Tete sea catfishes are occasionally available in the
pet trade under a variety of names, including Colombian
(or Columbian) shark, silver tipped shark, white tip
shark catfish, black fin shark, Christian catfish,
Jordan's catfish, and West American cat shark. However,
they are not appropriate for most aquarists because
they must be acclimated from freshwater to saltwater
as they mature. It requires a very large tank due
to its size and active swimming habits. The problem
as this fish grows is that it will require more salt
and from a sub-adult brackish water system they will
progress into a marine environment which will need
marine salt to be added. Another problem of course
is that your previous tropical tankmates will not
be able to tolerate the added salt and would need
to be moved to a tropical tank setup immediately.
A juncture to this is that they can get aggresive
as they mature so not really a catfish for the hobbyist
unless you know what is ahead of you and you can maintain
this species through the stages of tropical (juvenile)
brackish (sub-adult) and adult (marine). This of course
mimicks the lifestyle of this species in the wild
as they migrate from the rivers of the Pacific coast
countries of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua,
Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and
out into the sea where they can fend for themselves
as large adults. A large tank will be needed, 72inch
or larger would be good for four adults. Growing plants
will be difficult due to the added salt. Provide caves
for hiding, a dark substrate and low lighting. They
will also need good filtration with a swift current.
Diet: Omnivore, insect larvae, frozen
foods such as mosquito larvae, tubifex and bloodworm.
Tablet and flake foods are also taken.
Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama,
Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Type locality:
Central America (Pacific).
35cm. SL (14ins) but can grow
larger in the wild.
Baensch, H.A. and R.
Riehl 1985 Aquarien
atlas. Band 2. Mergus, Verlag für Natur- und
Heimtierkunde GmbH, Melle, Germany. 1216 p. Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist
of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes),
and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa
1418:1-628. Marceniuk P. Alexandre & Menzes A. Naircio.
Systematics of the family Ariidae (Ostariophysi, Siluriformes),
with a redefinition of the genera (Zootaxa 1416) 126
pp.; 30 cm. 2007. ScotCat Factsheet no. 161. Nov. 2009.