Marble Sturisoma Whiptail Catfish (Sturisoma aureum) Species Profile & Care Guide
The Marble Sturisoma is a very peaceful and non-territorial fish that will happily cohabit with other fish that won't fight for food and grazing areas, making them suitable for a well-established community aquarium.
These Catfish are quite shy and nervous and should not be kept with boisterous fish or fish that may nip fins. They do not swim; instead, they tend to 'walk' on their fins. Sometimes they will glide gracefully from the side of the tank to the substrate. They also prefer well filtered clean water.
The Marble Sturisoma is an elongated slender Catfish with a pointed head and skinny tail with a long trailing fin extension from the upper caudal lobe.
These fish have a mottled brown and creamy yellow colouration with black horizontal markings behind the first dorsal ray that are speckled. This Catfish is one of the smallest Whiptail Catfish.
|Scientific Name||Sturisoma aureum|
|Other Names||Golden Sturgeon Catfish, Giant Whiptail|
|Aquarium Level||Bottom - Middle|
|Best kept as||Pairs|
|Lifespan||5 - 8 years|
|Temperature||68 - 79 ℉ (20 - 26.1 ℃)|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||5 - 20|
Natural Habitat of the Marble Sturisoma Whiptail Catfish
You can find Marble Sturisoma in the upper Rio Magdalena, the Ceasar and the San Jorge river basins and tributaries upstream of Honda in Columbia in South America. They inhabit fast-flowing and well-oxygenated streams and prefer slightly cooler water. Their habitats are often covered with leaf litter.
Other Catfish of interest
Marble Sturisoma is mainly nocturnal, so it is best to feed them late at night. This species of Catfish needs a vegetable-based diet, so algae, blanched vegetables, spinach, cucumber and bogwood, as well as vegetable wafers or tablets, are ideal. You should also provide them with the occasional meaty treat once a week; these can include frozen or live fares such as bloodworm, mosquito larvae and brine shrimp.
Sexing the Marble Sturisoma Whiptail Catfish
It is somewhat tricky to differentiate female from male Marble Sturisoma. However, males tend to have longer, more developed filaments on their tails and will grow odontodes along the snout and head sides, whereas the females usually have slightly fuller bodies. Still, this trait can be subtle and not a reliable means to distinguish between them.
Breeding the Marble Sturisoma Whiptail Catfish
When the Marble Sturisoma is well-conditioned, they will often breed.
Their eggs are deposited on the aquarium glass in a compact, circular mass and not one egg touches another. The male will then guard the eggs, protecting them with his body, and he will continually fan them with regular movements of his pectoral and ventral fins, only leaving them on a rare occasion to feed.
The female presents no interest in the eggs after spawning and takes no parental role in their care. The females present no threat to the eggs and ignore them completely. Also, the female's presence in the aquarium does not seem to upset the male in any way.
The eggs will start to hatch around 7 or 8 days later; this will continue for several days until all eggs have hatched. There is no need to remove the fry from the tank unless you have them with other fish that may consume them.
The fry will absorb their yolk sac within 2 to 3 days. They become increasingly active and are more inclined to swim. At this stage, the fry initially positions itself in areas that receive relatively strong currents.
Maintaining a constant food supply at this stage is essential as the fry are especially prone to starvation.