Tag Archives: catfish

Corydoras sp. CW049

Here is a short video showing my school of Corydoras sp. CW049 .  These catfish were imported from Peru, but they come from the region around Letecia, where Colombia, Peru and Brazil intersect.  They are similar to CW051, but the 49’s have proven to be easier to spawn.  This is one of my favorite cory cats, but they are pricey.  They swam around in the warehouse fish room for months and nobody bought them, so I decided to keep them for myself.  You will also see a larger cory in the video, which is CW117 from Brazil.  Also in the tank are a group of Apistogramma cacatuoides ‘triple red’, which are already spawning.  I thought that the cories would go into the caves at night and steal the eggs, but so far they have left the cichlids alone.


The aquarium is a 30-breeder aquarium that is top drilled in the back.  Water changes of about 15% are done 2x each week by topping the tank off with water and letting the excess drain out.  The filter is a Poret foam 5″ cube filter with a jet lifter that has an elbow and spout on the top.  That smooth 90-degree turn makes all the difference in the world when it comes to current in the tank.  I get the filters from www.swisstropicals.com .  The wood and caves provide structure and cover, but the catfish pretty much stay out in the open over the sand.

The tangled mass of plant-like matter in the back is Spanish moss, which you can get at most nurseries that sell supplies for planted hanging baskets.  I soak the moss in hot water, changing daily, for a few days to get rid of a lot of the tannin, but there is still plenty in there.  I do not mind the tannin, and the moss is a great place for the cories to deposit eggs (though it will be hard to see them in there).  The yarn mops are also for depositing eggs.  One mop is located directly in the current of the filter, and the other is on the calm side of the tank against the glass.  Hopefully I will see some signs of spawning soon.

The cories are fed at least twice each day.  Baby brine shrimp is given daily (along with all the other tanks in the room).  Other feedings may be flake (Brine Shrimp Direct deli, plankton and earthworm flake), sinking pellet (Sera plankton pellets), Repashy gel food (Bottom Scratcher or Spawn & Grow) or live black worm.  I generally feed each of those foods a few times each week, but not a lot of any of them.

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Breeding Project: Ancistrus claro

I have a new species to work with:  Ancistrus claro.  The ‘gold marble’ bristlenose catfish is a neat little species.  They stay small (less than 3″), are relatively social and active during the day.  I have a group of 14 young, wild-caught fish that I am setting up in a 30-breeder.  Here is the video, followed by a transcript:

Video Transcript:

Breeding Project – Ancistrus claro

Welcome back to TedsFishroom… Let’s take a look at what is happening in the breeding projects, and introduce a new species to the program. Another loricariid catfish… Ancistrus claro.

So far I have introduced three breeding projects. Here is a look into what is happening in each of them.

The Panaqolus albivermis are growing. They have become much more active, less shy and come out readily for food. Occasionally I will see one of them exploring a spawning cave, but so far none of the males have taken up more permanent residence. The only change that I am contemplating is to change the type and size of spawning caves.

The Benitochromis nigrodorsalis have settled in and a weak pair has formed. The largest male has started to exert his dominance over the other fish in the tank, and even killed a few tetras. He tolerates one female in his space, but the other two fish are constantly avoiding him. I removed the female, as she was very stressed by the negative attention. The extra male is still holding his own, but I will remove him soon. I want to give the new pair a but more time to cement their bond. I am concerned that removing the extra male too early may result in the dominant male turning on the female he seems to tolerate.

The only changes to the tank have been the addition of some pebbles for more structure and spawning sites, and a power head to provide more current and aeration in the tank. I added the pump because the cichlids were not being very active, but now that the water is really flowing they are coming out into the open more frequently.

The Apistogramma pairs stalled a bit when my reverse osmosis machine started having some problems. You can watch the video on the overhaul of the unit, resulting in water that is much softer and lower in pH. Since fixing that problem the dwarf cichlids are faring much better and showing more signs of spawning. Especially the Apistogramma baenschi pairs. This female appears to be guarding a clutch of eggs.

The Apistogramma sp. ‘Kelleri have also responded well to the softer water. They spawn regularly, but I did see the female holding larvae in her mouth for first time (but I missed getting some video).

