again welcome back to ScotCat, author and catfish
expert Chris Ralph and a look at one of his favourite
members of the Callichthyidae family, the Hog-nosed
Brochis, Brochis multiradiatus for the month
of March 2007.
now hand you over to Chris.
is one of the largest of the Brochis group
of catfish and is very popular amongst a number of
catfish enthusiasts myself included. Unfortunately
Brochis multiradiatus is not commonly available
to the hobbyist. When this truly majestic catfish
is available expect to pay £15-£25 for
an adult fish. When observing these catfish the aquarist
is taken in by the ability of this catfish to almost
“wink” at you (Brochis multiradiatus
along with its close cousins the “Cory’s”
can roll their eyes), (see update at bottom of page).
belongs to the family Callichthyidae from Ecuador;
namely the eastern tributary of the Rio Lagartococha
near the town of Garza- Cocha, in the Upper Napo river
system; Peru; namely the Amazon basin Rio Samiria
drainage: Quebrada Santa and Rio Yavari drainage:
Benjamin Constant. Brochis multiradiatus
is also documented as being found in South America
namely the western Amazon River basin (which covers
Ecuador and Peru) and Bolivia.
The image below
shows the longer head and barbel arrangement of Brochis
multiradiatus - head view
prefer to be kept in water which has a pH in the range
of 6.0-7.2, and hardness in the range up to 15.0 dGH.
This catfish is ideally suited to temperatures in
the range of 21-24ºC.
I would suggest
a tank of the minimum size of 30” x 15”
X 12” for a shoal of these fascinating catfish.
The preferred substrate for keeping these catfish
should be good quality aquarium sand such as BD Aquarium
Sand, or very smooth rounded gravel in order to prevent
their barbels from being damaged. The aquarium should
provide some shelter in the form of rocks, bogwood
and aquatic plants. 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 fortnightly basis.
(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
Brochis or Long-finned Brochis
Western affluent of the Rio Lagartococha, upper Napo
Paraguay (upper Rio Paraguay).
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
multiradiatus is triangular which is typical
of most of the “Corydoras spp” within
the family Callichthyidae. The body of this fish is
deep, with adults having a noticeably longer snout.
The dorsal fin has 15-18 soft rays; although Brochis
multiradiatus usually has 17 soft rays.
The base colour of the body
and head varies from a dull brownish/grey to bluish
or greenish metallic coloured. The lower half of the
ventrolateral body scutes can be light yellow to light
pink in colour. A good specimen will have a true emerald
green colouration to the flanks and dorsal area, with
a pinkish tinge to the ventral region. There can be
a presence of colour in the fins of juveniles, but
this disappears as the fish matures leaving perfectly
clear fins in an adult. The pectoral fin spines are
Care & Compatibility
Wherever possible I would recommend
that the aquarist keep these catfish in groups of
six, but as the absolute minimum I would suggest three
specimens. In their natural habitat Brochis multiradiatus
would be found in very large shoals. Brochis multiradiatus
are quite at home with other members of the family
Callichthyidae. These catfish are ideally suited to
being kept in a community aquarium environment with
other species of fish such as Cardinal tetras, other
small catfish such as Corydoras and Dwarf
cichlids such as any of the Apistogramma
As far as I am
aware there are no documented records of Brochis
multiradiatus having been spawned in aquaria
to date (2007).
The males tend
to be more slender than the females. The dorsal and
pectoral fins of the males tend to be more pointed than
those of the females.
As with all the other Brochis
that I have had the pleasure to keep over the years,
Brochis multiradiatus readily accepts a mixed
and varied diet. I personally feed all of my Brochis
on sinking catfish pellets, good quality flake foods,
granular foods, cultured whiteworm and frozen foods
such as bloodworm.
Defined as top or above.
Scute: Defined as a bony plate.
Ventrolateral: Defined as
extending from below and to the side. Ventral:Defined as
bottom, below or underneath.
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.
multiradiatus:Many (fin) ray.
Chris. Published in August 2005 edition
of Tropical Fish Magazine 01/06/05.
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