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 titled, The
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.
- head view
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 and weirs.
The males when
fully grown usually have a broader head which they
use to dig out their breeding nests in their native
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 forked.
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.
Care & Compatibility
Peacful 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', Barbonymus
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.
Dr. Atlas of Freshwater
& Marine Catfishes 1989. 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