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Maximum size : 25 cm

Striped Raphael Catfish - Platydoras armatulus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Striped Raphael Catfish is a popular aquarium fish due to its pleasant temperament and curious nature. These Catfish are nocturnal, but they will often spend many daytime hours exploring the aquarium once they are comfortable in their environment. Striped Raphael Catfish are very peaceful and hardy and an excellent choice for the beginner aquarist or any Catfish enthusiast that wants to keep a moderately large community tank. These Catfish are a gregarious species that benefit from their own kind's company, so aim to keep a group of 5 or more individuals. You can keep Striped Raphael Catfish with most peaceful species, such as medium-sized Tetras, Cyprinids, Gouramis, Livebearers, Rainbowfish, Cichlids and other non-territorial Catfish. Although generally sociable with other fish, sometimes this fish can feed on smaller fish, so take care when introducing one to an established tank. In order to protect the delicate sensory barbels, a soft sand substrate in the aquarium is essential, as well as many places where these nocturnal fish can hide during the day, such as slate caves, driftwood, and PVC pipes, since bright light is not appealing to them. Plants that are robust and float can also diffuse light, providing additional hiding places. Striped Raphael Catfish have a dark brownish-black body with contrasting white stripes that run their entire length. In addition, their snout, the lower part of their head, and the front edge of their pectoral fins are also white. The pattern is especially striking when young, though the striping is not quite as strong as they mature.

Striped Raphael Catfish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

It isn't very easy to differentiate between the male and female Striped Raphael Catfish, the only difference being that females are slightly wider than males.

Quick Facts

Scientific NamePlatydoras armatulus
Year Described1840
Other NamesHumbug Catfish, Striped Raphael Catfish, Striped Talking Catfish, Striped Dora, Chocolate Catfish
OriginsBrazil Argentina Paraguay Venezuela
Max Size25 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespanup to 20 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH2 - 20
73 - 86

Natural habitat

Striped Raphael Catfish are endemic to the Paraguay, ParanĂ¡ and lower Orinoco River Basins in South America. These Catfish inhabit Slow-moving to still waters in creeks, tributaries, and swamps and are usually found sheltering among roots or submerged vegetation.

How to breed the Striped Raphael Catfish

There have been no reports of Striped Raphael Catfish being successfully bred in captivity; however, it is thought that in nature, they spawn amongst surface vegetation.

Diet & feeding

In the home aquarium, Striped Raphael 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. Additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as mini bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide other benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish. This fish is an omnivore in the wild, consuming some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods consider this 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.

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