Brochis multiradiatus

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.

Characteristics
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.

Color
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.

Compatability
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.

Breeding
As far as I am aware there are no documented records of Brochis multiradiatus having been spawned in aquaria to date.

Sexual differences
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.

Feeding
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.

Combtail Gourami

Scientific Name: Belontia signata(GAunther, 1861); Family Osphronemidae; Order Perciformes;
Synonyms: Macropodus signatus, Polyacanthus signatus (neither are valid)
Etymology: Belontia from the native name of a similar species in Borneo; signata from Latin meaning ‘marked’;
Pronunciation: Bell-on-tee-a sig-nay-ta
Common Names: Ceylon Combtail, Red Combtail, Combtail, Comb-tail Paradise Fish, Comb-tail Gourami, Red Comb-tail Gourami

Region: Asia; endemic to the island of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon)
Maximum Size: 18 cm (7 inches) but usually smaller (about 4 inches)
pH and Hardness: prefers slightly acidic (pH 6.5 – 6.8) and soft water but, like many labyrinth fish, is tolerant of less than ideal conditions
Temperature Range: decidedly tropical; temperature range between 75 – 82 degrees Fahrenheit

Cichlids Crossword

 

Across
2.The Royal Leader of Japan
4. Made of precious stone
6. Thrown at the summer Olympic Games
8. He lives in prison
9. Lets you purt a key in the door
10. HO Ho Ho Green ____
11. He is a real Grouch

Down

1. Named after a boxer
2. NBC’s Mascot
5. Find it in the Seafood section
7. A shot of hot sauce will give you this

Cryptoquip

YRRG LFKZU CDFXHKJ TXDV F YRRG SFUHZG GHZK FUZ KPZ VZOUZKV KR PZFXKPJ AHVP KPFK UZIFHW PZFXKPJ UZFOP IFKDUHKJ FWG VDOOZWADXXJ VTFLW

CLUE: K=T
The Cryptoquip is a substation cipher in which one letter stands for another. If you think that X equals O, It will equal O throughout the puzzle. Single letters, short words and words using an apostrophe give you clues to locating vowels. Solution is by trial and error.

Nature or Nurture

One of my favorite fish to work with is the Pterophyllum Scalare or more commonly referred to as Angel Fish. Over the years I have raised literally 100s of various color varieties of these elegant fish. The vast majority have been raised artificially by removing the slate the eggs are laid on and using Methylene Blue as a fungicide until they are old enough to transfer to larger tanks, then given away or sold.

nature_nurture2

I now have been endeavoring to get them to pair off naturally and raise their own fry. This is partly to enjoy them caring for their young and partly because I am too old to deal with raising them artificially any more. At the 2006 Auction in North Tonawanda I bought a “Pair” of veil tailed Red Eyed SilverAngels (My personal favorite variety). They were kept in a 30 Gal tank with 2 Altum Angels.

The Altums are a larger variety also in the Silver color. I was hoping one pair would encourage the other to spawn. As I have written before, the presence of other angels tend to make the parents more protective of their eggs and fry.

The veils did spawn and raised their fry with the only assistance I gave was to feed the parents and fry live baby brine shrimp after about two weeks. I continued to feed all of them the same standard Flake food and brine shrimp diet for about 2 months. At that time the parents started to push the youngsters to the far side of the tank indicating they were about to spawn again. I removed about 15 fry to another tank where they have been ever since. The adults have spawned many times in the interim raising more fry to various stages.

The fry I separated are identical to their parents and were raised in the planted tank for about 9 months. Now I do not condone incest, but a brother and sister have spawned on an Anubias Hastifolia plant and very aggressively chased all their brothers and sisters to the far corners of the tank. Not wanting to create more problems I removed all but 2 of the extras, again to give the new parents someone to protect their fry from.

I am very happy to report the next generation is now caring for another generation of red eyed silver angel fry. When the fry try to swim off the leaf they were moved to, Mom & Dad scoop them into their mouth and put them back. This practice is identical to how their parents raised them. I will start feeding live baby Brine in about a week to help Mom & Dad. It is also interesting that the original pair are also now fanning eggs in their tank.

Now the question: Is it in the genetics of the fish to raise their own fry or was it because of the environment they were raised in that they are protecting and raising their own? I am not a scientist just a hobbyist who enjoys Angelfish.

PS: I have several other pairs that have spawned and had live fry but have not raised them as these have. Maybe it is in the genes.

Pictures of both pairs have been submitted with this article

A WNY aquarium club for the tropical fish hobbyist