This interesting, about 20-25 cm long sucking catfish from Peru should only be kept by really experienced aquarists. Beside some adult specimens we could import this time also 4-7 cm long juveniles. The size of these fish is difficult to state, because one should not count the tail fin filaments, which are much longer than the body length, but it is common in aquaristics to count the tail fin in length measurements. In adult Pterosturisoma microps the caudal fin filaments are usually absent, but grow again in the aquarium.
Pterosturisoma microps (there is only the one species in the genus) is oxygen demanding, needs warm water (26-28°C), low germ load and is difficult in feeding. The animals hate to lie on sand or gravel. They prefer the vertical aquarium glass. If they do lie on the bottom, it is on rocks or roots. As an Aufwuchs feeder, they must have something to feed on throughout the day. The best food is a jelly food based on agar or gelatine, which you spread in liquid form (still hot) on stones, which you place in the aquarium after they have cooled down.
By the way, a bare glass bottom is also not good for the animals, as a bacterial lawn can form here over time, which can cause infections on the belly of the fish. It is best to cover the aquarium floor with flat stone slabs. If the animals become thinner and thinner despite good food intake, the intestinal flora is probably damaged. Feces from healthy, other sucking catfish (e.g. Ancistrus) can help here and should be available especially in the acclimation phase.
All in all Pterosturisoma microps are a real challenge for specialists.
For our customers: the animals have code 286551 (4-7 cm) and 286556 (16-20 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer