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 the hobby.
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
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.
cuspicaudusand S. maniradii. S. lima and
S. trigonocephalus have been redescribed.
The following table shows the catchment area for each
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
Sinu, Cauca, and Magdalena
rivers of Colombia and the Lago Maracaibo basin
of Colombia and Venezuela.
Upper and middle Amazon
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.
Orinoco, Paraná and Parnaíba River basins.
up to 20° dGH
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
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.
Care and Compatibility
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.
to the upper jaw (maxillary barbels). Humeral process: Bony extension of
the pectoral girdle. Occipital process: A median bone on
the upper surface of the back of the head; pertaining
to the occiput. Fontanel: The space(s) between the
bones on top of the skull covered by skin.
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
R. and H.A. Baensch 1991 Aquarien Atlas. Band.
1. Melle: Mergus, Verlag für Natur- und Heimtierkunde,
Germany. 992 p. 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: Pimelodidae) Zootaxa 1422: 1-29 (8 Mar.
2007) 14 plates; 42 references. Molner, Bernie. pers. comm.