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Mekong Giant Catfish (Pangasianodon gigas)

is a enormous species of shark catfish native to the Mekong basin of Southeast Asia. While physically this species looks similar to other catfish the size that this animal can obtain is amazing with individuals recorded growing up to 10 feet long. Making them the largest freshwater fish alive today. Despite their amazing size this species is critically endangered with most of their native range dammed, and over fishing taking a toll on their population size.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Siluriformes-Pangasiidae-Pangasianodon-gigas

Image Sources: 1,2

Striped eel catfish - Plotosus lineatus

The Striped eel catfish, Plotosus lineatus (Siluriformes - Plotosidae), is the only catfish found in coral reefs, although they are also found in estuaries, tide pools and open coasts. They can be recognized by its oral barbels and striped coloration.

Juveniles form dense ball-shaped schools of about 100 fish; adults are solitary or occur in smaller groups of around 20 and are known to hide under ledges during the day. 

The dorsal and pectoral fins have hidden venomous serrate spines that can cause hours of intense pain and the risk of collapse from shock.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©René Cazalens | Locality: Bali, Indonesia (2014)

Looks harmless right? Mmm, maybe not. The candiru (Vandellia cirrhosa) is a tiny, parasitic catfish native to the waters of the Amazon and Oranoco Rivers in South America.

They have sharp bones with a series of spines located near the head which assist in feeding. With an appetite for blood, these fish will parasitize fish, mammals, and even humans! They’ve become infamous for a love for our urine.. Yep, if we’re skinny dipping and urinating in the body of water they lurk, they’ll come in through our anus and lodge themselves in our urinary tract- spines and all. If not removed in time (sometimes by amputation might I add), they’ll prove lethal to humans.

When locating fish, they’ll taste the water in search for a stream derived from the gills of a fish. They’ll then search for the fish itself, and lodge themselves in the gills. The spines will pierce the fish, drawing blood, while also anchoring the fish in place. 

They have few natural enemies, since they’re given a worse reputation than the pirhana. 

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Zebra Pleco (Hypancistrus zebra)

…a small species of catfish that is endemic to Brazil where it is found in the Xingu River. Like other catfish zebra pleco are nocturnal and are often found in the bottom, where they feed on algae and small invertebrates. Zebra pleco are sexually dimorphic as males have a larger head and longer interopercular spines than females. Males will also guard the females eggs after they spawn.

 Although their conservation status is not evaluated zebra plecos face a serious threat due to the construction of the Belo Monte Dam, which could hinder the water flow of the Xingu river. Zebra pleco are highly sought after in the aquarium trade due to their unique coloration. However, their rarity makes them extremely expensive.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Siluriformes-Loricariidae-Hypancistrus-zebra

Image Source(s)

Zebra Oto - Otocinclus cocama 

Otocinclus cocama (Siluriformes - Loricariidae) is a distinctively colored species of the loricariid catfish genus Otocinclus, described in 2004 from a tributary to the lower río Ucayali in northern Peru. However, the Zebra Oto has been in the aquarium trade since early 2001 and is quite common in the aquarium shops in Iquitos, Peru, being likely to occur in other places in lower Ucayali and Marañon rivers.

This species is distinguished from other Otocinclus species by the distinct color pattern, consisting of vertically elongated blotches spanning from the dorsal midline to the ventral border of flanks, and by a complete lateral line.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Peter Maguire | Locality: not indicated - captive (2012)

Mega Silurignath

Type: steel/electric

Ability: Rock Head 

Silurignath can mega evolve when holding a silurignathite.

Silurignath gets a much bigger mouth when it mega evolves in order to accommodate the several miniature mouths inside it. Every single tooth still crackles with electricity. This all means that the pokemon gets greater Attack and a sharp increase in Defence.

The pokemon’s skin also toughens, shown by how it now has the Rock Head ability, allowing it to safely make use of moves like Wild Charge and Double Edge without the recoil damage.