A new species to the program are two pairs of wild Apistogramma sp. ‘Abacaxi’. This species needs very low pH, and I am currently working to getting the acidity down to under 5.0. These are young fish, and are just now reaching maturity.

Ancistrus claro is probably one of the best oddball loricariid catfish to come into the hobby in the past 20 years. The common name most frequently given to the fish is the gold marble bristlenose pleco, which accurately describes the coloration of an exceptional male. The base color is green with a network of golden yellow markings. My fish are still young, however, and have not developed their best color.

Ancistrus claro comes from the Rio Claro in the state of Matto Grosso in far southwest Brazil, and is a part of the Rio Parguay system. This distant location from the major fish export cities makes the gold marble pleco an uncommon export, but this year several shipments made it out.

As an aquarium fish, Ancistrus claro has a lot going for it. It is a small species, topping out at under 3 inches, and they are not particularly nasty to each other, colonies of many fish are possible. The water they come from is moderately soft, and successful spawning has been reported in a wide range of pH levels. They are omnivrous leaning to vegetarian, so are not hard to feed. They spawn in caves in typical ancistrus style. If there is one knock against claro, it is that the spawns are relatively small and infrequent, compared to other types of ancistrus.

My colony will be set up in a 30 breeder aquarium on the top row of my racks. The temperature here will stay in the mid-70’s, so I am using a heater to keep the water in the upper 70’s.

The tank is filtered with a Poret cube filter, and current is being provided by a small internal power filter. The natural habitat of the species is described as fast flowing with rocks, pebbles and sand. I am including some wood in the tank for the plecos to chew on. But the primary structure will be rocks and spawning caves.

My tap water is too hard for this species, especially the carbonate hardness, so I will be using reverse osmosis water, and reconstituting it with some general hardness and a little carbonate to buffer the pH. My target is a GH of 4 and KH of 2. I will let the pH be where it will be, but with thee hardness levels the pH will be close to neutral.

I have 14 A. claro in this colony. They are young and not so easy to sex. Males will have the tell-tale tentacles on their face, but females can have a few as well (though most females do not). I think that this groups is about 50-50 males and females. I have had these fish in quarantine for three months with no issues or losses.

The tank is ready for the fish, so in they go and this breeding project is officially started. The available literature describes claro as slow to grow and mature, so I am not expecting much from this group for several months. But you never know…. Fish cannot read.

Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel. You can also read about this breeding project and my other aquarium adventures on my video blog at www.tedsfishroom.com. If you have some experiences with Ancistrus claro that you would like to share, we would love to read about them in the comment section here on YouTube or on the blog site.

Thanks for watching TedsFishroom.



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TedsFishroom Difference

I was very nervous about making this video…  Some friends of mine were sitting around the fish room talking about fish, and the discussion took turn towards all the things that I do associated with selling fish.  Two of my guests were customers from out of state who drove up for a visit.  They were really grilling me on quarantine, sources, my trips to meet suppliers, packing, feeding…  I started to wonder if I had done something wrong!  After about two hours one of them said to me, ‘why aren’t you telling people all of this?’  I did not have a good answer.

They started to make a list of all the things that they called the ‘TedsFishroom Difference’, and encouraged me to make a video.  So I did.  I also sat on this video for a while, because talking about myself in such a direct manner is uncomfortable to me.  I showed it to the guys who were pushing me to make this video, and they said, ‘perfect!’  So here it is… The TedsFishroom Difference.


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Pac-man catfish – Lophiosilurus alexandri

I recently purchased two pac-man catfish, Lophiosilurus alexandri, which is a very cool ambush predator from Brazil.  They look like an Asian chaca catfish, but grow quite a bit larger.  And they will eat anything that will fit in their mouth.  When I got them they were quite thin, so I have been really trying to push the food into them.  Unfortunately, all they are eating right now are live fish.  I have tried Repashy gel food and dead fish, but they will not take them.  They also seem unable/willing to catch the feeder fish I have in the tank with them.  They will eventually figure it out.  Once they are in better condition, I will feel more comfortable fasting them long enough to get them on to a non-live food.  I do not like feeding live fish, but sometimes it is the solution that is needed.  So I apologize to anyone who is squeamish… the video shows the pac-man catfish eating.


