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FAQs on Auchenipterid Cats

Related Articles: Driftwood Catfishes

Related Catfish FAQs:  Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Feeding, Disease, Reproduction


spotted Tatia query   9/17/11
Hello to all
I have 3 spotted Tatia: Tatia/Centromochlus perugiae in a 10 gallon tank with Cory catfish.
<Sounds fun.>
My query is regarding colour of the oil catfishes: I purchased one about a year ago, as this was the only one in the shop. He/she has developed into a slim catfish, with a brown background colour, dark (black/dark brown) spots and a white belly, and swims/feeds mostly at the bottom of the tank, and is always on it's own. To accompany this fish, a few months later I purchased 2 more, from the same shop, as soon as more were available, that were labeled the same and looked identical to the first, at the time of purchase. Over time, say 8 or 9 months, the first fish is now looking different to the second 2 fishes. These 2nd pair are now bigger than the 1st older fish, they have a white background and very black spots, and no brown background colour at all. This pair swim together and are always at the surface feeding together at dusk. They are slightly different to each other regarding size, as one is rounder and one is slim and longer, I have no experience with these fish, but might these be a male & female pair?
<Possibly, but do look at the anal fins. Like guppies and halfbeaks, male Driftwood catfish have modified anal fins used during mating. If you have a pair, it should be fairly obvious that the two fish differ in this respect.>
I wonder if you think the first fish, the browner one, is not the same species, or just a variation of. I guess these are not captive bred fish ?? And are the wild caught fish this variable in colour & adult size. I had read that these fish are sociable & like their own kind, hence having 3, but the 2 black/white seem to keep themselves apart from the older browner one. I wonder if you can give me any information as I would like to keep these fish happy.
many thanks
<Unfortunately there's no easy way to answer this without a photo, and even with a photo, misidentification is possible. Do visit the excellent Planet Catfish site. They have nice thumbnails of various Centromochlus and Tatia species, and you may find a species that fits the bill. Centromochlus concolor for example is similar to Centromochlus perugiae but has a more uniform colour without the milky-white spots.
Apart from adult size, all these Driftwood catfish seem to be much of a muchness in terms of care. A singleton will likely miss the company of its own species, but that can't be helped in this situation. With luck, this shop will get some more in, and you can take a chance on getting some more of the mystery species. If you get more Centromochlus perugiae, well, that's hardly the end of the world as these enjoy being in large groups too. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: spotted Tatia query + Cory babies 11/1/11

Thanks for all the information. Much appreciated.
<Most welcome.>
It seems that the 3 Tatia I have are all female going by the non-appearance of the male anal fin you mentioned :-( Also, over more time, one of the younger fish is now taking on the appearance of the older browner one, so I am still hoping that all 3 may be the same in the end.
On a different note, 2 of the Cory cats I have are Venezuela orange, and the other 2 are the common bronze and albino, (one of each). Over the last few weeks batches of eggs keep appearing on the glass sides, some of which I have rescued, and have survived, in a separate tank. I can not possibly consider keeping a lot of these, and it seems such a shame to let them die.
<Quite so. Remove as many eggs as you want, move to a floating breeding trap, and rear those until they're big enough to set loose.>
I think the young are the offspring of the orange cats, as they are always together chasing about, and are seen around the eggs as they appear... they have produced several batches of eggs now.
<Are all varieties of Corydoras aeneus, so will likely crossbreed anyway.>
I have asked my local store if they take in baby fish and the answer is no as they can not then guarantee quality parentage to the buyer, which is a good view point for the buyer, I do agree.
<Yes and no. Many pet stores will take home-bred fish because these are less prone to disease and more likely to settle into an aquarium. However, much depends on how far your retailer trusts you, in other words, what kind of relationship you have with them.>
My question is, how can I dissuade the fish from producing eggs?
I have 2 Ancistrus red/black in this tank now, hoping they will eat the eggs, but they are only baby and seem to be uninterested.
<Adults will eat Corydoras eggs, and in any case, without specific feeding, few hatchlings will find enough to eat in a community tank, so the chance of any surviving will be low.>
(The store labeled them as L016 but I can find no information.)
<L016 is an unidentified Oligancistrus species. Similar to Ancistrus, but not quite the same. Black fish with white spots. From the Rio Xingu, so above-average water temperature is important (25-28 C usually recommended for Rio Xingu fish) and that makes them poor companions for most Corydoras (which prefer 22-25 C). Soft, slightly acidic water helpful.>
I would like to add that I do have a larger tank (50 gallons+) with other occupants in, where the Ancistrus can live if they get too big for 10 UK galls with the 3 Tatia and 4 Cory cats. Some of the Cory babies will end up in here, when they are large enough not to be eaten by a large Featherfin squeaker!
<Synodontis euptera is territorial but not aggressive, and should be fine with adult Corydoras and Oligancistrus.>
Any help appreciated,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Furan 2... Mmm, mis-mix, overcrowding of Auchenipterid & Callichthyid cats and small characid food items, in the UK!  5/12/2011
Hello. I am in UK. I have been reading your pages about catfish and Corydoras, for information to help me diagnose and treat a possible fungus problem.
<As in bacterial>
I have 2 small Venezuela orange Corys
<Likely Corydoras venezuelanus>
living in a tank with a young bronze Cory. (I understand these cories are or may be closely related so can be considered a compatible group.) In this 10 gall (UK galls)
<A small volume... really would be better in something larger>
I have 3 oil catfish (Tatia/Centromochlus perugiae),
<Mmm, Driftwood Cats, family Auchenipteridae...>
2 are babies and one adult. I stupidly added a school of 8 Glowlight tetra
<Food for the latter>
just over a week ago. I can now see that the 2 orange Corys have the start of a fungus on the rear
end top fin (sorry I do not know what the top fin is called). And one of the tetra has raggedy fins, presumably the culprit.
<More a victim...>
I have added Melafix (5 % Tea tree) at 2.5 ml per day for 2 days,
but I do not want to lose the cat fishes.... hence looking for something a bit stronger to treat the tank
with. Is Furan 2 a good choice?
<Not really, no, not here>
I have not used it before, but I see it is mentioned in your articles relating to catfish and fungus treatment. I
have been looking for it for sale online in UK, any suggestions?
"Catfish lover"
<Do search WWM re Neale Monks' (also of the UK) input re eSHa products. I would actually not add a medication here period, but move the Glowlight Tetras to another system. The Driftwood Cats are harassing them at night, and doubtless will consume them in time. For all's sake I'd be looking into
a bigger space for the catfishes alone. Do keep your eyes on water quality here, particularly if you opt to "treat" the system, even with the placebo "Fix"... it will arrest nitrification. Bob Fenner>
Re: Furan 2

Hi & thanks for you reply and advice.
I would like to add that the 10 gallon tank was originally intended as a quarantine tank.
I was setting up a catfish tank, around 30 UK gallons, and started with 4 upside down catfish, the little ones; Synodontis nigriventris, but due my inexperience and the lack of knowledge of the stores where I chose the fish, one has turned out to be a Featherfin squeaker. (!!!)
<Much larger>
I did have the adult driftwood cat in there, but since the Featherfin has been growing, I have moved it (and since obtained 2 more as I am led to believe they like their own sort?)
due to fears of them ending up as dinner. I realise that 30 gallons is too small for the Featherfin, and aim for a larger tank eventually (what is a good size?).
<An uncrowded thirty will suit>
I wanted "something going on" in the 10 galls tank, so purchased the 3 Corydoras. I wonder if eventually it will be possible for all the catfish to share a tank, when they grow big enough not to be eaten by 'squeaker'?
<Not really a good mix. The Synodontis is much more outgoing, faster eater>
(And then the tetras can occupy 10 galls to themselves perhaps.) Seems I am destined to end up with 3 tanks though, as the Featherfin will need re-housing at some point.
Thanks for the Furan advice.... I will just keep things clean and keep an eye on them all for now, although the raggedy glow-light seems less raggedy, and one of the Cory's fungus spots has lessened to almost nothing. (Maybe I was worried needlessly - better this way than to leave it till too late and damage can not be repaired :-)
Thanks again.
<Welcome, BF>
Re: Furan 2   5/15/11

Thanks again for your quick reply.
One more quick question - when the driftwood cats are all adult size, would they be big enough not to eaten by the Featherfin if they went in the bigger tank with the upside down cats?
<A bit of a risk, but better than w/ the Corydoras>
(I assumed you meant that the Synodontis and the Cory cats are not a good mix, but you may have meant the driftwood cats as well.)
<The other two species are not good w/ the Corys, but the Synodontis is likely better than the Auchenipterids>
I was pleased to read that I will not have to re-house "squeaker" ... the volume/capacity sites I have visited online say 30 galls is too small.
<I have kept this Mochokid and others of the family of its size in this volume, for years, happily>
And thanks for your previous advice on eSHa products.... if ever I need the meds.

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