many non-catfish hobbyists or to people who have not
kept fish at all, the members of the Pimelodidae
family are usually recognisable as being "oh
yes these are catfishes" category, having the
typical catfish shape and the long barbels associated
with the "cats".
This genus has been in confusion
for a good number of years now especially with another
close member of the family, Pimelodella.
Below are the following characteristics from the
two genus. Pimelodella : Adipose fin long,
low with a curved margin. The humeral process
is long and spikey. Body usually plain with a dark
lateral stripe; rather depressed body. Pimelodus:
Adipose fin short, high, with a straight or
sloping margin. Humeral process broad, triangular.
Body variously patterned, usually quite deep, like
- head view
are not too critical with this species as they are
quite hardy, along with the other members of this
genus, as long as it is not too way out of course.
I do find that if the nitrate values drop the barbels
will very quickly wear away, but a few water changes
will have them looking their best again. If you
keep your normal tank maintenance up with regular
water changes ( to keep the nitrates down) and good
filtration (power filters) you should have this catfish
living for a good number of years. A planted aquarium
can sometimes be a problem with Pimelodus as
they can be quite boisterous and can dig up the plants
in their night -time forays. Strong plants like Java
Fern tied to bogwood or rockwork usually work out
the best bet, but you can try the trial and error
method with planting to find the best solution.
to point out are the hard rays of the dorsal and pectoral
fins can give you a nasty sting if you are unfortunate
enough to come in contact with them. The results of
this jab vary from individual to individual, but the
pain can usually last for a full day after it draws
blood but it is not a common occurrence.
Orinoco, upper Corantijn and Sipaliwini River basins.
up to 10° dGH
Dorsal 1/6; Anal 10-14; ventrals;
6. Pectoral fin spine is strong, pungent and serrated
on both margins.Caudal fin deeply forked with the
lobes pointed. Dorsal fin with a strong spine with
teeth on the posterior margin.
Upper part of body dark blue/grey
with some slightly paler indistinct wavy lines. A
broad white band runs along the lateral line from
operculum to base of caudal fin, below this white
band is a slightly broader dark blue/grey band of
equal length. A short blue/grey band runs from the
operculum to the ventral base. Base of dorsal fin
and dorsal spine with dark pigment, including the
caudal, which also has spots on the top lobe (which
are not always present). Adipose fin with spots and
blotches and a dark margin. Remaining fins only slightly
Care & Compatibility
can of course be predatory along with most of the
members of this family, so they must be kept with
species larger or compatible with it. An aquarium
36" long would accommodate one individual but
over this size you can house two or more, as I have
been keeping two together now for a number of years
in a 4' x 18" x 15" tank with no problems
apart from a few skirmishes, which don't amount to
much.Give them pipes or rockwork to create
their own territory to make them feel comfortable
in their surroundings.
Mostly live foods such as earthworms,
whiteworms and frozen foods such as bloodworm and
tubifex. Will also accept catfish pellets and tablet
Bony extension of the pectoral girdle. Operculum: The bony covering of the
gills of fishes.
Pimel = fat; odus = tooth. albofasciatus: With white
bands or stripes.
H.A. and R. Riehl 1985 Aquarien atlas. Band
2. Mergus, Verlag für Natur- und Heimtierkunde
GmbH, Melle, Germany. 1216 p. Burgess E.Warren Dr. Atlas of
Freshwater & Marine Catfishes 1989. Howes, Gordon. A Note on Pimelodella
and Pimelodus, C.A.G.B.