[I don’t even know what this is any more. it started off as a mix between a caecilian and a catfish but now it’s just ??? what is happening aah]

Oh man, great idea.

What if I make my next tank a catfish only tank? Just a bunch of different small, peaceful species occupying different levels of the tank? I’d just have to look into compatibility.

Picture it, though. A big tank with a huge tangle of plants and driftwood taking up about 2/3 of the tank (peninsula style) with different little catfish drifting and darting in and out?

I could have a little shoaling species to occupy the mid-upper levels of the tank, like Hyalobagrus flavus or Kryptopterus vitreolus or Pareutropius buffeii. (Maybe two different kinds?)

And a Farlowella vittata or something similar to hang out on the driftwood.

And I could have a solitary bottom dwelling cat (like Dexter, but probably smaller) or maybe another shoaling species like a Corydoras species…hm.

OH MAN, if I found Nanobagrus armatus anywhere I could put them in here! That’d be so great! (Though I’d still want a species tank for them for breeding.)

So many options. Leaning towards the two asian species I mentioned as a basis, since I seem to have a preference for asian fish in general (Only my bristlenose in Dexter’s Tank isn’t asian), though I really liked the idea of getting a farlowella…But to keep one, I’d need to have the shoaling species at the upper end of their pH and temp ranges and the farlowella at the very bottom of it’s range, which isn’t something I’m fond of doing…

But oh man, I love this idea. I love catfish. This is an exciting thought.

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Royal Pleco (Panaque nigrolineatus)

…Also known as the Royal Panque, the royal pleco is a species of armored catfish (Loricariidae) that occurs in Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela where it occurs in the Orinoco and Amazon river basins. Like other “plecos” Panaque nigrolineatus is a benthic feeder and feeds mainly on algae and detritus. P. nigrolineatus is widely known as one of the few fish that is capable of digesting wood, as (like termites) it has symbiotic bacteria in its gut, which are capable of breaking down the wood.

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Siluriformes-Loricariidae-Panaque-P. nigrolineatus

Images: Lcamtuf and Neale Monks

Planning Dexter's Tank v.2 and Simulating the Wet Season

So I was writing out everything that needs to be done to get the 150g up and running and looking a little bit more into breeding fish who spawn during the rainy season, and came up with a timeline.

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Ugh...went to my favorite LFS today and they had one of my wishlist fish in stock..

African Glass Catfish.

They had just come in a new shipment.

Though looking at Planet Catfish now, it looks like, if they were correctly labelled, they were a closely related, slightly larger species than the one on my list. Still beautiful and not something I expected to happen across at a LFS.

The kind I was wanting is Pareutropius buffei. He had Pareutropius debawi in stock.

I didn’t buy them on the spot because I don’t really have a suitable space…My 20g is a tad cramped for them, but the barbs in the 55g would be way too rough for them…

Now I just need a new tank…Ugh. This LFS does this to me all the time, he always has great fish and plants and beautiful displays and I always walk out of there wanting more

Especially when he stocks gorgeous cats… (Got the L183 from him, he’s had Centromochlus schultzi, a flag tail porthole, and now these little cuties…and that’s just the more rare/interesting species. He’s had other plecs, cories, and synos too.)

Malawi Squeaker (Synodontis njassae)

…a species of upside-down catfish (Mochokidae) which is endemic to Lake Malawi in Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. Malawi squeakers typically inhabit shallow areas among rocks and are omnivorous scavengers, feeding mainly on insects, crustaceans, molluscs, and other various invertebrates. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Siluriformes-Mochokidae-Synodontis-S. njassae

Image: Pawel Ciesla

I think I’m going to use the tags “aquarium catfish” and “siluriformes” instead of just “catfish” from now on…that tag is full of too many things that aren’t actual catfish. We need a tag for just the little cuties we keep.

(You guys should totally use those too so I can look at cute kittyfish without having to scroll through hundreds of dumb, not actual catfish posts.)