Tag Archive | "Pictus Catfish (Pimelodus pictus)"

Pictus Catfish (Pimelodus pictus)

Pictus Catfish (Pimelodus pictus)

The Pictus Catfish (Pimelodus pictus) is a peaceful South American species that is native to the Amazon and Orinoco river basins. It has a pale to silvery gray body with a black spotted pattern throughout and extremely long barbels.

Pictus Catfish have sharp serrated venomous spines on their dorsal and pectoral fins that always seem to get caught in nets when transferring fish from tank to tank.

Pictus Catfish are nocturnal bottom scavengers and active swimmers. There are two forms known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts.  The large spotted form, and a small spotted form. The large spotted form does not grow as large as the small spotted form and is the form commonly seen in the aquarium trade.

The Pictus Catfish can be housed with almost any larger soft water species and is one of the more peaceful fish that adds beauty to a community tank.

It should be noted that Pictus Catfish consider small Neon or Cardinal tetras fair game if they can fit them into their mouths.  Care should be always be taken when adding smaller fish into the aquarium.

Pictus Catfish prefer a dimly lit, heavily planted tank with plenty of rocks, caves and driftwood for them to hide in and around.  They need at least a 70 gallon tank to freely swim around in and keep them happy.

Pimelodus Pictus are egg layers but they are extremely difficult to breed in and aquarium environment.

Feeding Pictus Catfish is not difficult.  They eat left over foods that accumulate on the bottom of the tank and will eat a variety of frozen or freeze dried foods.  Sinking catfish pellets, shrimp pellets, small live foods, tubifex, vegetables and chopped hearts are all eagerly accepted.

Although Pictus Catfish grow to 5″ in length, they are usually available for sale when they are 2″ to 3″ long.

Pictus Catfish (Pimelodus pictus)

Pictus Catfish (Pimelodus pictus)







Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 75-81° F, pH 7.0-7.5
Max. Size: 5″- 8″
Color Form: Black, White
Diet: Omnivore
Origin: South America
Family: Pimelodidae
Live Span: 6 – 8 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Begin

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