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Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus - Orinoco sailfin catfishMagyarul / Hungarian
Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus - Orinoco sailfin catfishPterygoplichthys multiradiatus - Orinoco sailfin catfish
  • Scientific name: Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus
  • Synonyms: Hypostomus multiradiatus, Ancistrus multiradiatus, Liposarcus multiradiatus
  • Common name: Orinoco sailfin catfish
  • Group: Catfishes
  • Habitat: South America; Venezuela, widespread from Orinoco River basin to Argentina. It has been introduced to many country, such as Taiwan, Vietnam, Southeast USA, Mexico and Hawaii.
  • Size: 50 cm
  • Biotope: Inhabits freshwater streams and lakes and in weedy, mud-bottomed canals.
  • Social behavior: A generally peaceful catfish, but it can be territorial with its own kind. Can be kept in a community tank with most of the fish.
  • Diet: Omnivorous; mainly feeds on benthic algae and aquatic weeds, but will also take worms and insect larvae in nature. It will accept dried and tablet foods in aquarium.
  • Breeding: It is not possible in aquarium.
  • Tank: Minimum 450 litres
  • Population: 1 fish for 450 litres
  • Decoration: It should be kept only in large tanks with plenty of rocks and driftwood in which it can hide.
  • Temperature: 23-27 °C
  • pH: 6.5-7.8.
  • Hardness: 4-20 NK°
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years

Description: Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus has a light brown body color with a leopard-like pattern: its body and fins are covered with dark spots of variable size, while on the abdomen area it has broken circle like patterns. Dark spots discrete, never coalescing or forming dark chevrons on posterior half of body. Pterygoplichthys can be identified by the number of rays in the sail-like dorsal fin. 12-14 (rarely 11) soft rays indicates that it's a Pterygoplichthys. Most other plecos have 8 or fewer rays (in particular the larger Hypostomus species that are most likely to be confused with Pterygoplichthys). Although these catfishes are not particularly active during the day, their mature size dictates tanks of many hundreds of litres. Orinoco sailfin catfish is quite rare in the stores.

It is hard to tell the differences between sexes, but comparison of the genital papilla in mature fish will show the differences. In males this is a small yet thick stump which noticeably protrudes from the fish's underside, while in females it is less obvious and is recessed or lies flat with the body. There are no reports of its successful aquarium bredding. In nature male will usually dig 1 meter long burrows into soft clay or mud river banks, where the female will deposit the eggs. The male guards the eggs until they hatch. Several spawns can occur each year and have up to 7000 eggs in each one.

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