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Oil Catfish

MartinS

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Common name/s: Oil Catfish

Scientific name: Centromochlus perugiae

Family: Auchenipteridae

Origin: South America: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru

Maximum size: 2.4" SL

Care: Ideal in groups of 3 upwards, although are very inactive during lights on. Mine spend the days resting in plants and holed up under bogwood.

Feeding: Naturally surface feeders, and will often only feed after lights go off. Can be fed frozen and freeze dried foods as well as floating pellets. Mine take a variety of frozen foods, but especially like bloodworm. I have also seen them take earthworm sticks and broken pieces of catfish tablets, i.e. Tetra Tabimin. As surface feeders, it is important that food doesn't sink straight to the floor of the tank - I have found adding the frozen food still frozen means it floats and the fish dart around it taking mouthfuls as it defrosts. Of the five fish I own (2M/3F), I always see at least 4 out when I feed bloodworm, but less with black mosquito larva, daphnia or earthworm sticks/tablets.

Sexing and breeding: Males have a modified anal fin, which looks similar to the anal fin of the live bearing aquarium fishes, i.e. guppies, platies, mollies etc. whereas the female's anal fin is normal. They have been bred in captivity, and it is believed that they use internal fertilization. There are several articles available on the web covering the breeding of this fish.

Here is one of my males, taken when first introduced to the tank:
 

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