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New Fish from Peru Video

Here is a video showing most of the fish that I received on this last Peru order.  Everything looks great, and there are some species I have never had before (or even seen before!).


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Cataclysm 2015 Video

We are about 50 days out from the inaugural Catalysm event hosted by the Madison Area Aquatic Hobbyists, and there are already a lot of fish in ‘storage’ for the rare catfish auction.  So many that I set up a 150-gallon display tank to house some of them, and am going to show videos of the tank on a regular basis until the event.  So what about Cataclysm?

  • October 16 – 18, 2015
  • Great speakers – Mike Hellweg, Barbie Fiorentino, Nathan Lujan, Rob McLure, Stephan Tanner
  • Rare catfish auction held through out the day on Saturday (17th)
  • All aquarium swap meet on Sunday
  • Vender room and room sellers
  • Food and beverage
  • An open house in my fish room on Friday afternoon

You can see the details at www.catfish-cataclysm.com, where you can also register for the event.  Also check out the FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/catfish.cataclysm/ which is where we will make a lot of updates and announcements.

What about this tank?  Well… it is a 150-gallon Aqueon aquarium.  The stand and filter system are from CustomAquariums.com.  The light is from Current USA.  In all, there are bits and pieces of this set from as many of the Cataclysm sponsors as I could cover.  I will be making a video about that too…  Here is the introduction of some of the great fish into the tank:

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August 27, 2015 · 12:02 am

Catfish From Peru

Here is a video highlighting some of the fish that recently arrived from Peru.  The order was predominantly catfish, and so is the video.  Enjoy…

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Catching Up with the Bireley’s

I had another opportunity to visit the Bireley family in California recently, and shot some more video of their home and fish room.  I was last there two years ago, just after Rich had taken possession of some large catfish (and some that would be getting larger), and now we can see the plan for those fish complete.  There is a lot of debate about whether or not large, ‘monster’ fish should be something we keep in captivity.  99%  of hobbyists should not keep them.  But if you have the resources to provide adequate space and adequate food, these animals can become wonderful pets.  Yes…. pets.  And they can live for a very long time.

The pond that these catfish are housed in is a 24-long fruit liner used for hauling fruit from orchards.  Rich has one of these big tubs and two smaller.  It is truly one of the most unique fish room features I have ever seen.  Enjoy…

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Bolt (Volt) Catfish – Aguarunichthys torosus

Here is a ‘monster’ fish that is not so much a monster.  The bolt catfish is predatory cat that grows up to be about 13″, so not outrageously large.  They are active catfish with voracious appetites, and are really really good and chasing down and killing small fish.  The fish in this video have only been here a few days, and they are settling in nicely.  When they got here they were in pretty bad shape, as evidences by the few that are really thin and some bent and eroded barbels, but they are coming around.  I am feeding them guppies, Repashy Meat Pie gel food, black worms and chopped earthworm.

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New Peru Order

A new import from Peru arrived last week with a lot of cool fish that I have not brought in before.  The price lists are updated on the livestock page.  Here are some of the highlights:

Corydoras stenocephalus – Rio Ucayali


Corydoras cf. semiaquilus – Rio Napo


Corydoras orcesi


Elachocharax pulcher


Trochilocharax ornatus


Hyphessobrycon sp. ‘bleeding blue’


Hyphessobrycon ‘red’


Lots of splash tetras…



Candelita tetra



Odontocharacidium aphanes


I have not started photographing the Apistogramma yet, but new fish include:

  • 3 different locations of A. cacatuoides
  • A. nijsseni
  • A. sp. Oregon
  • A. pantalone
  • A. bitaeniata ‘Rio Yavari’
  • A. atahualpa
  • A. alphuayo
  • A. baenschi
  • A. paulmueller ‘Apache’
  • A. ortagai ‘papagayo’

There are also some oddball catfish:  Helogenes marmoratus, Myoglanis koepckei & Denticetopsis seducta

And… because lots of you have asked for them….  more red wolf fish!  Erythrinus erythrinus


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