Max Size: 13cm

Flagtail Catfish (Dianema urostriatum)

Flagtail Catfish are a very peaceful fish that is suitable for many community aquariums. These fish will not harm even the smallest tankmates, although tiny babies may be accidentally sucked up. Their peaceful demeanour and ease of care make them excellent fish for the beginner aquarist.

Although you can keep the Flagtail Catfish on its own, you will find that these fish are far more outgoing and active if you maintain them in a group of 5 or more individuals. Strangely for Catfish, you will occasionally see them swimming in a shoal in midwater when kept in this way.

Ideal tankmates could include medium to large-sized Tetras, Rainbowfish, medium-sized Rasboras, peaceful Cichlids, Corydoras Catfish and Loaches. However, it would be best to avoid much larger or aggressive species, although these fish are pretty robust.

The ideal aquarium setup for these fish would be a biotope aquarium consisting of sandy substrate and tangles of driftwood and roots. You can further mimic their natural habitat by adding a few handfuls of dried leaves such as oak or beech and scattering them around the bottom of the aquarium. However, Flagtail Catfish are unfussy and can be just as happy in any setup as long as it is heavily panted with plenty of cover.

Flagtail Catfish have a greyish brown body and head. The upper half of their body is covered in small black spots, and the lower half of their body is a silvery colour. The distinguishing characteristic of this species of Catfish is their caudal fin; it is strikingly marked with horizontal black and white alternating stripes. In addition, these fish have a pair of barbels on each side of their snout.


Flagtail Catfish
Quick Facts
Scientific NameDianema urostriatum
Other NamesFlagtail Porthole Catfish, Stripedtail Catfish
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
ReproductionBubble nest
Lifespanup to 10 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH5 - 20
72 - 82℉
22.2 - 27.8℃


In the home aquarium, the Flagtail Catfish will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is somewhat straightforward to differentiate between the male and female Flagtail Catfish. Adult males possess thickened traversing pectoral fin rays. In contrast, mature females are rounder and fuller-bodied than males.

Other Catfish of interest

African Glass Catfish(Pareutropius debauwi)
Common Otocinclus(Otocinclus vittatus)
Cuckoo Catfish(Synodontis multipunctatus)
Glass Catfish(Kryptopterus vitreolus)
Marble Sturisoma Whiptail Catfish(Sturisoma aureum)
Royal Whiptail Catfish(Sturisoma panamense)
View all Other Catfish
Date Added: 28/10/2021 13:15:44 - Updated: 08/08/2022 15:24:30