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Pictus catfish

Picture of Leiarius pictus, juvenile Picture of Leiarius pictus, adult

Leiarius pictus, juvenile and adult.
Photos © Sean Evans

Common name:Sailfin catfish, Sailfin pim, Sailfin marbled pim
Scientific name:Leiarius pictus
Synonyms:Sciades pictus (not valid)
Size:Usually 24" (60cm), but can grow slightly larger.
Origin:South America: widespread in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins.
Tank setup:A very large tank (suggest 8' x 3' base area for adult), with plenty of open swimming space and a large cave for a refuge.
Compatibility:Highly predatory, will eat small fish. Territorial, and will be aggressive towards other similar catfish, and sometimes towards other species.
Temperature:22-25oC (72-77oF)
Water chemistry:Fairly soft, slightly acidic to around neutral (pH 6.5-7.2) is preferable.
Feeding:Meaty foods such as whitebait, mussel, prawn and earthworm, and also sinking catfish pellets.
Sexing:No obvious differences, but females are larger and thicker in shape.
Breeding:Unknown - no accounts of aquarium breeding, mainly due to the size of tank that would be required.
Comments: This is a very confident and active catfish compared to many other large Pimelodidae catfish, and even juveniles become hand-tame very quickly. It should not be kept with other Pimelodid catfish in home aquaria; suitable catfish companions could include large Dorad catfish (e.g. Oxydoras, Megalodoras), though even these may be harrassed occasionally. Large but peaceful fish of the upper levels are usually tolerated.




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