Sorubim lima (Bloch
& Schneider, 1801)
his was the first Carnivorous
Cat that I kept initially many years ago when I first entered
the hobby. I kept 2 of these rather large fish for a few years
and found that they will usually get on well together socially.
It is one of the better predatory cats for the aquarium as they
don't get as big as the other Shovel-nosed Cats in
Contributor to this months Factsheet
(March 2001) Bernie Molnar has furnished me with information and
photos on this large Pimelodid Cat. The image above shows his
young 7½" lima 'Chim-Chim' with its tankmate 'Froggy'
the African frog, there is also 4 Asian Crabs in the tank and
Bernie assures me that they all get on well together.
The feeding regime for his Sorubim lima the frog and crabs
are, tunu and frozen beefheart. He feeds 'Chim-Chim' once a day
on either 1tsp tunu, or 3 chunks of frozen beefheart or 4 goldfish
or 3-4 nite-crawlers. The water parameters are a temperature of
82°F and a p.H of between 7.0 & 7.2
As mentioned earlier keeping this Shovel-nose
Cat is not too difficult as long as you adhere to a few
points listed here.
1: A tank 4' 0" or above but you can start smaller if juvenile.
2: A good current in the water perhaps provided by a powerhead/filter.
3: Plenty hiding places in high plants and driftwood/roots as
they like to sit in a head down position.
4: Weekly water changes to keep the water clean.
The curious behavior of vertical posturing amidst the elongate
stems of submerged grass and reeds has been observed in aquaria
by Reid (1986) and Burgess (1989) who interpreted this as a
cryptic behavior used to hide from predators and/or to stalk
prey utilizing a lie-and-wait strategy.
Due to the recent scientific paper by Michael W. Littmann (2007),
there are now 5 species in the Sorobim genus, S. lima,
S. trigonocephalus, S.elongatus, S.cuspicaudus and
S.maniradii. S.lima and S.trigonocephalus
have been redescribed. The following table shows the catchment
area for each species.
||The widest-ranging species, occurring
in most of the major drainage basins of South America.
||Extremely rare in natural history
collections and is currently known from only two major tributaries
of the Amazon basin.
||Essequibo, Orinoco, and Amazon basins.
||Sinu, Cauca, and Magdalena rivers
of Colombia and the Lago Maracaibo basin of Colombia and
||Upper and middle Amazon basin.
The species that we see regularly in the
hobby are reportedly, S.lima and S.elongatus.
Acknowledgements : Bernie Molnar for the photographs
and information for this factsheet.
Dorsal ii/6; Anal i/21; Pectorals; i/9;
Ventrals 1/5. Body elongate, anteriorly cylindrical, compressed
posteriorly. Head strongly depressed. Snout spatulate, overhanging
the mouth. Fins short. Caudal fin deeply forked, superficially
shark-like, the upper lobe produced to a point, the lower rounded.
3 pairs of barbels.
Practically uniform silver-grey, to some
extent with a brassy sheen. Underside pure white. Vague-edged
dark longitudinal bands along the ridge of the back and along
the flanks. Fins colourless, the caudal with a dark centre.
Anything large enough will fit into its
mouth so you should choose tankmates carefully. Large Cichlids
or Plecos would be good companions or larger Characins, but they
will also co-exist with one another, so 2 or 3 individuals brought
together as juveniles in a larger tank would also be a good choice.
Not been accomplished in the aquarium yet,
but one report states that a pair laid eggs in a nest that they
had constructed and guarded, but nothing came of the event. They
are seasonal spawners in the wild and guard the nest that they
construct. Burgess (1989) reported one instance of two adult Sorubim
excavating a small pit for a nest. Both fish
were guarding freshly hatched young, although none survived.
In the aquarium it is important to try and
wean them of live food so as not too make them too dependent on
it and also not forgetting the disease factor as well. They will
take a variety of larger foods such as earthworms, frozen bloodworms,
tablet and pellet food. You can try prawns and also frozen fish
pieces such as lancefish etc.
Comes from the native name "Sorobim" which is
applied to many large Pimelodids.
lima: Meaning a file in Latin,
refers to the ventrally exposed premaxillary tooth patch.
: Pertaining to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels)
Humeral process : Bony extension of the
Occipital process : A median bone on the
upper surface of the back of the head; pertaining to the
Fontanel : The space(s) between the bones
on top of the skull covered by skin.
Aquarium Atlas 1, 1987.
Linder, Shane; Sorubim lima. (article)
Sterba, Günther; Sterba's Freshwater Fishes
of the World 1.
Littmann, M. W. Systematic review of the
neotropical shovelnose catfish genus Sorubim Cuvier (Siluriformes:
Zootaxa 1422: 1-29 (8 Mar. 2007) 14 plates; 42 references.
Silurus lima, Sorubim infraoculare, Platystoma luceri,
|Lima Shovel-Nosed Catfish,
Amazon, Orinoco, Paraná and Parnaíba River basins
| 45cm. (18ins)
|up to 20° dGH
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