We again welcome back to ScotCat, author and catfish expert Chris Ralph and a look at one of his favourite members of the Callichthyidae family, the Hog-nosed Brochis.
Brochis multiradiatus is one of the largest of the Brochis group of catfish and is very popular amongst a number of catfish enthusiasts myself included. Unfortunately Brochis multiradiatus is not commonly available to the hobbyist.. When observing these catfish the aquarist is taken in by the ability of this catfish to almost “wink” at you (Brochis multiradiatus along with its close cousins the “Cory’s” can roll their eyes).
Brochis multiradiatus belongs to the family Callichthyidae from Ecuador; namely the eastern tributary of the Rio Lagartococha near the town of Garza- Cocha, in the Upper Napo river system; Peru; namely the Amazon basin Rio Samiria drainage: Quebrada Santa and Rio Yavari drainage: Benjamin Constant. Brochis multiradiatus is also documented as being found in South America namely the western Amazon River basin (which covers Ecuador and Peru) and Bolivia.
Brochis multiradiatus prefer to be kept in water which has a pH in the range of 6.0-7.2, and hardness in the range up to 15.0 dGH. This catfish is ideally suited to temperatures in the range of 21-24°C. I would suggest a tank of the minimum size of 30″ x 15″ X 12″ for a shoal of these fascinating catfish. The preferred substrate for keeping these catfish should be good quality aquarium sand such as BD Aquarium Sand, or very smooth rounded gravel in order to prevent their barbels from being damaged. The aquarium should provide some shelter in the form of rocks, bogwood and aquatic plants. As with all other species of fish, water quality and general husbandry is very important, and I would recommend that a minimum of 25% water is changed on a fortnightly basis.
The body shape of Brochis multiradiatus is triangular which is typical of most of the “Corydoras spp” within the family Callichthyidae. The body of this fish is deep, with adults having a noticeably longer snout. The dorsal fin has 15-18 soft rays; although Brochis multiradiatus usually has17 soft rays.
The base colour of the body and head varies from a dull brownish/grey to bluish or greenish metallic coloured. The lower half of the ventrolateral body scutes can be light yellow to light pink in colour. A good specimen will have a true emerald green colouration to the flanks and dorsal area, with a pinkish tinge to the ventral region. There can be a presence of colour in the fins of juveniles, but this disappears as the fish matures leaving perfectly clear fins in an adult. The pectoral fin spines are coloured.
Wherever possible I would recommend that the aquarist keep these catfish in groups of six, but as the absolute minimum I would suggest three specimens. In their natural habitat Brochis multiradiatus would be found in very large shoals. Brochis multiradiatus are quite at home with other members of the family Callichthyidae. These catfish are ideally suited to being kept in a community aquarium environment with other species of fish such as Cardinal tetras, other small catfish such as Corydoras and Dwarf cichlids such as any of the Apistogramma spp.
As far as I am aware there are no documented records of Brochis multiradiatus having been spawned in aquaria to date.
The males tend to be more slender than the females. The dorsal and pectoral fins of the males tend to be more pointed than those of the females.
As with all the other Brochis that I have had the pleasure to keep over the years, Brochis multiradiatus readily accepts a mixed and varied diet. I personally feed all of my Brochis on sinking catfish pellets, good quality flake foods, granular foods, cultured whiteworm and frozen foods such as bloodworm to name but a few.