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A gentle giant found throughout much of the Amazon basin, the Ripsaw or Niger Catfish is among the largest South American catfish. With distinctive saw-like scales running down their sides and dark black coloration, they are an impressive show fish but due to their enormous adult size are best suited for large custom aquariums or indoor ponds. In the wild, they use their sensitive barbels to scour sandy or muddy river bottoms for food, which primarily consists of insect larvae, worms, and crustaceans. In the aquarium they will readily accept almost any sinking prepared or frozen foods.
A rare and once nearly impossible to find species of Corydoras, the Two Saddle or Weitzmani Cory is a medium-growing species found in the Madre de Dios region of Southern Peru. Like all Corys, it is a schooling species and is best kept in groups. In the wild, they use their sensitive barbels to sift for food particles in the sand and should be kept on fine substrate in the aquarium. This species is hardy and undemanding but does prefer slightly cooler temperatures than some other tropical fish (71-76F).
A rare Doradid catfish found in the lower Marowijne River in Suriname, the Small Scute or Shalllow Scute Doradid Catfish is typically found on sandy substrate in moderate to slow moving waters. With their heavily armored bodies and sharp pectoral spines, they have few natural predators and are a relatively bold species. Like most of their close relatives, they are a peaceful catfish and feed primarily on small insects, mollusks, and crustaceans in the wild. In the aquarium they are peaceful toward nearly all tankmates and will typically not be bothered by larger, aggressive fish.
The L191 or Dull Eyed Royal Pleco is a large growing Panaque and one of the more common variants of what is known as Royal Plecos in the trade. Widespread in Colombia and Venezuela, these plecos are typically collected in the Rio Meta and Caqueta basins in areas with acidic water with moderate to fast flow. Like all species in the genus Panaque they are wood eaters by nature, and should be offered plenty of driftwood in the aquarium. Specialized diets like Repashy’s xylivore formula gel premix or Sera Catfish Chips are ideal for this species.
The albino form of the Common Bristlenose or Bushynose Pleco (Ancistrus sp.) stands out well against dark or dimly light aquariums. As with all Common Bristlenose Plecos, these fish are ideal aquarium inhabitants, grazing on diatom algae while still being safe with live plants and peaceful towards all tankmates.
The Common Bristlenose or Bushynose Pleco (Ancistrus sp.) is an ideal aquarium inhabitant, grazing on diatom algae while still being safe with live plants and peaceful towards all tankmates.
A unique schooling catfish found in the acidic blackwater streams of Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia, the Shadow Catfish is a small-growing and peaceful species well suited for aquarium life. They prefer slightly soft water but are otherwise hardy and undemanding in the aquarium. Best kept in groups of 6 or more, these catfish will readily accept most prepared foods and are peaceful towards all tankmates.
One of the largest growing catfish species of the Amazon Basin, the Tiger Shovelnose is an important food fish throughout its range and has been a favorite in the aquarium hobby for decades despite its huge adult size. In the aquarium, they are fairly easy to care for but keep in mind they will attempt to eat anything they can fit in their surprisingly large mouths. Juvenile fish grow extremely quickly so to realistically keep these fish long term a massive aquarium or ideally an indoor pond is necessary.
One of the larger and more impressive species of Corydoras, the Peru Black Cory is similar to the more well known C. fowleri but have more solid black coloration throughout the body. Found in shallow, sandy and rocky stretches of Peru’s Rio Tahuayo, they do best in aquariums with plenty of open space and moderate current. In the aquarium, they are hardy and make an excellent addition to the lower levels of a medium sized community aquarium or with more peaceful South American Cichlids.
A rare and unique catfish found throughout much of the Amazon and its tributaries, the Imitator Catfish or Mees’ Pimelodelid is adapted to spend most of its life as a mimic among shoaling species like Otocinclus and Corydoras species, where it likely finds safety from predators among the large groups of more armored catfish. An active fish, it should be kept in groups or at least with other actively schooling species. In the aquarium, they are hardy and undemanding, and will accept a wide variety of sinking prepared or frozen foods.
A beautifully patterned pleco, the L600/LDA007 or Orange Seam Leopard Cactus Pleco is found in stretches of the Rio Branco, a whitewater tributary of the Rio Negro in Brazil. In the wild, they are known to inhabit rocky, deep water channels in high-current areas. In the aquarium, they are hardy and adaptable, but will do best in relatively soft water with some current and when given plenty of driftwood or other hides. A mainly carnivorous species, they should be offered protein-rich foods like Repashy Gel Diets or Fluval Bug Bites.