Hancock's Catfish / Platydoras costatus
Catfish / Doradidae / Hancock's Catfish
Profile: Striped Raphael Catfish, Chocolate Doradid, Chocolate Catfish
Synonyms: Cataphractus costatus, Doras costatus, Silurus costatus
Physical description: 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/Length: To 8.5" (22 cm)
Similar species: None
Habitat: South America; the Putumayo and Amazon Rivers in Peru
Aquarium: 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 chemistry: pH 5.8-7.5 (7.0), 2-20 dH (10), 75-86°F (24-30°C)
Social behavior: 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.
Suggested companions: South and Central American cichlids, larger characins, Pimelodus, Trichogaster.
FOOD: Live; snails, Tubifex , crustaceans, insect larvae, small fish; tablets; will graze on algae
Sexual differences: Females may be larger.
Breeding techniques: Unsuccessful
Breeding potential: 10. Breeding attempts of the Striped Raphael Catfish have been unsuccessful.
Remarks: 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.
Difficulty of care: 3. A hardy fish that is not difficult to care for.