Pterygoplichts are representatives of Locarian or chain catfish. They are easy to care for, and their conditions are no different from those in the case of other fish of this family. The main thing to know about Brocade Pterygoplicht is that it can grow to an impressive size. It is this fact that sometimes becomes a problem for beginner aquarists.
This catfish is a fairly large fish with an extremely beautiful coloration. Its homeland is the warm waters of Peru and Brazil, where it lives in fresh water with little current. During a drought, it burrows into wet mud and hibernates, only waking up when the rainy season begins.
The first to describe this species, calling it Ancistrus gibbiceps, was an Austrian professor Rudolf Kner, a specialist in ichthyology and zoology. It happened in 1845. In 1980, it was decided to include this species in the genus Pterygoplichts. After 23years it began to be attributed already to glyptoperichths.
Pterygoplicht brocade is an unusual, large and strong fish, which in its appearance resembles sea sailboats. The photo clearly shows that a distinctive feature of their appearance is a beautiful 12-ray dorsal fin, often reaching a height of 10 cm and above. No less attractive are the ventral and pectoral fins, which can contact each other, as well as the bushy tail.
The head of the catfish is large, the body is slightly flattened, elongated and dark. His entire body, with the exception of a smooth belly, is covered with bone plates. There is a ridge in front of the dorsal fin. The eyes are small and set high on the head. Almost next to them are protruding nostrils.
The coloring of this fish is amazing! Usually this color is called leopard, when large round spots are scattered over the main background, most often yellowish. In this case, their color can be different: black, olive or brown.
Such patterns are located not only throughout the body of the catfish, but also on the tail and fins. Among them, sometimes there are albinos, when the spots are either barely visible or not at all visible against the general background. Juveniles are usually the brightest, but the colors fade as they age.
The size of the brocade pterygoplicht, as for an aquarium fish, is quite impressive: it can grow from 35 cm and even up tohalf a meter. These showy colored fish are often seen in large aquarium owners because these fish require a large amount of space to live. For this, a container with a volume of at least 400 liters is suitable.
Keeping a brocade pterygoplicht will not cause much trouble, as these fish are not picky. Even if there is not enough oxygen in the aquarium, the catfish itself will rise to the surface and take in air. It is able to store it in the gut and thus survive in hypoxic water. But still, for a comfortable life of the fish in the aquarium, you should install a filter and create a light current. If this is not possible, you will have to change the water much more often than usual.
How to equip an aquarium
In order for catfish to feel good, several snags, a clay pot and other decorative elements must be placed at the bottom of the container. The fact is that pterygoplichts scrape off the plaque that forms on them, thereby normalizing their own digestive system, which affects not only the brightness of the color, but also life expectancy in general.
Creating the most natural habitat for your pets is not that difficult. For this purpose, you will need driftwood, tunnels and shelters, pebbles and pebbles, as well as an indispensable attribute of the aquarium - beautiful algae. As for the latter, they must be selected according to the reliability of the root system so that the catfish does not accidentally pull out and break them.
What to feed
Pterygoplichts brocade need a variety of plant foods. They can be fed with cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, lettuce and spinach scalded with hot water. Now in specialized outlets you can buy ready-made, balanced and high-quality feeds specially designed for catfish. If you combine them correctly with vegetables, then the fish will receive a fairly complete diet.
The ideal ratio is 80% plant foods and 20% animal products. The latter are best used frozen, as the catfish will pick them up from the bottom of the aquarium after the rest of the fish have eaten. Bloodworms, worms and shrimp are best suited for this purpose.
Big fish often uproot plants that are poorly rooted in the substrate. Thus, they can eat bluegrass or lemongrass. Catfish are very fond of algae such as nori and spirulina, as well as branded and homemade food made from them.
When buying food for your pets, you need to pay attention to the date it was produced, as well as its shelf life. You should not buy loose food for fish, as if stored improperly, pathogenic microflora can develop in it.
It is necessary to ensure that slower than the rest of the aquarium inhabitants, the brocade pterygoplicht receives enough food and is always full. Since it is considered a nocturnal fish, it is better to feed it in the evening, 30-50 minutes before the lights are turned off.
The brocade pterygoplicht is a large aquarium fish, so its neighbors must be of the appropriate size. Giant gourami, some types of cichlids, such as flower horn and cichlazoma managua, as well as Senegalese polypterus and knifefish can match it.
Despite the fact that the basis of the catfish diet is plant food, it is also a scavenger. It has been observed that in aquarium conditions at night it can eat the scales of fish such as discus and angelfish. Therefore, large sluggish fish should not be added to pterygoplichts.
This is done exclusively on specialized farms, since in an aquarium such chain catfish as pterygoplichts simply cannot be bred. The fact is that fish during the spawning period begin to dig deep tunnels in the coastal silt, and then the males remain in them in order to protect their offspring. That is why in home aquariums it is impossible to create the necessary conditions for their reproduction. Those catfish that are sold in specialized outlets come to us from Australia, Southeast Asia and the United States.
One female can lay up to 500 eggs. The fry are born with a bluish-gray color, on which black dots are clearly visible. After the yolk sacs are completely resolved, special nutritional supplements are used to feed the fish.
Simultaneous maintenance of a male and a female in the same aquarium, as it turned out, does not contribute to the appearance of offspring, but, despite this, manyI am interested in the question of how to determine the sex of the brocade pterygoplicht catfish. In fact, it is not difficult, you just need to carefully look at the fish. Firstly, males and females differ both in their size and in the brightness of their color. Secondly, males have sharp spikes on their pectoral fins, but they are absent in the opposite sex. Thirdly, genital papillae are visible in mature fish. In males, they stick out a little, while in females they are tightly pressed to the body.
Do catfish get sick
These fish are considered long-lived, because under favorable conditions they can decorate an aquarium for 15, and sometimes 20 years. Catfish by nature have good he alth and therefore their body is very resistant to most diseases inherent in fish of this species. However, they can be significantly affected if the level of organic matter in the aquarium water is too high. Because of this, problems often arise that can lead to such a disease in the brocade pterygoplicht as ichthyophthyrosis.
This disease affects not only catfish. This disease can occur in any of the aquarium fish, and is caused by ciliary ciliates. These parasites burrow into the gills, skin, and fins of their prey. It is not difficult to identify a fish with ichthyophthyrosis, as white spots will appear on its body. If left untreated, she will begin to weaken, then float to the surface and suffocate.
To avoid infection of all the inhabitants of the aquarium, experienced aquarists advise isolating the diseased fish by transplanting it into another container. Sometry to self-medicate their pets by placing them in s alt water or heating it up to +30 ⁰C. In some cases, such actions lead to a positive result, but it is better not to take risks, but to show the sick catfish to a veterinarian who can help him by prescribing special drugs for his treatment.
- If the catfish is taken out of the water, it starts to make special hissing sounds that may well scare off the offender.
- The mouth of the fish is equipped with suction cups. She cleans the aquarium glass with them. If she clings to him, then tearing her off this surface will not be easy.
- The length of the very first ray located on the dorsal fin of this fish is always equal to the size of its head.
- Such catfish as brocade pterygoplicht have unusual vision, due to the special structure of the eyes. The fish can see everything that is in front and behind, but does not notice what is happening above it. That is why she is always caught from behind.