When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

How to Care For A Pictus Catfish | Comprehensive Guide

Whether or not you’re new to fishkeeping otherwise you’ve been concerned within the passion for fairly a while, likelihood is that you just’ve heard of the pictus catfish. This fish species is unmistakable, providing a particular and distinguished look that’s standard amongst passion fishkeepers. It has an lively persona and vibrant colours, making it an awesome selection in your freshwater tank.

Though it may be on the more durable facet for novice fishkeepers to boost, the pictus catfish is a rewarding fish to boost that provides a variety of advantages. In our complete information to the pictus catfish, we’ll let you know the whole lot you want to know, from the scale and kind of tank required to what you need to be feeding your pictus catfish.


Pictus Catfish Background

Pictus Catfish 1
Photo by La

The pictus catfish goes by a variety of names, such because the pictus cat and angel cat. A member of the Pimelodidae household, this catfish is among the hottest of its form within the aquarium commerce. It was initially found in 1876 and is native to the nice and cozy rivers of South America.

The pictus catfish is intently associated to a different species of catfish that dwells in Africa. This is called the the other way up catfish, a distinct species referred to as Synodontis. These fish are typically present in lentic waters, the place there’s a sluggish movement of water and the bottoms are coated in mud or sand. Each sorts of catfish choose to highschool.

Pictus catfish, nevertheless, want clear freshwater and can dwell within the backside of the water column. They’re most lively when it’s darkish, and use their barbels to catch their prey, which may vary from small fish to snails and even prawns.

Within the wild, pictus catfish are discovered within the heat riverbeds and streambeds of South America. They have an inclination to hang around in sandy, gently flowing waters. You’ll need to imitate these circumstances in your tank by offering a sandy substrate and an honest quantity of present.

There are about 2900 forms of catfish on this planet, and only a few are from america. Most catfish stay small, however some can develop as much as fifteen ft in size. The pictus catfish will not be native to america however stays one of the standard species within the aquarium commerce as a result of it’s so engaging and straightforward to boost.

Pictus Catfish Look And Conduct

Pictus Catfish 2
Photo by Fiat Lupi

It’s practically not possible to confuse a pictus catfish with different species, because it has unmistakable options. With a white physique and darkish black spots, it additionally has giant barbels that attain all the way in which to its caudal fin. This fish may be very lively and a quick swimmer, and prefers to be housed in bigger tanks (assume bigger than 100 gallons) the place it has loads of room to swim.

Pictus catfish are distinctive in that they’ve extraordinarily sharp pectoral fins. You’ll be able to simply injure your self on them, they usually also can get snagged in fishnets. This will trigger injury to the fish, so it’s vital that you just use a plastic container to scoop your pictus catfish up as a substitute of a web.

These fish typically develop as much as 5 inches in size. They’re lengthy and slender, and have spectacular whiskers that reach alongside its face. These are technically referred to as barbels and are a distinguishing characteristic of all catfish species. They’re used to assist the catfish navigate muddy waters, and the pictus catfish has among the longest.

Pictus catfish are additionally recognized for having extraordinarily sharp spines and fins. These can injury different fish, so it’s vital that you just keep in mind this reality when housing your pictus with different fish. This fish may even have a forked tail and a mouth that’s giant and turns downward. Their our bodies are elongated and have dorsal triangles.

Female and male pictus catfish are powerful to inform aside, however you’ll be able to inform the distinction by taking a look at their abdomens. Females are typically barely bigger and extra spherical as they method sexual maturity.

These fish are sometimes confused with Angelicus catfish. Whereas they do look fairly alike, you’ll be able to inform them aside by taking a look at their barbels. Pictus catfish have longer barbels than Angelicus catfish.

Within the wild in addition to in captivity, pictus catfish exhibit distinctive behaviors that assist them monitor their prey. Research have proven that pictus catfish depend on plenty of behaviors to seek out their meals. For instance, they use their sense of contact, odor, and style to detect their prey. Pictus catfish additionally are likely to hunt prey species which are unable to keep away from predator technique, notably fish who stay calm whereas the predator approaches.

Pictus Catfish Tank And Water Necessities

Pictus Catfish 3
Photo by David St-Louis

Attempt to the best extent attainable to imitate the pure circumstances of your species if you find yourself establishing the aquarium tank in your pictus catfish. As a result of pictus are discovered within the heat, sandy river beds and streambeds of South America, you will have to supply related circumstances in your tank.

