Callichthys callichthys, Linnaeus, 1758
Origin: Widely spread throughout South America.
Synonyms:Callichthys asper, Callichthys coelatus, Callichthys hemiphractus, Callichthys laeviceps, Callichthys loricatus, Callichthys tamoata, Bleeker, 1863, Cataphractus callichthys, Cataphractus depressus, Silurus callichthys, Linnaeus, 1758.
First European import: Germany, 1897, by P. Matte.
Description: See pictures.
Care: Hardy fish, easy to keep and well suited for the community tank. The fish can and will adapt to virtually all waterconditions and environments. They prefer densely planted regions in the tank, with hidouts in the form of stones and driftwood. The fish are mostly active in the evening.
Temperature: 18-30 degrees.
Feeding: All food is accepted, the fish also eat algae.
Size: Up to 20 cm.
pH: 5.5-8.5 Hardness up to 30 dGH.
Breeding: Easy, can be bred if the fish are around 10 cm. The male will build a bubblenest at the surface, preferably under a large plantleaf, which will be defended against other tankinhabitants. Plant parts are used to fortify the nest, which can be 20 cm in diameter, and rise up to 10 cm above the water. After the male has completely finished the nest, he will allow a female in the vicinity of the nest, prior to finishing the nest females will be chased away. The female will produce some egs and hold them between the ventral fins. The male will insert sperm into the nest, and after that the female will turn around and place the egs in the nest. The male will continuously add bubbles and sperm to the nest. The female can produce a few hundred eggs. The male will guard the eggs, that wil hatch in 4-6 days, and the fry for about a month, after which the fry are approximately 2 cm. In natural circumstances breeding occurs immediately after rain starts to fall. Males are monogamous, they only mate with a single female at a time.
Sexual dimorphism: Males are a bit more colorfull, and have a more developed first ray in the brestfins.
Prices: Netherlands: 2-4€
Additional: Callichthys callichthys can produce noises. The fish can also walk on land, they can cover 90 meters in 2 hours.
Picture references: Picture 1+2: E. Naus
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