Iridescent Shark Catfish
Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, the Iridescent Shark Catfish, is a large omnivorous migratory catfish from the Mekong Basin. The fish is widely aquacultured in its native areas. It has a listed maximum standard length of 130.0 cm or ~51.2 in; not exactly a small fish. An even more interesting bit of information is that at full size its body weight would be expected to be 44.0 kg or ~97 pounds. To further complicate the fish’s would-be keeper’s problems, this is another schooling fish, with a suggested minimum group of five individuals. Alone or in too small a group, the fish will be much more nervous and skittish. Most of the traded-in catfish of this species which I have seen showed moderate to severe injuries of the head and eyes from slamming into the glass or tank equipment. Now let’s see – the needed tank size for a group of five over four-foot long fish which weigh close to a hundred pounds each, are very fast swimmers, and extremely easily spooked fish would be what? Something larger than home swimming pools, but perhaps a bit less than a competition sized Olympic swimming pool? Try to imagine the water and power bills.
Continue reading VI. Some Fish That You May Not Want part 2:
Colombian Shark Catfish
There are more than a few fish that show up in stores which realistically cannot be maintained in captivity in the home short of unlimited budgets and considerable professional assistance. Too many of these are just too big to be managed as a hobby fish, but stores may tell you that they can live in hobby tanks. That is unjustified. If you keep a horse in a dog crate, does it become a house pet? I suspect that you know the answer to that question. The same thinking applies to fish. This is the first of a projected series of articles on fish that are only marginally appropriate to inappropriate for hobby home fish keeping.
Continue reading V. Some Fish That You May Not Want part 1:
a.k.a. the “Debauwi” Catfish – which it is not.
Unlike the Asian Glass Catfish, this fish is not nearly all transparent, but is silvery with black stripes, with some transparency especially along the belly, back and side muscles of the fish. Like the Asian fish called by a similar name, it is strongly diurnal (day-active) and very strongly
schooling with its own kind. Also like the Asian fish, it has suffered
major name confusion and error. The real name (at least at the moment)
is Pareutropius buffei . It has been called for years in the trade either Pareutropius debauwi or Eutropiellus debauwi and is commonly labeled “Debauwi” catfish for sale. Unfortunately, the true fish of that name is a near relative, larger than this fish, and rarely imported.
Continue reading IV. The African Glass Catfish
Clean-up crews are meaningless in freshwater and brackish aquaria, and only mean something in reef tanks. You don’t need them in ordinary (non-reef) marine tanks anymore than in freshwater tanks. Continue reading I. Clean Up Crew
Keeping the Dragon Goby
There are a few creatures that are claimed to be “so ugly, they’re cute” or
“so ugly, only its mother could love it”. This dragon is not quite the same.
The Dragon Goby is a gentle monster — it’s nowhere close to as mean and evil
as it looks. Although it looks like a vicious predator, it’s really the
opposite. Continue reading II. There’s a Dragon in my Tank!