Tag Archives: pictus 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.


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!



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.

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.

A really worthwhile interesting post about fish care, I promise!

3 Mar

Well, if I said this post was about How To Bag Your Fish you wouldn’t look at it, would you?
I promise I have something useful for you to see.

Two things can happen when transporting fish in plastic bags. They may get pinned into the corners of the bag and die of suffocation.  Or spiny fish, like Corydoras Catfish, can actually puncture the bag.

Here’s how to avoid those problems:

Let's say you need to move you prized Freshwater Cowfish to a new home.

They cost over a hundred dollars apiece so you want them to be safe while they are in the little plastic bag.

After you twist the top of the bag, bend it over like this.

That makes it easy to put on the rubber band and even easier to take it off.

But Oh My, the Cowfish can still get Smooshed (get it, SMOOOshed) into the corners of the bag.

Some people think double-bagging is just slipping another bag up and over the first bag. WRONG!!!!

Instead, take the second bag and slip it over the top of the first bag.

See the little Cowfish all safe and sound.

The interior of the bag is all rounded off. No corners to get trapped in and spiky fish like Corydoras Catfish can't puncture the bags either.

Here's a Saltwater Cowfish.

The Freshwater Cowfish seen here are native to my Grandaughter’s toy box.

Pictus Cats like their log cave

28 Jan

After a few weeks of hiding under dead oak leaves my Pictus Catfish have all gotten very fat and happy. The tank has gotten a little “grungy” looking.  I decided to net out the decaying tree leaves and put a very fake tree root into their tank. After a few days the Pictus have realized what a great hide-out they have.

Pictus Catfish in their new home

5 Jan

After getting beat up at Wal-Mart (the fish, not me), I was worried about one of my Pictus Catfish. He was thin and not very active. Two of the Catfish were fine, dashing around and eating, stuffing themselves on shrimp.

I decided the best course of action was to make these Catfish think they were dropped back into an Amazon tributary. I had a 29 gallon tank all set-up with a single large male Silver Angelfish. I added a sand bottom, cranked the temperature up to about 80 degrees F, increased the aeration, and then added a few handfuls of tree leaves (mostly Oak) from my backyard. After a day or so, the leaves all sank to the bottom and the Pictus hid under them. The water took  on the color of a weak tea. I didn’t see the Pictus too often because of the leaves but within a week I saw all three out feeding and I couldn’t tell which one was the weak one.

I have since reduced the temperature to about 76F.

Keep your Pictus Catfish with fish that it cannot swallow.  No Neons!

Pictus Catfish at Wal-Mart

3 Jan

I’ve been wanting a small group of Pictus Catfish for quite awhile. They look great with their long whiskers and black spots. My wife and I were in Walmart. I saw Pictus for sale, 6 dollars each. I had seen them for 8 to 10 dollars everywhere else and I figured I had better get them. After trying for 15 minutes to get someone to assist us, my wife nearly started catching and bagging them herself. But she eventually found a young lady to help. I hate to say it, I don’t think this girl knew that fish were living , breathing creatures. She slammed-banged her net all over the tank trying to catch them, and when they ended up tangled in the net, she shook it hard.

I couldn’t take it…I said, “We gotta go, I can’t watch this.”  Just then a young fellow joined in to help her. I made a comment that  once their spines get embedded in the net it’s best to snip the net. (I figured Wal-Mart could afford to lose a fish net or two).  After a little more shaking, they cut the net.

I suggested placing the plastic box that they use into the water, catching a fish in the net and shooing him into the box. That worked, but then the young man tried to catch all three without taking out the box. One would escape, then another, and on and on. He eventually had three, and the final one got stuck in the net. He took it out and pulled on the poor fish. The spine came out of the net and I said, “I’ll take him, they are tough, but you guys need to find a net that works.”  I mean, really, am I the first person ever to buy a Pictus Catfish at Walmart. HEY Wal-Mart, your employees are damaging the merchandise!!

I know that the ultimate answer to this problem is not to buy fish at a Wal-Mart or anywhere that mis-treats the fish. Eventually they won’t sell them if no one buys them.  Wal-mart is going to sell fish, though, so I think the best thing to do is to persuade them not to sell Pictus Catfish or Green Puffers.  I also wonder how many people buy Oscars at Wal-Mart and take them home to their 10 gallon tank.

Enough about that, my next post will talk about the Pictus Catfish in my aquarium!

Oak Leaves, not Oakleys

6 Dec

Some small Pictus Cats are hiding under the leaves.

A little secret here to make your fish happy. Toss a few dead oak tree leaves into your aquarium.  Not a lot, just a few. Rinse them off first,  in 2 days they will sink to the bottom and your catfish and other more timid fish will love it. They will think they are back in the Amazon. The water will become a slightly yellowish-brown color but your fish will feel right at home. And you can toss out the leaves as they decay and make water changes to keep it from  getting too dark brown.

I will write a post about my recently purchased Pictus Catfish that explores this topic further.