Common name: Pictus catfish
Scientific name: Pimelodus pictus
Distribution: Amazon and Rio Orinoco basins in equatorial South America
Habitat: Muddy riverbeds in flowing shallows
Temperature: 76 – 82°F
pH: 6.0 – 8.0
Adult size: 4.5 inches
Diet: Unfussy omnivore that will readily take all sorts of dried, frozen, and live foods.
Conspecifics: A loosely shoaling species that is much bolder in groups of 4 or more.
Tankmates: A peaceful community fish but will prey on small fish such as neon tetras and guppies. Additionally, its constant activity in the lower levels of the tank might disturb more territorial bottom dwellers such as some cichlids.
Notes: Despite its small size, Pimelodus pictus does the best in larger (48 inch+) tanks because it is very active and needs some room to stretch out its barbels, which can grow as long as the fish itself. Under very bright lights or in solitary conditions, this normally outgoing species might become reclusive and only swim about at night.
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