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Catfishes, Family Pimelodidae

As far as catfishes go, pimelodids are far more "eat 'em uppers" than cleaner uppers, with even small species possessing and utilizing relatively large mouths to suck up their tankmates, particularly at night. And some of this families members are amongst the largest of freshwater fishes, reaching several feet in length, and quickly so under propitious aquarium conditions. There are only a few "rules" to abide by in the keeping of pimelodids; selection of initially healthy stock, some basic water quality provision, avoidance of toxic, but common medications. Here we'll detail the more common species available, their simple husbandry and some pointers on what to avoid in their aquarium care.

For those who thought they knew about all because they've seen a striped and pictus catfish, a really big red-tailed cat, a shovel nose and crosses of the same, you're in for a bit of a shock. This Central and South American and some of the larger Caribbean islands catfish family is composed of some 56 genera and 300 and counting species. Pimelodids are characterized as possessing a pair of long maxillary/upper barbels/whiskers and two pair of shorter mandibular ones, naked (scaleless) bodies, possess elongated adipose fins, and importantly possessing or not stout spines on the anterior of their dorsal and pectoral fins (more about the latter below).

Size-wise: Whereas some of the smaller pimelodids max out at a few inches in length (genus Microglanis), the not-uncommonly offered Red Tailed Cat, Phractocephalus hemilopterus can grow to more than 4 foot in length, and Zungaro zungaro at five are dwarfed by the giant of the family, Brachyplatystoma filamentosum at about 3 meters.

Selection: Know Your Species! Planning ahead: Tank size, shape and tankmates.

These catfishes are demersal, spending almost all their time on the bottom, at times being quite active during the day, but principally hunting for food by dark of night. They prefer larger quarters that are aquascaped in such ways that allow them to turn around easily and get out of bright lighting. We mention this here to forewarn folks who might want to acquire pimelodids that they will do well only in this sort of setting.

NOTE: please always check to insure that you have our current in-stock pricing list available above in PDF, this will help in keeping track of any current specials and/or bulk rates. Due to seasonality and availability, pricing is subject to change.

Tigrinus Catfish

Acouri Cats  Banjo Cat  Brown Hopolo Catfish   Debawie Cat 
Acouri Catfish Banjo Catfish Brown Hopolo Catfish Debawie Catfish
       
Dolphin Catfish  Honeycomb Cat  Jaguar Catfish - wild columbia  Jumper Catfish 
Dolphin Catfish Honeycomb Catfish Jaguar Catfish Jumper Catfish
       
Juranese Catfish  Leiarius Marmoratus  Marble Achera  Pim Ornatus 
Juranese Catfish Leiarius Marmoratus Catfish Marble Achera Catfish Pim Ornatus Catfish
       
Pimellodella angelicus  Planicep Catfish  Piraiba Catfish  Redtail Catfish 
Pimellodella Angelicus Catfish Planicep Catfish Piraiba Catfish Redtail Catfish
       
Sailfin Archara Cat  Shovelnose Catfish  Slobber Head Catfish  Soldier Catfish 
Sailfin Archara Catfish Shovelnose Catfish Slobber Head Catfish Soldier Catfish
       
Spotted Rafeal Catfish  Striped Rafeal Catfish  Sturgeon Catfish  Synodontis Angelicus Cross 
Spotted Rafeal Catfish Striped Rafeal Catfish Sturgeon Catfish Synodontis Angelicus Cross Catfish
       
Synodontis Brichards Catfish  Synd Decorus Catfish  Syndontis Eupterus Catfish  Synd Faravitaeniatus 
Synodontis Brichards Catfish Synd Decorus Catfish Synd Eupterus Catfish Synd Faravitaeniatus Catfish
       
Synodontis Jaguar  Synd Multiplunctatus Catfish  Synd Occellifer Catfish  Synodontis Petricola Catfish 
Synodontis Jaguar Catfish Synd Multiplunctatus Catfish Synd Occellifer Catfish Synodontis Petricola Catfish
       
Synodontis Pleurop Catfish Synodontis Shoutedeni Catfish  Tiger Shovelnose Catfish  Tigrinus Catfish 
Synodontis Pleurop Catfish Synodontis Shoutedeni Catfish Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Tigrinus Catfish
       
Toa Barbatus Catfish  Yellow Bumble Bee Catfish  Zamora Wood Catfish   
Toa Barbatus Catfish Yellow Bumble Bee Catfish Zamora Wood Catfish