Emerald Catfish

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Species group:

Other common names: Cory Catfish; Short-bodied Catfish; Green Brochis; Emerald Brochis; Emerald Cory; Common Brochis

Scientific name: Brochis splendens

The Basics:
The Emerald Catfish is a small member of the armored catfish family (Callichthyidae) and is native to slow moving, vegetated tropical streams and rivers throughout South America. Emerald Catfish are a popular home aquarium fish, and are shy and peaceful and do best when kept in groups of three or more individuals.

Emerald Catfish are larger and more rotund than many of their sister species. The name is derived from their brilliant emerald green coloration. The juveniles may display a bluish tint. Strangely enough, earlier, the juveniles were thought to be a different species due to their color, but eventually aquarists realized that they matured into the adult green. The face of the Emerald Catfish resembles that of the Corydoradine fish. In fact, they look like a stouter version of the smaller Corydoradines. However, their dorsal fins are much more elongated. They also have more rays than their cousins do. These fish have an arched back. It is surrounded by two rows of bony plates on either side. The upper row of plates are a wonderful metallic green color which may appear blue under some lights. The lower half is white. The fish's fins are tan to bronze in color. The upper jaw sports two pairs of barbels.

0-5 inches

Emerald Catfish are shy and peaceful by nature. However, their shyness does not mean that the fish do not enjoy playing. It is preferable to house them in groups of three or more since they like to shoal, which induces a feeling of safety. Most fish species that are not overly aggressive or gluttonous are suitable tank mates. Considerably larger or belligerent fish such as large Cichlids are not kept in the same tank.

The tank must have a capacity of at least 20 gallons. The fish enjoy a cover of floating plants, which become choice venues for breeding. They borrow into the substrate, so fine gravel is used. Dim lighting is provided and the tank is heavily planted, which helps the fish feel secure. Hiding places can be constructed with rocks, roots, and wood. The fish prefer shallow tanks. A soft, fine substrate is ideal, but live foods can escape into it; hence, a small patch of tank floor is left exposed, and used for feeding. They prefer heavily planted tanks with sandy bottoms, and do well in community tanks which do not contain overly aggressive fish.

72.00-82.00 °F


50.000-100.000 mg/L

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