Details of all species referred to in these Fish Care Sheets can be found in the FBAS Booklet No 6 - National Show Fish Sizes. Click HERE for information.
Large Catfish (3)
Genera : Brachyrhamdia, Phractocephalus, Leiarius, etc
Family : Pimelodidae
Geographic Origin : From Mexico to Argentina.
Common Names : False Cory, Red-tail Cat, Marbled Antennae Catfish
Compatibility : The small species, like Brachyrhamdia, are fine with community
fish providing they are too large to consume. Most species
grow very large and are total predators. In the wild, they are
primarily food fish.
Before considering keeping the larger species (which grow
rapidly from perhaps innocently-purchased small specimens!)
thorough research through specialist books is essential.
Minimum aquarium size : The large species can grow to two metres so,
obviously, very large tanks are necessary!
Temperature : In the range 20o to 260C.
Habitat : The large species are usually kept in tanks with few furnishings.
Large diameter plastic or earthenware pipes make suitable 'hiding'
Water Parameters : Are found in soft water but will adapt to hard.
Many are very fussy' regarding water changes and pre-
conditioned water is often necessary.
Because they can be large fish and consequently have large
appetites, they need very efficient filtration systems. External filters (often several) are essential.
Health : Generally not unhealthy but chlorine 'burn' on some species can be
Diet : Many of the Pimelodidae are carnivores so, choice of tank mates is
important. Most will eat frozen prawns when they are small but as they
grow, more substantial food is required. As feeding of live fish is
unacceptable, most can be trained to eat frozen fish / 'crab' sticks etc.
Plants : Unless they are very firmly attached to rockwork, they will be
Availability : Often available, usually in specialist fish shops.
Show Class :F.B.A.S. Show Class G or Ga
©FBAS PWC/RCM Fish Care Sheet No 14 3/3