The Doradidae or Thorny Catfish family includes, among others, the genera Amblydoras, Agamyxis , Platydoras and Pseudodoras. This family is scattered throughout Central and South America and includes over 30 genera and 70 species.
SIZE : The Doradidae Family includes mostly medium to large sized fish, not usually more than 12" (30 cm); although Pseudodoras niger can reach 24" (60 cm) in a large aquarium.
A: The fish of this family usually swim in the lower levels.
TANK : The tank should be at least 32" (80 cm) long or 30 gallons (75 L). The tank should be arranged in dark colors and have floating plants to diffuse the light. The substrate should be fine, for these fish like to burrow. Provide a hiding place for each fish.
WATER : These fish can tolerate a pH from 5.5-7.8, but prefer slightly acidic water. They prefer soft water ranging from 1-25 dH, and require a temperature of 72-82°F (22-28°C).
SB : The Doradidae Family is a peaceful, nocturnal family. These fish can be combined in a community tank with nearly all other fish.
SB : The catfish of the Doradidae family, depending on their size, can be combined with a variety of fish. Generally the following fish are suitable tank mate S : Cichlasoma, Heros, larger characins, and larger gouramis ( Helostoma, Trichogaster, Osphronemus )
FOOD : Small live, dry, and frozen foods that reach the bottom are recommended. These fish should be fed in the evening.
B : Little success with breeding has been reported.
BP : Unsuccessful.
R : These fish possess spines and should be handled carefully. Doradidae Catfish are closely related to the fish of the Auchenipteridae Family. The fish of this family are nocturnal.
DC : This family is hardy.
White-spot Dorydid, Talking Catfish, Spotted Talking Catfish, Spotted Raphael Catfish
SYN : Doraspectinfrons
PD : The body is black in color with an irregular pattern of white spots. The back has 6-8 ridges of spines that run from the gill cover to the caudal fin. The mouth is large and has three pairs of barbels -- one on the upper jaw and two on the lower. The dorsal fin stands erect, and like all the fins, are body color.
SIZE : To 6" (15 cm)
SS : None
H: Shallow flood ponds. South America; in Eastern Peru and Ecuador
TANK : 36" (91 cm) or 35-45 gallons (132-170 L) is sufficient. The tank should be well-planted with a cover of floating plants to diffuse the light. Use a fine gravel bottom and provide hiding places with caves,rocks, wood, and roots.
WATER : pH 5.8-7.5 (7.0), 2-20 dH (10), 66-82°F (19-28°C)
FOOD : Live; Tubifex , insect larvae , Brine Shrimp , fish fry; tablets
SB : A calm, peaceful fish that is recommended for a community tank. It can be kept with medium to large fish, but not with fish under 1.6" (4 cm), as they may be eaten. A nocturnal species.
SB : South and Central American cichlids, larger characins, Pimelodus, Trichogaster.
SC : Females are plumper than males.
B : Spawning success has been reported, although it is usually accidental. Eggs are laid among floating plants.
BP : 10. The White Spotted Dorydid has rarely been bred in captivity. Little information is available.
R : Has the ability to make an audible "growling" sound by rotating its pectoral fins. This sound is amplified by the swim bladder. No two individuals have the identical color or pattern. Like other fish of this family, the White Spotted Doradid becomes easily entangled in a net, so a glass jar or plastic bag should be used.
DC : 3. A robust catfish suggested for a community tank.
Hancock's Catfish, Croaking Spiny Catfish, Talking Catfish[
SYN : Amblydorasaffinis, Doras affinis, D. hancockii
PD :A flattened, stocky fish having three pair of large barbels extending from the mouth. The dorsal fin is tall and a row of spines runs from gills to the caudal fin. The body coloration is variable, although usually ranges from light brown to gray with various lighter and darker markings.
SIZE : To 6" (10 cm)
SS : Other Doradids.
H: Inhabits still and slow moving waters in South America; widespread throughout the Amazon basin.
TANK : A 32" (81 cm) or 30 gallon (114 L) tank is sufficient. The tank should be well-planted and have hiding places among rocks, wood, and roots. Leave open swimming areas and allow the growth of algae. This species appreciates a shallow tank with a low water level.
WATER : pH 5.8-7.5 (7.2), 2-20 dH (10), 73-82°F (23-28°F)
SB : A peaceful, nocturnal species that is suited for a community tank having medium to large sized fish. This fish lives in large schools (exceeding 1000) in nature.
SB : Angelfish, larger Characins, Heros, Mesonauta, Eartheaters, Gouramis, Pimelodus
FOOD : Algae; plant matter; live; insect larvae , worms, crustaceans; tablets.
SC : The belly of the female is said to be brownish-white, while the male has a speckled belly.
B : Has not been successful in captivity, although has been observed in nature. Spawning is said to occur during the rains, after the male constructs a nest of leaves.
BP : 10. No reports of spawning in captivity.
R : When removed from the water this species makes a growling noise.
DC : 3. This robust species can be kept in a community tank having similarly sized fish. Its diet should include live foods.
Striped Raphael Catfish, Chocolate Doradid, Chocolate Catfish [
SYN : Cataphractus costatus, Doras costatus, Silurus costatus
PD : This fish is almost tadpole shaped when viewed from above. The body widens and ends at a point at the tail. The belly has a straight profile. The base body color is chocolate brown. Three white stripes form an attractive pattern on the fish. The first extends along the jaw from the tip of the snout to the end of the pectoral fin. The second runs from the middle of the forehead along a spiny ridge to the tail. The third runs along the top of the fish's back. There are two pairs of barbels, one on each the lower and upper jaw. The coloring on the tail makes a Y-shape.
SIZE : To 8.5" (22 cm)
SS : None
HAB : South America; the Putumayo and Amazon River s in Peru
S : bottom
TANK : 32" (80 cm) or 30 gallons (114 L) is adequate. The tank should be well-planted with a cover of floating plants to diffuse the light. Use a fine gravel bottom and provide hiding places with caves, rocks, wood, and roots. Algae growth is welcomed.
WATER : pH 5.8-7.5 (7.0), 2-20 dH (10), 75-86°F (24-30°C)
SB : A peaceful fish that is territorial towards its own species. In territorial disputes, no harm is done, but simply a display of pectoral and dorsal spines is performed. Ideal for a community tank with fishes over 2" (5 cm), as fish smaller than this size may be eaten. It often hides during the day, and comes out to feed at dusk.
SC : South and Central American cichlids, larger characins, Pimelodus, Trichogaster.
FOOD : Live; snails, Tubifex , crustaceans, insect larvae , small fish; tablets; will graze on algae
SEX : Females may be larger.
B : Unsuccessful
BP : 10. Breeding attempts of the Striped Raphael Catfish have been unsuccessful.
R : Handle this fish with care; it has several sets of spines. The spines on the inner side of the pectoral fin can be used to sting. This catfish emits a talking-like sound when it rubs its pectoral fins against one another. Easily get entangled in a net, so use a glass jar or plastic bag.
DC : 3. A hardy fish that is not difficult to care for.