Select a sandy substrate in your pictus catfish, which can assist it to navigate because it strikes round your tank. Use a high-quality hang-on-back filter, which can emulate the water movement you want to hold your pictus catfish wholesome. A great filtration system may even assist take away any waste that the pictus catfish creates – which is not any small matter on this case! Filtration will assist hold the water parameters of your tank secure. That is particularly vital as a result of pictus catfish are particularly delicate to nitrates.

Within the wild, pictus catfish choose to shoal. Due to this fact, you’ll want to preserve a 150 gallon tank which can enable three to 4 pictus catfish to dwell collectively. For those who solely wish to hold a single pictus catfish, which isn’t splendid however undoubtedly attainable, you will get by with a 55 gallon tank. Though they aren’t giant species, pictus catfish are lively swimmers, so the extra space you’ll be able to present them with, the higher off they are going to be.

These fish are weak to many widespread aquarium illnesses, so you want to pay shut consideration to the parameters of the water if you find yourself establishing your tank. Ideally, temperatures within the tank ought to be stored between 75 and 81 levels Fahrenheit, and the pH ought to be between 7 and seven.5.

Pictus catfish are extremely delicate ammonia and to nitrates. Due to this fact, you want to be particularly cautious about performing common water modifications. An excessive amount of of both substance could cause main illness within the pictus catfish.

Adorning A Pictus Catfish Tank

Pictus Catfish 4
Photo by Peter Paladino

Pictus catfish are naturally present in densely planted rivers within the South American forest, so it is best to attempt to create related circumstances in your tank. Embody loads of hiding spots, like river rocks, caves, and driftwood, and supply loads of giant open areas wherein your fish can swim and train.

Pictus catfish are largely nocturnal, so it is best to attempt to hold your aquarium tank in a room that doesn’t obtain ample quantities of daylight. As well as, it is best to present minimal lighting in your tank. Chances are you’ll discover that it’s powerful to maintain vegetation in such a sparsely lighted tank, however you’ll be able to compensate for this by rising crops which are straightforward to take care of in low lighting, similar to Java Moss and Hornwort. Different species of moss may even make a good selection.

Attempt to present as many crops and shaded areas as attainable, which can give the pictus catfish loads of locations wherein to cover. You’ll be able to incorporate clay plant pots, synthetic rocks, and driftwood in your tank. Your tank’s backside ought to imitate a river mattress, and it is best to present a very good, regular present with a circulation pump. Use a medium-type water filter, which can create medium-type water movement.

What Do Pictus Catfish Eat?

Pictus Catfish 5
Photo by Melissa Estuesta

Pictus catfish are scavengers within the wild, consuming absolutely anything they arrive throughout. As omnivores, they eat each plant and meat matter of their tanks, so you’ll be able to feed them a variety of meals if you find yourself maintaining them in your aquarium.

Within the wild, pictus catfish will eat absolutely anything, together with snails, algae, small fish, and even bugs similar to dragonfly larvae. They are going to eat absolutely anything you drop into your tank, however the centerpiece of your catfish’s eating regimen ought to be a very good pellet meals.

As a result of pictus catfish spend a lot of their day hiding on the backside of the tank, it is best to all the time feed a sinking pellet. It will guarantee your pictus catfish has loads of time to get to its meals and doesn’t have to return to the floor of the water – which it isn’t more likely to do.

If you wish to change up your pictus catfish eating regimen to supply a bit extra selection, contemplate feeding them various meals. Pictus catfish will fortunately eat totally different meals like brine shrimp, beef coronary heart, blackworms, and blood worms. You too can feed contemporary or frozen greens.

Take into account that any dwell meals that keep in the direction of the highest o the tank will likely be largely ignored by your pictus catfish. It is best to solely feed meals that can sink. Pictus catfish will not be one of many catfish species which are recognized for his or her means to wash algae out of your tank, however they may eat small quantities. They can assist hold your tank clear to some extent, though it is best to nonetheless ensure you are cleansing and altering out the water regularly.

Pictus catfish may be grasping fish and they’ll eat different, smaller fish in addition to any meals that involves the underside of the tank. Due to this fact, it’s straightforward for them to be at odds with different fish who can not get sufficient to eat when your pictus catfish are consistently consuming something they discover. Feed high-quality meals, however be sure your entire fish have entry to meals and never simply your pictus catfish.

Pictus catfish have voracious appetites, and it is best to attempt to hold them full always to attenuate aggressive conduct towards different, smaller fish. They produce a ton of waste as effectively, so whereas feeding in small quantities (however steadily) can assist reduce the bioload produced in your tank, you must also conduct bi weekly water modifications of 25 %.

It’s also fascinating to notice that the eating regimen of the pictus catfish will change because the fish ages. Because the fish spends extra time in your tank and enters into maturity, they may be capable of eat extra distinctive meals like seeds, small fish, algae, snails, and crawfish. Bigger catfish will depend on bigger meals, whereas these which are small will feed extra readily upon crops and invertebrate matter.

Pictus Catfish Tank Mates

Pictus catfish will not be aggressive and will not be notably territorial. That being stated, you can’t home them with simply another sort of fish. They tend to eat different, smaller fish after they get hungry, and can eat any fish that’s sufficiently small to suit inside their mouths.

They’re additionally very lively, swimming rapidly and energetically round your tank. Due to this fact, it is best to stop including fish which are sluggish swimmers (or are notably aggressive towards hyper fish). This contains cichlids, who’re simply aggravated by pictus catfish and might really be broken by the catfish with their sharp barbels.

Pictus catfish are sometimes marketed nearly as good bottom-dwelling group fish. Nevertheless, in case your tank is packed to the brim with different standard group fish like guppies and neons, it’s possible you’ll must train some warning in introducing a pictus catfish. They can’t tolerate small tanks like guppies and neons, and these fish are additionally too small to be housed with pictus catfish.

The pictus catfish ought to all the time be the smallest fish in your tank. Bear in mind, though pictus catfish are peaceable, they’re nonetheless omnivores, and can go after different fish in your tank. That being stated, there are some fish species with which pictus catfish cohabitate effectively. Think about maintaining them with different vivacious, energetic species like Big Danios, different catfish, and Opaline Gourami.

It is best to attempt, at any time when attainable, to maintain pictus catfish in teams of their very own form. Whereas they will survive on their very own with out a drawback, they’re much happier and more healthy when stored in teams. Shoals are typically rather more lively and outgoing, and whereas pictus catfish thrive in teams of three or 4 people, you’ll be able to hold them in teams as giant as six – simply ensure you have a big sufficient aquarium to help them. When maintaining catfish in a shoal, be sure your tank is not less than 150 gallons in quantity.

Take into account that pictus catfish aren’t essentially aggressive, however that they do have sharp fins and barbels. These can injure different fish even by accident, so in case your tank is overcrowded or full of slow-swimming fish, this may pose a possible threat.

Frequent Pictus Catfish Ailments

The pictus catfish, like different species of catfish, doesn’t have scales. Due to this fact, it’s extra inclined to many widespread aquarium illnesses. Most of those illnesses, similar to white spot and ich, are associated to poor water high quality. Pictus catfish are very delicate to modifications in water high quality, and their well being will quickly decline if they aren’t supplied with the perfect circumstances.

When pictus catfish are affected by any illness, their well being will quickly decline. They have an inclination to expertise illnesses that quickly escalate, and they’re inclined to many floor illnesses which are associated to poor water high quality. Ich is among the most typical illnesses and often causes signs similar to lethargy, labored respiratory, a lack of urge for food, and flashing. You may also discover that your fish is rubbing itself in opposition to objects within the tank, or trying to swim close to the floor. It additionally might keep away from the remainder of the shoal.

To forestall ich, it is best to begin by ensuring the perfect circumstances are being offered. Hold solely wholesome fish in your tank, and clear the aquarium recurrently. Make sure that it has loads of area to swim, and while you introduce new fish species to your tank, solely buy them from dependable, recognized sources like wholesalers. Strive to not purchase fish from on-line retailers, who don’t all the time have the perfect fame on the subject of buying and promoting fish.

Whenever you discover an outbreak of ich in your tank, do your finest to quarantine your fish as quickly as attainable. This illness is very contagious and can rapidly infect the remainder of your tank in case you are not cautious. Then, you’ll be able to deal with it with water modifications and correct remedy.

Pictus catfish are very delicate to nitrates and ammonia, which may trigger a variety of bacterial illnesses. These bacterial illnesses could cause injury to the physique tissue, coronary heart, and blood vessels of your fish. There are a selection of signs that may happen with the looks of a bacterial an infection, however the most typical are open sores, bloated abdomens, bulging eyes, and discoloration. You would possibly discover your fish hyperventilating, or respiratory quickly, gasping on the floor, or swimming erratically.

