Native to the fast-flow ing Amazon and Orinoco rivers, Pictus Catfish are a lively bottom-dweller to add to an active community tank. Generally reaching 5 inches in length, the Pictus Cat is silvery-grey with black spots and long, distinguishing barbels. These barbels are important for a catfish, as they help them navigate their environment and find food. A sandy substrate is best for them, as large or coarse gravel may irritate the barbels.
Pictus Cats are extremely active fish, and can often be seen swimming playfully in the current. In addition, they do best when kept in a group, as they are naturally shoaling fish. Both of these factors mean they should be kept in a tank larger than some other fish of the same size, to allow a school of them room to move about freely. Adding decorations for them to weave in and out of, like driftwood or river rock, is also a good idea. Some aquarists even provide them with a powerhead, to increase water flow in the tank.
Pictus Cats are omnivores, eagerly eating sinking pellets like CS Pro Sticks, or a variety of frozen or live worms and shrimp. Unfortunately, sexing and breeding Pictus Cats is very difficult, as there is little to distinguish males from females, and they require extensive room to engage in their mating habits, so breeding them in the household aquarium will likely never happen. Suitable tank mates include other fish who enjoy fast-moving water, such as rainbow fish and hillstream loaches, as long as none of them are small enough to fit in the Pictus Catfish’s mouth.