly but surely, the male tries to move the female more and more towards the brood cavity.

Catfish Spawning behavior

Their fullness can recognize females ready to spawn. Usually, the fish are sexually mature after a year and spawn every 4 to 8 weeks. One litter brings 40 to 50 young animals.

If you don’t want to have offspring all the time, you shouldn’t keep a couple of this kind. The female lays the 4 mm large, yellow to orange colored eggs on the cave ceiling or in a suitable hollow.

  • 40 to 50 eggs
  • every 4 to 8 weeks

Catfish Brood care and feeding

Only the male takes care of the clutch and is hardly or not seen during this time. He constantly fanned the eggs with fresh, oxygenated water.

The young cattle hatch about a week after laying their eggs; after another week, they are about 1 cm tall and have already left the cave.

The animals are best fed with tablet feed. Later on, the young Catfish can be offered vegetables such as peas, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, or lettuce.

The vegetables must be cut up according to the size of the young Catfish and always scalded before feeding. The additional feeding must never be exaggerated. Young Catfish should have the incentive to be partly self-sufficient Feed seaweed.

  • Young catfish hatch after 1 week
  • leave the cave after another week
  • can be fed with tablets and vegetables

Rearing young Catfish

As a rule, young Catfish can stay with the adult catfish very well. However, other fish species in the aquarium can pose a risk.

In addition, snails can destroy entire clutches within a short time. The male also guards the young for the first time after swimming.

After two weeks, they spread more and more and can soon be found everywhere in the aquarium.