Bacterial infections are sometimes triggered by poor water circumstances, sometimes these with excessive ranges of decomposing natural matter. This causes a spike in ammonia. Whilst you can’t all the time deal with bacterial infections, you’ll be able to all the time stop them by maintaining a clear, well-filtered tank. As well as, you’ll be able to typically use a disinfectant answer or an antibiotic to get the illness out of your tank.

Mouth fungus is one other widespread illness in fish. This illness is a standard bacterial an infection that’s extraordinarily contagious and infrequently deadly. It causes frayed, ragged-looking fins, together with open ulcers and white, fungus-like patches. It could additionally trigger a change in coloration within the gills and a lack of urge for food in your fish. As with different bacterial infections, you r fish might seem to breathe quickly.

This illness is brought on by stress or a rise in bioload. Due to this fact, it is best to all the time rigorously monitor your catfish after any disturbing interval, similar to while you first introduce it to your tank. Poor water high quality, an unstable pH, and damage also can trigger mouth fungus.

That being stated, the illness is straightforward to deal with for as soon as it has occurred. Though it’s extremely contagious, if you happen to act rapidly you’ll be able to mitigate the consequences of the illness by making use of a salt answer of 1 % or increased. You too can designate a separate remedy path for contaminated fish, or apply an antibiotic that’s designed to deal with gram-negative bacterial infections.

The ultimate illness to be careful for is fish tuberculosis. This illness is widespread in tropical fish tanks, and it’s straightforward to overlook when it has an outbreak in your fish. As soon as an outbreak has began, it’s possible you’ll not discover indicators till it has progressed for a number of years. It isn’t extremely contagious and has no sudden results.

Nevertheless, indicators to be careful for embrace discoloration of your fish’s physique, in addition to frayed fins or fin and scale loss. Your fish might develop yellow or darkish nodules on its eyes or physique. It could refuse to eat and interact in hiding behaviors. This illness is brought on by considered one of a number of species of mycobacteria and is expounded to a poorly maintained aquarium. It thrives in low pH values in addition to in poorly oxygenated tanks.

As soon as a fish is contaminated, it can’t be handled. You’ll need to do away with the fish earlier than it impacts the opposite members of your tank. An contaminated tank will likely be a relentless supply of an infection, spreading the illness to your different fish and inflicting power well being issues and poor feed conversion charges.

Breeding And Life Spans Of Pictus Catfish

The pictus catfish is especially tough to breed in a house aquarium, however that’s to not say that it will probably’t be executed. Most fishkeepers received’t try and breed pictus catfish as a result of the everyday residence aquarium will not be giant sufficient to permit the catfish to achieve sexual maturity. So as to take action, pictus catfish want a ton of area.

The perfect breeding tank will likely be about 200 gallons. A tank that’s smaller than this is not going to enable your pictus catfish to achieve sexual maturity. In consequence, there are only a few individuals who have been profitable in breeding pictus catfish at residence. There may be little that’s recognized about breeding the pictus catfish, aside from that, within the wild, they’re egg laying. The feminine lays the eggs first after which the male fertilizes them.

Along with difficulties concerned in elevating pictus catfish to sexual maturity, it is usually extraordinarily tough to inform the distinction between female and male pictus catfish. Females are often bigger and extra rounded, however moreover that, it’s practically not possible to inform the distinction between women and men.

Whereas the typical lifespan of your pictus catfish will differ relying on the extent and high quality of care you present for it, most can dwell for as much as 4 to eight years. Eight years is the utmost lifespan for a catfish, and whereas it may be tough for a pictus catfish to dwell this lengthy, it’s undoubtedly not not possible if you happen to present it with the right care.

Is A Pictus Catfish For You?

There are specific challenges concerned in elevating pictus catfish. These fish are omnivores, so they may go after smaller, slower-moving fish in your tank. They’ll simply swallow smaller fish and can achieve this at any time when they’re given the chance.

These fish additionally produce a excessive quantity of waste, so you will have to wash your tank regularly. They’re voracious feeders, so you will have to decide on your fish meals correctly, and since they don’t have scales, they’re susceptible to plenty of illnesses that won’t have an effect on different fish.

That being stated, the pictus catfish is a dynamic fish that makes a constructive addition to most aquarium tanks. Whereas they do have particular necessities when it comes to area and water necessities, they will simply be stored by starting fish keepers with only a little bit of planning and care. With outgoing, energetic personalities, these fish are entertaining and pleasurable to maintain.

Leave a Comment