t has been a while now since
we travelled "down under" for our monthly
cafish fix,in fact nearly 2 years
have passed since May 2007 when wewrote about the "Coral
lineatus. So for March 2009we have arrived, with
a little bit of help from the Australian fish forum,
to one of the more managable sized members of the
Plotosidae family, "Rendahl's catfish"
of the sure fire methods of identifying this species
of Porochilus and also seperating it from Neosilurus
is by the eye being closer to the mouth on the former
and also the steepness of the head up to the insertion
of the dorsal fin, and the innner side of the pectoral
spine being serrated. You can see the closeness of
the eye to the mouth in the lower image.
The image above
shows a juvenile of Porochilus
which was one of the offspring
of Dave Wilson of Aquagreen.com a
website based in Australia which is an Aquaculture
facility located at Howard Springs in the Northern
Territory. He provides Australian Native plants and
fish to the Aquarium trade and is well known and thought
of in his native country. They breed in his ponds,
but not in high numbers, and provides them to the
In the aquarium
they like company of their own species. They also
really like plants to hide in, water sprite and long
strands of the plant Vallisneria. seem to be well
appreciated. In rocky tanks they often bash their
noses when they get stressed, and dart about, so a
planted tank would be a good idea. A substrate of
gravel or sand would suffice with the appropriate
filtration. They tend not to reach their full potential
size in the aquarium and 15cm (6ins) would probably
be the norm.
Occurs in billabongs
and streams in slow to fast-flowing water that is
clear to turbid with rock, gravel or sand bottoms.
Not seen for sale
in the U.K. as Australian cats are not often for sale
and if so, down to an odd few Neosilurus
species. A nice peaceful catfish and would make a
change from the norm.
rendahli, Neosilurus rendahli
Northern Australia. Western Australia in the Fitzroy
and Ord river sytems. Arnhem land in the Northern
Territory between the East Aliligator and Roger Rivers.
Jardine River near the tip of Cape York Peninsula.
Small, relatively short anterior
dorsal fin, composed of a sharp spine and 5-7 soft
rays; second dorsal and anal fins confluent with caudal
fin, composed of 104-127 rays; pectoral fin with sharp
spine and 9-11 soft rays; anterior nostrils above
upper lip; pectoral spine bumpy or barbed on inner
side. Head concaved with eyes in close proximity to
Overall colouration ranges
from a uniform or mottled dark grey to a pale yellowish-brown
(occasionally white), usually with a golden sheen.
Care & Compatibility
As an Australian native fish
they would de well with the larger Rainbow fishes
but be sure to keep them in a relatively large tank
over 3ft in length.
They breed in
the early wet season (December-January) and the parents
and juveniles migrate back upstream into refuge creeks.
In their native habitat they
feed on aquatic insects, microcrusttaceans and molluscs.
In the aquarium they will eat most foods such as frozen
Anal fin:The fin forward from the anal cavity. Dorsal fin: The primary rayed fin(s)
on top of the body. Pectoral fin: The paired fins after
head and before anal fin.
Holed lip (refers to position of nostrils). rendahli:
Named after Rendahl.
G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002.
Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia.
Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394. Aquarium Life Dave Wilson @aquagreen.com