Emerald Catfish | Brochis splendens
Catfish / Callichthyidae / Emerald Catfish
Profile: Emerald Catfish, Short-bodied Catfish, Green Brochis, Emerald Brochis, Emerald Cory, Common Brochis
Brochis splendens Synonyms: Brochis coeruleus, B. dipterus, Callichthys splendens
Physical description: The body is stocky and deep, with an arched back. Two rows of bony plates make up each side of the fish. The upper has 21-23 plates, while the lower 19-21. Two pairs of barbels are located on the upper jaw. The upper part of the lower plates are the same color as the upper plates, while the lower half is white. The upper row of plates have a metallic green to blue color, depending on the light. The fins are the tan to bronze in color. This fish is sometimes confused with C. aeneus but the differences are apparent when placed beside one another. B. splendens has a more pointed head, a greener color, and is deeper in body.
Size/Length: To 4" (10 cm), although usually not larger than 2.8" (7 cm)
Similar species: Long-finned Brochis ( Brochis britskii ), Giant Brochis (Brochis multiradiatus ), Bronze Catfish ( Corydoras aeneus ), Golden-eared Cory ( Corydoras eques )
H: Along banks of slow-moving rivers with dense vegetation. South America; the Western Amazon Basin.
Aquarium: 20" (50 cm) or 10 gallons (38 L). Use fine gravel bottom, as this fish burrows. The tank should be dimly lit and well-planted. Provide hiding places with rocks, roots, and wood. Shallow tanks are preferred.
Water chemistry: pH 5.8-7.8 (7.0), 2-30 dH (10), 72-82°F (22-28°C)
Social behavior: A peaceful, undemanding fish, ideal for community tanks and beginning aquariasts. The Emerald catfish likes to shoal, so keep it in groups of 3 or more fish. Do not keep with substantially larger, aggressive fish such as large cichlids.
Social behavior: Smaller tetras, Discus, Dwarf Cichlids, Livebearers, Gouramis, Barbs, Danios, Killifish
FOOD: Live; aquatic insects, white worms, Tubifex , Brine Shrimp, insect larvae; tablets; flake
Suggested companions: The females are larger, plumper, and less colorful
Breeding techniques: Spawning is initiated by the addition of cooler water. Recommended values for the water are: 72°F (22°C), pH of 6.0, and a dH of 2-4. The Emerald Catfish usually spawns in groups consisting of one female and several females. Each spawning produces 5-12 eggs and lasts between 1-3 hours. After all spawning is done, about 200 eggs remain on leaves, roots, stones and tank glass. Remove them and place in a rearing tank. The fry hatch in 5-6 days, at which time they swim immediately to the bottom. Feed microorganisms and small tablets. The fry are green in color on the front half of their bodies while the rear part red.
Breeding potential: 8. Breeding the Emerald Catfish is difficult.
Remarks: The Emerald Catfish is hardy, but good water conditions are needed if its metallic green or blue color is to develop. Species of the genus Brochis can be distinguished from Corydoras species by their presence of more dorsal rays.
Difficulty of care: 2. A hardy catfish recommended for almost any community tank.