The large-sized species of the spiny catfishes (Pimelodidae) belong as adult fishes to the desired food fishes and not less desired species for fans of predatory catfishes with giant aquariums. As juveniles, these animals often look completely different and have, for example, absurdly long fin processes.
The Shovelnose catfishes of the genus Sorubim are with about 50 cm final length still to be counted to the smaller representatives of this group. Their youngsters have a gigantic enlargement of the lower tail fin half, which is colored black besides. The purpose of this anatomical peculiarity is probably that potential predators mistake this caudal fin lobe for the fish. If they snap at it, the thrust often goes nowhere because a prey grabber expects the prey to move forward.
Aside from their expected size, Sorubim are good aquarium fish that are peaceful toward conspecifics and other species that are not considered food. Sorubim like to stand vertically, head down, on wood or large plant leaves, so this should be taken into consideration when setting up the aquarium.
Interestingly, Shovelnose catfish shed their skin regularly, similar to what is known from reptiles. When catching them, beware of the pointed pectoral fin spines, which can sting poisonously.
In the aquarium, small juveniles prefer to eat live food (e.g. white mosquito larvae), but Sorubim can be well accustomed to frozen food. Grown-up animals are best fed with frozen smelts. Shovelnose catfish are not interested in plant food.
For our customers: the animals have code 293202 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer