Catfish can serve various purposes in the aquarium quite apart from enjoying their visual attraction. Some species taken from the genera Aspidoras, Brochis, and Corydoras are found in most aquariums, having been bought for their bottom scavenging activity. Others are largely vegetarian and will effectively control algae growth. Of course, there are many more which are kept simply because they appeal to the hobbyist, many of whom are catfish specialists. Such is the attraction of this charming group of aquarium fish.
The Suckermouth Catfish (hypostomus plecostomus) is a member of the Loricaridae family,
The Imperial Zebra Plecostomus (hypancistrus zebra), a strikingly marked fish perfect for a community aquarium.
This is a Royal Panaque (panaque nigrolineatus). The sail-like dorsal fin and broad, paddle-like tail, combine with the striking contour line markings to result in a very striking species. And note the eye!
The Polka Dot Catfish (acanthicus adonis) is distinctively marked and the base colour can vary from mid-brown through to almost black, with the pearly spots contrasting most effectively.
The Snowball Plecostomus (hypancistrus inspector) is just one of many different species from Brazil to come to the hobby in recent times, and more particularly it examples a large proportion of those, having prominent spot markings. The spots in this species are a bright white, while many of the other “new” species have yellow or golden spots.
The Red Sailfin Plecostomus (pterygoplichthys gibbiceps) does grow large, and should be bought only for the larger sized aquarium. The huge sail-like dorsal fin is a striking feature of this beautifully marked fish, and it is an effective algae controller too. This species is now bred in South East Asian fish farms, and for that reason is now available to the fishkeeper at a very affordable price.
Adolfo’s Catfish (corydoras adolfoi) is one of the few species from this genus with a strong colour in its design. The burnished red/gold colour and stylish black markings makes for a very attractive fish.
The Sterba’s corydoras (corydoras sterbai) is just one of the majority of this genus with spot markings as the main feature of its patterning. Spots and lines make up most corydoras’ markings.
The Phantom Glass Catfish (kryptopterus vitreolus) is a strange fish indeed. Not only does it have the glass-clear body, displaying much of its internal bony skeleton, but it also reflects certain angles of light to display a spectrum of rainbow colours at times.
The Panther Catfish (pimelodus pictus) is obviously named for its distinctive black spots set against a bright silver body. This eye-catching patterning fades somewhat with age, and the fish can become rather boisterous.