resident catfish expert Chris Ralph returns this month
to complete the trio of Brochis species on
the factsheet list with a look at the Giant Brochis,
Brochis britskii. I
now hand you over to Chris.
to the family Callichthyidae known as the Armoured
Catfishes from South America. This catfish is documented
as being found in the Upper Paraguay River basin,
Bolivia and Brazil (see
update at bottom of page).
was named in honour of Dr Britski of the Saõ
Paulo Zoology Museum in Brazil. Dr Nijssen first brought
this catfish to the attention of catfish enthusiasts
at the Catfish Association of Great Britain (C.A.G.B.)
convention as far back as November 1983. Brochis
britskii is not commonly available, but is well
worth looking out for. I would suggest that you would
expect to pay around £10.00- £20.00 (U.K.
prices) per fish depending upon size.
The tank I would
suggest would be a minimum size of 36” x 18”
X 18” for a small shoal of these magnificent
catfish. I would suggest good quality aquarium sand
such as BD Aquarium Sand, or very smooth rounded gravel
as the preferred substrate when keeping these catfish.
The aquarium should provide some shelter in the form
of rocks or bogwood along with a small covering of
aquatic plants, although this is not essential. As
with all other species of fish, water quality and
general husbandry is very important, and I would recommend
that a minimum of 25% water is changed on a weekly
britskii - close up of head
prefer to be kept in water which has a pH in the range
of 6.5-7.2 and hardness in the range of 0-12ºdGH.
This catfish is ideally suited to temperatures in
the range of 20-24ºC. These catfish are documented
as being found naturally in slow flowing weed-choked
(2020): Brochis was synonymised
with Corydoras by Britto in 2003 but in time
there will be a revision which will resurrect
Brochis (Cope, 1871) to full genera again so
in the meantime we are sticking with Brochis
as there is marked differences with the both genera.
Brochis is included in Lineage 8 (sub-clade
1) with the "intermediate long-snouts" with
Giant Brochis, Britski’s
Paraguay (upper Rio Paraguay).
85mm s.l. (standard length
– this is the measurement of the fish from the
tip of the snout to the base of the caudal peduncle).
The body shape of Brochis
britskii is described as almost being deep bodied
with a typical triangular shape as with its close
cousins the Corydoras. Brochis britskii
is described as having a short rounded snout. The
dorsal fin has 15-18 soft rays although it is more
usual to have 15 (in comparison Brochis
17 whilst Brochis
12). The head is described
as being covered ventrally by a large shield which
reaches beyond the tip of the mental barbels. Brochis
britskii has two pairs of rictal barbels and
one pair of mental barbels. The inner edge of the
pectoral fin spine is described as being weakly serrated.
The base colour of the body
and head is pinkish tan. The dorsolateral body scutes
are described as having bluish or greenish metallic
colouration. The ventrolateral body scutes are described
as being pinkish tan in colour. The dorsal, adipose,
pectoral, ventral and caudal fins are tan in colour.
Care & Compatibility
is an ideal addition to an aquarium containing fish
such as South American dwarf cichlids, tetras and
small barbs, just as long as the other occupants are
not too aggressive.
There have not
been any reports of successful aquarium spawnings
of Brochis britskii, although it is thought
that they will breed in the same way as Corydoras.
There are no documented sexual
differences, although it is generally thought that when
in breeding condition the female will be larger and
fuller bodied than the male when carrying eggs.
Brochis britskii readily
accepts a mixed and varied diet which includes sinking
foods such as catfish pellets, tablets and frozen
bloodworm. These catfish benefit from the addition
of some meatier foods in their diet such small or
is defined as top or above. Dorsolateral: is defined as extending
from the top to the side. Mental: is defined as being on the
lower jaw. Rictal:is defined
as being on the corner of the mouth. Sub-terminal: is defined as being just
below. Ventrolateral: is defined as extending
from below and to the side.
A sling which is a reference to the structure of the
barbels; from the Greek meaning inkhorn in reference
to the fact that this catfish resembles one.
in honour of Dr Heraldo A. Britski.
Ralph The catfish depicted in the pictures was
on show at the Basingstoke fish show (U.K.) in September
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