Pictus Catfish (Pimelodus Pictus)
The Pictus Catfish is a lively and captivating species that adds a playful but natural feel to your aquarium. This fish is known for its long, thin body covered in a silvery skin that lacks scales and is adorned with evenly spaced black spots. The spots are more concentrated along the body, with fewer on their bellies. They have large mouths, flat bodies, and long whisker-like barbels on their mouths, which they use to navigate and find food.
Pictus Catfish are peaceful swimmers and are one of the smaller freshwater catfish species, reaching an adult size of about 5 inches. They are active, especially at night, and their playful nature makes them a delightful addition to a community tank. However, they can be territorial, especially towards other bottom-dwelling fish. Ideal tank mates include larger tetras, rasboras, and other peaceful mid-water fish. It's best to avoid housing them with small invertebrates or fish that could fit into the Pictus Catfish's mouth, as they are opportunistic eaters. Avoid housing with overly aggressive fish like Dempseys and African Cichlids.
In terms of diet, Pictus Catfish are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods. They enjoy sinking pellets, flakes, and a variety of live and frozen foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp. They are also known to appreciate the occasional vegetable matter in their diet. Feeding times for Pictus Catfish should be late in the evening and early morning to accommodate their nocturnal lifestyle.
The ideal tank habitat for Pictus Catfish should mimic a riverbed. A soft, sandy substrate is best to minimize injuring their sensitive belly. They also enjoy exploring their environment and relaxing in their personal hiding spots. Use smooth river rocks, caves, and driftwood to make interesting places to visit and sleep. Plants can be added, but they should be robust species as the Pictus Catfish is an active swimmer and may disturb delicate plants. Pictus Catfish also need plenty of open space for swimming. Since they are nocturnal, the lighting should be kept dim to mimic their natural habitat and encourage daytime activity.
The minimum aquarium size for Pictus Catfish is 55 gallons to provide ample swimming space. The water parameters should have a pH range of 5.5-7.0, a hardness within the soft to medium range of 1-15 dGH, and a temperature range of 70-80°F (20-27°C). Pictus Catfish are sensitive to water quality, so regular water changes and good filtration are essential to keep them healthy.
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.