Care Level: Moderate
Live Plant Safe: With Caution
General Description: The Pictus Catfish is native to river channels and tributaries of the Rio Orinoco and Amazon basins of Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Argentina. A beautiful catfish, the Pictus catfish has a blueish-green shimmer, with many black dots along its body, black bands in its caudal fin and extremely long barbels that add charm to its appearance. While this catfish is often advertised as a great bottom feeder for community-type aquariums, Pictus catfish are predators that can reach a size of approximately 6″ and this makes them unsuitable for most aquariums with small and docile fish. Pictus catfish are a very active species, and should not be considered for any aquarium less than 48″ in length (a typical 55 gallon aquarium). Juvenile Pictus catfish tend to shoal and will be more outgoing and active if kept in a group of 4 or more individuals. Adult Pictus catfish may be indifferent to other members of its kind; adding all individuals at once increase the likelihood of compatability. Like other Pimelodus catfish, the Pictus catfish is scaleless which makes them more susceptible to parasites, such as ich, and sensitive to common medications. Please read labels carefully, or reach out to an Aquatic’s Unlimited associate for advice about treating an aquarium with a Pictus catfish. This species benefits greatly from aquarium salt. All of our Pictus catfish are monitored for a period of time before they are made available to ensure you’re receiving healthy individuals.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Pictus catfish are carnivores. In the aquarium, they are not fussy and will greedily accept just about anything. A diet made up of various high quality protein based sinking pellet foods, in addition to offering frozen foods such as bloodworms, chunks of shrimp and tubifex worms are ideal. Frozen food options may change as your Pictus catfish grows. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish. Note: Pictus catfish will gorge itself; do not overfeed this species.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 30 to 55 gallon aquarium is ideal for a single or small group of Pictus catfish. Pictus catfish are very intolerable of nitrite or ammonia spikes, and will not endure deteriorating water parameters; this catfish will lose barbels in poor water quality. Filtration on the aquarium should be efficient and strong. Weekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters pristine (Nitrates < 15 ppm). Given the environments in which they come from, Pictus catfsh like generous water movement. As with most catfish, a sandy to fine substrate is preferred to avoid damage to their delicate barbels. The aquarium should be aquascaped with rocks and driftwood for coverage and places to hide. Smooth round-type stones can also add novelty to the aquarium that replicates its natural river environment. Some vegetation is appreciated. If you go with live plants, hardy species such as Anubias are suggested because Pictus catfish do not like brightly lit aquariums. Given their potential size and somewhat peaceful temperament in the proper environment, Pictus catfish do best with other robust and active species such as rainbowfish, larger cichlids, larger barbs and other tough catfish. Avoid fish that stay small at the risk of being swallowed or slow-moving species that may find the activity level of the Pictus catfish annoying. Recommended water conditions, 72-76° F, KH 3-12, pH 5.8-6.8.
Purchase Size: Small: 2” to 2-1/2”, Medium: 3” to 4”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.