uite a mouthful for a name and so would your tetra's be as well
if you housed this African bagrid in a community tank with smaller
characin type fish, as this is a fish only suitable for a larger
tank, as it can get quite big. The genus Chrysichthys was
split off from Bagridae by Mo in 1991 along with all of the
African Bagrids bar one and is now housed in the Claroteidae
family. You can find out more in the Ichthyology articles section
I have two 12" specimens housed in a
72" x 18"x 15" with large clay pipes for shelter
and apart from a few skirmishes now and again I have had not too
many problems with them (apart from growing!). So you should house
them with larger community fish and you won't have many problems
In the above picture you can see the large eyes (large mouth!) and
relatively small barbels on this species which usually relates to
the habitat where it resides, being clear water where large barbels
for feeling for food is not needed, hence the large eyes for hunting
prey. There are 4 pairs of barbels of course in the Claroteidae
family I pair: maxillary, 1 pair: outer mandibular, 1
pair: inner mandibular and one pair of nasal barbels.
The colour is quite drab in this species
with a basic grey/silver body colouration and a white underside.
It has a quite large dorsal fin and a deeply forked caudal fin.
It is basically a food fish in its native
African waters where it can grow to excess of 50cm (18")
so I know what to do when they get too big :-) ( only joking).
Its flesh is reported to be quite good and they are fished out
of Lake Togo using all types of capture methods including nets
The males when fully grown usually have a broader head which they
use to dig out their breeding nests in their native habitat.
Dorsal 11,6; Anal 5-6, 9-10. Adipose fin
is round and is not rayed. The head viwed from above is oval and
the eye is very large and easily visible from above. The dorsal
fin is large and its upper edge round. The caudal fin is deeply
The colour is grey/blue except for the ventral
surface which is white. The fins are greyish-pink, the adipose fin
black and the lips and the barbels pink.
Peacfull as youngsters but not to be trusted
as they grow with smaller fish. Should do all right with larger
fish such as Cichlids and the larger Barbs such as the 'Tinfoil',
They excavate caves in the river banks. The
eggs are laid in the caves and guarded by the parents until they
hatch. The fry are then guarded until they become free-swimming.
They are an omnivore and will take a wide
variety of food in the aquarium including frozen food, tablets,
pellets and prawns.
Burgess E.Warren Dr.
Atlas of Freshwater & Marine Catfishes 1989.
Chrysos = gold; ichthys = fish.
Baensch, H.A. and R. Riehl 1991 Aquarien atlas.
Bd. 3. Melle: Mergus, Verlag für Natur- und Heimtierkunde,
Germany. 1104 p.
Holden, M & Reed, W; West African Freshwater Fish.
Allan James @
Arius acutivelis, Melanodactylus nigrodigitatus, Chrysichthys
acutirostris, Chrysichthys büttkoferi, Chrysichthys ogowensis,
Chrysichthys macrops, Chrysichthys coriscanus, Chrysichthys
to Cabinda, Angola
| 6.0 - 7.2
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