Designed around upon the FBAS comprehensive list of commonly-kept species, these Care Sheets are categorised as those found in FBAS Show Classes.

Details of all species referred to in these Fish Care Sheets can be found in the FBAS Booklet No 6 - National Show Fish Sizes. Click HERE for information.


                                        Large Catfish (1)

Genera : Agamyxis, Platydoras, Ancistrus, Otocinclus, Panaque etc.

Family : Doradidae, Loricaridae etc

Geographic Origin : South America

Common Names : Whip-tail, Algae Eater, Royal Panaque

Compatibility : Many of these catfishes grow very large. Adequate research
                       is recommended before undertaking the keeping of some of
                       these catfish. Some can be cannibalistic towards tankmates.
                       Consult specialist books on the subject.

Minimum aquarium size : Depends on species. Small Otocinclus are fine in an
                                     18" x 10" x 10" but are usually kept in a community
                                     tank to perform their algae-clearing duties.
                                     Others may need much more space - it's all
                                     part of the recommended pre-ownership research.

Temperature : Generally will tolerate a wide temperature range from 650F to

Habitat : Many of these catfish, can only be kept in tanks with a rockwork
               décor whilst again, others are fine in a planted community tank.

Water Parameters : Although many of these catfish are found in soft water,
                              they readily adapt to hard water.

Health : Not particularly prone to health problems.

Diet : Some are algae eaters, others will happily dine on frozen foods or, as
          in the case of some of the larger catfish, frozen fish.
          Large catfish with large appetites equate to large amounts of waste:
          an efficient filtration should be used. This even applies to exhibiting
          large fish, where built-in filtration in Show tanks is on the increase.

Plants : Some of the larger catfish, will undoubtedly cause havoc in a planted
            tank. Research necessary.

Availability : Some, like the Otocinclus, are readily available. Others such as
                     the Royal Panaque may be less so. There is generally a large
                     selection of catfish available. Do not buy 'on spec' unless you
                     know what you are buying.

Show Class : F.B.A.S. Show Class G or Ga

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© FBAS 2002. PWC/RCM                                    Fish Care Sheet No 14 1/3

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Last updated October 2016