Maximum size : 25 cm

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

Table of contents


The Striped Raphael Catfish (Platydoras armatulus) enjoys widespread popularity in the realm of aquarium keeping, owing to its amiable disposition and inquisitive nature. As primarily nocturnal creatures, these Catfish tend to engage in exploratory behaviour during daylight hours once they acclimate to their aquarium environment. Notably peaceful and resilient, they prove to be an ideal choice for both novice aquarists and seasoned Catfish enthusiasts seeking to maintain a moderately large community tank.

Due to their gregarious nature, it is beneficial to maintain a group comprising five or more individuals of the Striped Raphael Catfish. In harmonious cohabitation, these Catfish can peacefully coexist with various tranquil species, including medium-sized Tetras, Cyprinids, Gouramis, Livebearers, Rainbowfish, Cichlids, and other non-territorial Catfish. However, it is essential to exercise caution when introducing them to an established tank, as they might occasionally prey on smaller fish.

Creating a suitable habitat for these Catfish necessitates specific considerations. Employing a soft sand substrate is imperative to protect their delicate sensory barbels while incorporating ample hiding places is crucial to cater to their nocturnal tendencies. Slate caves, driftwood, and PVC pipes serve as excellent hiding spots, especially as they prefer subdued lighting. Additionally, robust and floating plant varieties can further diffuse light and offer additional shelter for these Catfish.

The striking appearance of the Striped Raphael Catfish features a dark brownish-black body adorned with distinct white stripes that extend along its entire length. Furthermore, their snout, the lower portion of their head, and the front edge of their pectoral fins exhibit a striking white hue. This eye-catching pattern is particularly pronounced in young specimens, albeit slightly less prominent as they mature.

Striped Raphael Catfish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Striped Raphael Catfish presents some challenges, as the only discernible difference lies in the fact that females are marginally 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+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 20 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 6.0 - 7.5
GH 2 - 20
Ideal Temperature
73 - 86
22 - 30

Natural Habitat

The natural distribution of Striped Raphael Catfish is limited to the Paraguay, Paraná, and lower Orinoco River Basins in South America. Within these regions, these Catfish predominantly occupy slow-moving to still waters, often favouring creeks, tributaries, and swamps. Their typical habitat entails seeking refuge amidst submerged vegetation or among roots, which provides essential shelter for their well-being.


To date, there have been no documented instances of successful captive breeding of the Striped Raphael Catfish. Nonetheless, it is theorized that in their natural habitat, these catfish engage in spawning activities amidst surface vegetation.

Diet & feeding

In a home aquarium setting, Striped Raphael Catfish readily accept a diverse range of high-quality dried foods, including granules, flakes, and sinking pellets. These contemporary food formulations are meticulously developed to fulfil all essential nutritional requirements, thereby promoting the overall health and well-being of the fish.

To further enhance the health and vitality of the fish, supplementary food items such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried options, such as mini bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex, may be offered once or twice a week. However, it is important to note that such additional feedings are not obligatory for this species.

In their natural habitat, Striped Raphael Catfish exhibit omnivorous feeding behaviour, which includes the consumption of certain vegetable matter. While modern fish foods typically incorporate these nutritional aspects, it remains beneficial to complement the fish's diet with blanched vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini.

Maintaining a balanced feeding regimen is paramount to avoid overfeeding. Any uneaten food should be promptly removed the following day to uphold water quality and prevent potential health issues associated with food decomposition.

Other Other Catfish of interest