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Maximum size : 20 cm

Marble Sturisoma Whiptail Catfish - Sturisoma aureum : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Marble Sturisoma (Sturisoma aureum) is a stunning and peaceful addition to any community aquarium. Their unique fin structure and graceful movements make them an intriguing species to watch. However, caution must be taken when selecting tankmates as they are easily intimidated by aggressive or boisterous fish that may compete for their food or grazing areas. In addition, they prefer to walk on their fins rather than swim and require well-filtered, clean water to thrive. The Marble Sturisoma 's elongated body is complemented by a pointed head and skinny tail with a long trailing fin extension from the upper caudal lobe. Their brown and creamy yellow mottled colouration with black speckled horizontal markings behind the first dorsal ray adds to their elegance. This species of catfish is one of the smallest Whiptail Catfish and is sure to be a fascinating addition to any aquarist 's collection.

Marble Sturisoma Whiptail Catfish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing male from female Marble Sturisoma can prove to be a challenging task for aquarium enthusiasts. Typically, males have longer and more elaborate filaments on their tails, and odontodes develop along the snout and head sides. In contrast, females tend to have slightly fuller bodies. However, these differences may be subtle and not always a reliable means of distinguishing between the sexes.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameSturisoma aureum
Year Described1900
Other NamesGolden Sturgeon Catfish, Giant Whiptail
Max Size20 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asPairs
Lifespan5 - 8 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH5 - 20
68 - 79
20 - 26.1

Natural Habitat

Marble Sturisoma is a fascinating fish species native to the upper Rio Magdalena, Ceasar and San Jorge river basins and their tributaries in Columbia, South America. These freshwater fish prefer fast-flowing, well-oxygenated streams with slightly cooler water temperatures and are often found in habitats covered with leaf litter.


When Marble Sturisomas are in good condition, they may begin to breed. During the breeding process, the fish will deposit their eggs on the aquarium glass, forming a compact, circular mass with no eggs touching each other. The male then takes on the role of guarding the eggs, using his body to protect them and regularly fanning them with his pectoral and ventral fins, only leaving occasionally to feed. Once spawning has occurred, the female takes no further interest in the eggs and does not assume any parental responsibility. Fortunately, the presence of the female in the aquarium does not appear to cause any distress to the male, and she poses no threat to the eggs. After approximately 7 to 8 days, the eggs begin to hatch, with the process continuing over several days until all the eggs have hatched. Unless there are other fish present in the tank that may consume the fry, there is no need to remove them from the tank. Within 2 to 3 days, the fry will have absorbed their yolk sac and become more active, initially positioning themselves in areas with stronger currents. Maintaining a constant supply of food at this stage is critical, as the fry are particularly vulnerable to starvation.

Diet & feeding

Marble Sturisoma is primarily a nocturnal fish, and therefore, feeding them late at night is recommended. These catfish are herbivores, and a diet rich in vegetables, such as algae, blanched vegetables, spinach, cucumber, and bogwood, is ideal. In addition to these, providing them with vegetable-based wafers or tablets is also recommended. While their diet should mainly consist of vegetables, it is also essential to provide them with a meaty treat once a week, such as frozen or live foods like bloodworms, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimp.

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