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Maximum size : 13 cm

Flagtail Catfish - Dianema urostriatum : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Embark on an aquatic journey as we delve into the fascinating world of Flagtail Catfish (Dianema urostriatum), renowned for their peaceful nature and suitability for community aquariums. These magnificent fish prove to be excellent companions, showing utmost gentleness even towards the smallest tankmates, although caution is advised with very young fry to prevent accidental suction. With their serene demeanour and ease of care, Flagtail Catfish make an ideal choice for beginner aquarists.

Unlock the true vibrancy and activity of Flagtail Catfish by keeping them in a group of 5 or more individuals. Surprisingly, these catfish occasionally exhibit shoaling behaviour, swimming together in midwater. Enhance their sociability and witness their captivating interactions unfold. Suitable tankmates for Flagtail Catfish include medium to large-sized Tetras, Rainbowfish, medium-sized Rasboras, peaceful Cichlids, Corydoras Catfish, and Loaches. However, avoiding larger or more aggressive species is advisable, as the harmonious balance of the aquarium environment is paramount. While resilient, Flagtail Catfish thrive in a tranquil and well-planted setup.

Step into the mesmerizing realm of these catfish, adorned with a greyish brown body and head. Their upper half features an intricate pattern of small black spots, while the lower half shimmers with a silvery hue. However, their most notable feature is the striking caudal fin, embellished with alternating horizontal black and white stripes. Additionally, Flagtail Catfish exhibit pairs of barbels on each side of their snout, adding to their distinctive charm.

Immerse yourself in the captivating allure of Flagtail Catfish as their peaceful presence and exquisite characteristics transform your aquarium into a captivating aquatic haven. Experience the serenity and beauty they bring to your underwater world, reminding us of the remarkable diversity found in nature.

Flagtail Catfish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Flagtail Catfish is a relatively straightforward task, as distinct characteristics set them apart. Notably, adult males display an intriguing feature in the form of thickened traversing pectoral fin rays. This unique trait distinguishes them from their female counterparts. Conversely, mature females exhibit a fuller and rounder body shape, offering a clear contrast to the slimmer physique of males. These distinct physical attributes provide valuable insights into the gender identification of Flagtail Catfish, contributing to our understanding of their captivating biology.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameDianema urostriatum
Year Described1912
Other NamesFlagtail Porthole Catfish, Stripedtail Catfish
Max Size13 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
LifespanUp to 10 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH5 - 20
72 - 82
22 - 27

Natural habitat

Embark on an extraordinary expedition through the heart of South America as we uncover the captivating realm of the Flagtail Catfish. These magnificent creatures are native to Brazil's enchanting Amazon River Basins, where their mesmerizing presence graces the waterways. Discover the hidden corners of this vast aquatic landscape as you delve into the intricate tapestry of shallow, tranquil tributaries, serene backwaters, and secluded lakes. These are the cherished habitats where the Flagtail Catfish finds solace.

Wander along the meandering creeks and ponds, captivated by the natural beauty surrounding these remarkable catfish. Behold the awe-inspiring sight of their preferred sandy substrate, serving as the canvas upon which their aquatic adventures unfold. Delight in the presence of vibrant aquatic vegetation, adding an exquisite touch to their pristine habitat. These elements combine to create an idyllic environment that showcases the harmony between the Flagtail Catfish and their natural surroundings.

How to breed the Flagtail Catfish

The Flagtail Catfish presents an intriguing aspect as a bubble-nesting species successfully bred in controlled environments, although comprehensive knowledge regarding their breeding process remains limited. To initiate breeding, it is recommended to begin with a small group comprising 4 to 6 individuals. Next, facilitate nest construction by introducing biodegradable materials or a suitable plastic lid on the water's surface. Finally, ensuring an abundance of live food and implementing significant water temperature fluctuations are crucial for fostering adaptability in these catfish.

Once the fry begins displaying eggs on their bellies, promptly remove any adult catfish from the breeding setup, as they may consume the eggs. As the fry progress beyond their yolk sac stage, they are ready to be nourished with microworms and baby brine shrimp, facilitating their growth and development. Replicating the spawning process can be challenging outside their natural habitat. However, by simulating the dry season, you can lower the tank water level, elevate the temperature, and temporarily halt feeding. Adjustments such as removing the filter and augmenting water hardness to enhance dissolved salts and organic compounds mimic the effects of an authentic dry season. Monitoring the feeding behaviour of the fish is essential, and if they haven't consumed food after a few weeks, it may be necessary to increase feeding and restore the filter. When replenishing the tank with water, opt for soft water to ensure the well-being of the fish.

It is important to note that the breeding season for Flagtail Catfish may vary depending on species and geographical location. Typically, wet seasons occur between September and April, but specific timelines can differ. By considering these factors and striving to recreate natural conditions, aquarists can endeavour to unlock the secrets of successful Flagtail Catfish breeding, further expanding our understanding of these fascinating aquatic creatures.

Diet & feeding

Flagtail Catfish showcase their versatility and hearty appetite when it comes to feeding, making their dietary requirements relatively easy to satisfy. These enthusiastic eaters swiftly acclimate to their aquarium environment, eagerly accepting a wide array of food options. However, a diverse and well-balanced diet is recommended to ensure optimal nutrition.

Aim to provide a varied feeding regimen, primarily focusing on meaty fare to meet their carnivorous tendencies. Offer enticing options such as bloodworms, chopped earthworms, and brine shrimp, which will satiate their appetite while replicating their natural feeding habits. Complement this with high-quality dried foods like flakes or pellets, ensuring a wholesome nutritional balance. Enhancing their diet with frozen or freeze-dried alternatives adds further nutritional value and enriches their feeding experience.

Consider occasional offerings of vegetable matter as a supplementary dietary component. Blanching courgette, spinach, or cucumber provides a wholesome source of plant-based nutrition, adding variety and promoting a well-rounded diet for your catfish.

To maintain their vitality, feeding Flagtail Catfish multiple times throughout the day is advisable, providing portions that can be consumed within a few minutes. This regular feeding schedule meets their nutritional needs while allowing for healthy growth and vitality.

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