ScotCat has now reached its 70th factsheet
and to celebrate this milestone we have regular contributor
and catfish expert for the U.K.magazine Practical Fishkeeping,
Chris Ralph, who has picked a quite magnificent catfish in the
Tiger-striped catfish, Brachypatystoma tigrinum. Over now
to Chris for an in-depth look at this beauty.
tigrinum (Britski, 1981)
is also known as the Tiger-striped Catfish. This magnificent catfish
belongs to the family Pimelodidae, representatives of which
can be found widespread throughout the rivers of South America.
The original specimens that were caught and described by Dr Britski
of the Saô Paulo Zoology Museum were from the Rio Maderia
in Brazil. It was originally thought that this was the only location
where this species of catfish was found, however this catfish
is known to be collected in Columbia and I personally have experience
of Peruvian exporters collecting these fish in Peru. The original
fish were collected in 1978 by Michael Goulding. A publication
by Dr Dario Castro of the University of Bogotá in 1984
recorded this catfish as being collected from the lower Caqueta
River in Columbia.
is quite closely related to Brachyplatystoma
juruense, but has a longer upper
jaw, and the first rays of the dorsal and pectoral fins are described
as being flexible and not pungent. Both of these catfish share
a similar colour pattern of inclined stripes on the body, although
it has to be said that Brachyplatystoma tigrinum is the
more striking of the two fish. Brachyplatystoma juruense
is quite often referred to as the "False Tigrinus".
The colour pattern is outstanding with a yellow to almost white
base colour to the body with black stripes. Most of the fins share
this same colour pattern of that of the body of this catfish.
The show size listed in the Catfish Study
Group U.K. listing is 450mm s.l. i.e. from the tip of the snout
to the base of the caudal peduncle. In their natural habitat,
however they grow well in excess of this size and can attain
lengths in excess of 600mm quite easily. This catfish is perhaps
one of the most expensive specimen from this family of fish.
The first specimen that I ever saw back in the mid eighties
had a price tag of £1000 (U.K.), and I have recently seen
specimens for sale at between £500 and £600. Obviously
consideration needs to be given to the size of aquarium in which
to keep such a magnificent catfish as this, I would not recommend
anyone to keep one of these catfish in anything less than a
72" x 24" x 24". As well as the size of aquarium
good filtration is also very important in order to keep a catfish
such as this in perfect condition. I would also suggest that
sand such as BD Aquarium sand be used as a substrate for the
aquarium. This is a catfish that I have not personally kept
which probably has something to do with the high price that
these fish demand.
I know of a couple of catfish enthusiasts that have kept this
fish successfully over the years, one of which was Graham Crook
(Danny Blundell's son-in law) and Robin Warne.
It was whilst on a recent fish collecting trip to Peru with
Robin Warne, Giles Barlow, Allan James, Jools and Clare Dignall,
Stephen Pritchard and Alan Appleton that I found out some little
known information about this fish. The exporter in Peru that
specialises in large specimen fish such as this informed us
that they collect them as juvenile specimens from a local breeding
area in the river and grow them on for export. We were informed
that when collected at between 50 and 75mm they could be reared
successfully in the holding tanks and fed on their favourite
food of knife fish. This particular exporter found that when
collected at a size of around 300mm they did not fare well and
would not feed in captivity. The Peruvian exporter keeps these
catfish at his premises for around six months before offering
them for sale.
Long upper jaw. First rays of the dorsal
and pectoral fins are described as being flexible and not pungent.
Long maxillary barbels reaching back to the posterior of the dorsal
insertion. Small eyes laterally placed.
Yellow to almost white base colour to the
body with black stripes. Most of the fins share this same colour
pattern of that of the body of this catfish. Head area from snout
to insertion of dorsal fin, devoid of stripes.
Suggested tank mates! anything that does
not constitute a meal, I would suggest some of the larger Characins
as opposed to any other catfish, which may compete for territory.
Most enthusiasts would keep this catfish as a single specimen
in a display aquarium.
|There are no known obvious
external sexual differences
As these are predatory catfish they prefer
meaty foods such as whole prawns, mussels, pieces of fish and
Greek, brachys, eia = short + Greek, platys = flat + Greek,
stoma = mouth
barbels : Pertaining
to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels)
Catfishes Of The World Volume 3 Auchenipteridae and Pimelodidae
Baensch; Aquarium Atlas Photo Index 1-5