Tag Archives: catfish

Pictus Catfish are jumpers

4 Dec

Be careful with the Pictus Catfish, they are very active fish and can jump out of the tank.
A few months ago I came home and was looking at a tank that has a group of young Jack Dempseys. Suddenly I saw one of my Pictus Catfish swimming in that tank! He had leaped out of his tank through a small gap, cleared a few inches of space and went into the neighboring tank. A lucky fish.

Eventually I found a dried-up Pictus Catfish on the floor. So now I only have two.

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Transferring Mr. Pictus back to his original tank. By the way, when catching Pictus Catfish try not to use a net. You can “herd” them with a net, then try to catch them in a big plastic cup or suitable container. The spines get caught in nets. Bad for the fish and maybe bad for you!

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I face their wood hideout to the front of the aquarium so I can watch them.

I brought in some water lilies and also dropped in a handful of washed, dead Oak tree leaves. I think the Pictus appreciate the natural hiding places.

I brought in some water lilies and also dropped in a handful of washed, dead Oak tree leaves. I think the Pictus appreciate the natural hiding places.

The Oak leaves look good in the Tiger Salamander tank. They help keep the tank moist and make it so I never ever get to see the salamanders.

Oak leaves also look good in the Tiger Salamander tank. They help keep the tank moist and make it so I never ever get to see the salamanders.

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Now THAT’S a fish show!!

31 Mar

I joined our local fish club a few months ago and today I went to their annual aquarium show.

I was impressed. The tanks were beautiful, the fish bigger and prettier than any I have ever had.

This Altum Angelfish is about twice as big as my Scalare Angels.

This Altum Angelfish is about twice as big as my Scalare Angels.

I think people who see these aquariums will say to themselves, “That is so pretty, maybe we should get a fish tank!”

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What do people say when they enter a pet store? “Look at all the fish.”

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Typical petstore aquarium. Nice fish, but not something to put in the living room.

Display tanks, both large and small, may not be a waste of space in a retail store if it motivates customers to get an aquarium. To anyone who thinks that aquariums take up too much room, you should have seen some of the little tanks at the fish show.

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This tank is only a few gallons. Maybe 10 liters or so.

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Another little one.

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One of my favorite fish, the Harlequin Rasbora.

One of my favorite fish, the Harlequin Rasbora.

Big Sterbai Corydoras.

Big Sterbai Corydoras.

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I’ve never seen this fish species before. I need to get Googling.

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Platies are great for beginners and experienced aquarists. Maybe the perfect fish.
Hardy, many color variations, easy to breed.

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See the big Pleco tail sticking out of the cave? There are tons of juvenile Plecos in this tank, too.

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This Plecostomus must be nearly 2 feet long.

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The fish show is held at a greenhouse. Here is a banana tree. In Iowa, we don’t see banana trees very often. I was impressed.

Pics and a video of my aquariums

26 Aug

Let’s start with this 30 gallon tank filled with very active fish. Zebra Danios, Odessa Barbs, Tiger Barbs, an Opaline Gourami, Harlequin Rasboras and 3 Kuhli Loaches hiding under the rocks.

Here’s a little 10-gallon tank with young Red Swordtails and a Betta. Since I took this picture I have added 3 Marigold Variatus Platies and some more plants.

Here’s another 10-gallon tank with Silver Mollies and Endler’s Livebearers. Lots of baby fish are starting to show up.

I moved my 3 Pictus catfish into this 29-gallon tank with 3 green Swordtails and my Firemouth Cichlids. In real life this tank looks very nice and I get to see the Pictus Cats a lot more than I did in their previous tank.

When I found the 6-inch Bullhead in the turtle pond I had intended to release him in a nearby creek but instead I put him in the tank with the “bad boys”, the African Cichlid and big Red-tail Shark. The Bullhead just goes about his business, big mouth gulping and gaping as he cruises along. The Cichlid and Shark ignore him. Now the Bullhead has found a place to sleep during the day and I don’t expect to see him too often. This tank is crowded with rocks, wood, and plants (Java Moss).

The Bullhead is in here but he’s hiding.


Here’s the 55-gallon community tank with mostly large Tetras, Angelfish, and Corydoras.

Angelfish and Corydoras fry

26 Aug

These baby fish are at a friend’s house. He’s an expert Angelfish breeder who also bought some Peppered Corydoras in the hopes of spawning them in the future.
The future came fast. His Cories grew like mad, the females are the biggest fattest things you can imagine, and they are spawning all of the time. He has hundreds of babies and more to come.
Notice this neat little system he uses to get the babies started in life. He has them in glass mason jars that are floating in a 5-gallon fish tank. This way, he only needs the single heater in the aquarium. He drops an airline into each jar, makes frequent water changes, and feeds them live baby Brine Shrimp.

In this next picture you can see some baby Angelfish, too.

I should have photographed his homemade Brine Shrimp hatchery. He decapsulates the shrimp eggs and staggers their hatching to ensure a constant supply for all of the babies. Sounds like a future blog post if he doesn’t mind!

Earthworm sticks…yummy

26 Jul

I shared an on-line order of supplies with a new fish-keeping friend (who I am learning a lot from!). The company is called Angelsplus.com. I ordered two small heaters, some sponge filter blocks and some fish food. I bought flake food and also these little sinking sticks, called Earthworm Sticks.  If you love your Corydoras do them a favor and buy some of these! Wow, they go nuts!


Another Wapsi river trip

26 Jul

Here are some pictures from another canoe trip to the Wapsi River. During this trip we released the little Softshell turtles on the exact sandbar where we captured them a few weeks ago.

A Western Painted Turtle. The plastron (underside) of a Painted Turtle is beautiful and looks like someone painted it.


A little Northern Water Snake who released his musky scent onto our hands. Very stinky.


Releasing the little Soft-shell Turtles.


Perfectly suited to it’s environment. The Softshell is sand colored, has a snorkel nose for sneaky breathing, and is fast as lightning when it comes to catching fish for dinner.


I almost brought this stump home but it is 3 feet tall about 4 feet wide, and weighs a lot. It might look good in my turtle pond. It should be there all summer so I still may go get it.


These 2 birds are called Killdeers. They run around on the sand and will fake a wing injury to lure you away from their eggs.


The river is getting low from the drought we are having this year.


We seined these out of a tiny little backwater pond and released them into the main channel.

Native fish from the Wapsi

6 Jul

Another trip to the Wapsi River (that’s Wapsipinicon if you are looking for it on a map), and I brought home some beautiful native fish.

This is a baby Bullhead Catfish. Jet-black and cute when young, they get maybe a foot long.


Here’s a little Sunfish.



I captured four Black-Striped Topminnows. They remind me of an Amazon Pencilfish. They hang at the top of the aquarium and eat almost anything.


These fish will end up back at the Wapsi before Winter.