Isbrücker & Nijssen, 1983
ur resident catfish expert Chris Ralph returns
this month to complete the trio of Brochis species on
the factsheet list with a look at the Giant Brochis, Brochis
Brochis britskii belongs to the family Callichthyidae
known as the Armoured Catfishes from South America. This catfish
is documented as being found in the Upper Paraguay River basin,
Bolivia and Brazil.
The body shape of Brochis britskii is described as almost
being deep bodied with a typical triangular shape as with its close
cousins the Corydoras. Brochis britskii is described
as having a short rounded snout. The dorsal fin has 15-18 soft rays
although it is more usual to have 15 (in comparison Brochis
multiradiatus has 17 whilst Brochis
splendens has 12). The head is described as being covered
ventrally by a large shield which reaches beyond the tip of the
mental barbels. Brochis britskii has two pairs of rictal
barbels and one pair of mental barbels. The inner edge of the pectoral
fin spine is described as being weakly serrated.
Bochis britskii was named in honour of Dr Britski
of the Saõ Paulo Zoology Museum in Brazil. Dr Nijssen
first brought this catfish to the attention of catfish enthusiasts
at the Catfish Association of Great Britain (C.A.G.B.) convention
as far back as November 1983. Brochis britskii is not
commonly available, but is well worth looking out for. I would
suggest that you would expect to pay around £10.00- £20.00
(U.K. prices) per fish depending upon size.
The tank I would suggest would be a minimum size of 36”
x 18” X 18” for a small shoal of these magnificent
catfish. I would suggest good quality aquarium sand such as
BD Aquarium Sand, or very smooth rounded gravel as the preferred
substrate when keeping these catfish. The aquarium should provide
some shelter in the form of rocks or bogwood along with a small
covering of aquatic plants, although this is not essential.
As with all other species of fish, water quality and general
husbandry is very important, and I would recommend that a minimum
of 25% water is changed on a weekly basis.
Brochis britskii prefer to be
kept in water which has a pH in the range of 6.5-7.2 and hardness
in the range of 0-12ºdGH. This catfish is ideally suited
to temperatures in the range of 20-24ºC. These catfish
are documented as being found naturally in slow flowing weed-choked
The base colour of the body and head is pinkish tan. The dorsolateral
body scutes are described as having bluish or greenish metallic
colouration. The ventrolateral body scutes are described as being
pinkish tan in colour. The dorsal, adipose, pectoral, ventral and
caudal fins are tan in colour.
Brochis britskii is an ideal addition to an aquarium
containing fish such as South American dwarf cichlids, tetras
and small barbs, just as long as the other occupants are not too
There have not been any reports of successful aquarium spawnings
of Brochis britskii, although it is thought that they
will breed in the same way as Corydoras.
Brochis britskii readily accepts a mixed and varied diet
which includes sinking foods such as catfish pellets, tablets and
frozen bloodworm. These catfish benefit from the addition of some
meatier foods in their diet such small or chopped earthworms.
|There are no documented sexual differences,
although it is generally thought that when in breeding condition
the female will be larger and fuller bodied than the male
when carrying eggs.
Top picture: Chris Ralph
Dorsal: is defined as top
Sub-terminal: is defined as being just
Ventrolateral: is defined as extending
from below and to the side.
Dorsolateral: is defined as extending from
the top to the side.
Mental: is defined as being on the lower
Rictal: is defined as being on the corner
of the mouth.
Brochis: a sling
which is a reference to the structure of the barbels; from
the Greek meaning inkhorn in reference to the fact that
this catfish resembles one. The final part of the name britskii
is named in honour of Dr Heraldo A. Britski.
The catfish depicted in the pictures was on show at the
Basingstoke fish show (U.K.) in September 2004.