Schilbe marmoratus
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Schilbe marmoratus

Common Names: African Marbled catfish
African shoulderspot catfish
Family: Shilbeidae
Category: Catfish_Bottom_Feeders
Distribution: Africa; Zaire
Main Ecosystem: Lake; Inhabits large lakes and rivers. Exploits flood plains in the wet season
Temperament: Peaceful; Extremely peaceful fish, almost social, though not a true shoaling fish. Appreciates company from its own species,and ignores most fish that are not suitable prey. Good in communities of fish that average sizes of around 6 inches. May become reclusive in the presence of large boisterous fish. Opportunist carnivore, will eat small fish that will fit into its mouth. Anything less than 4cm long annd 3cm thick will likely be ingested by an adult.
Diet: Ominvore; Unfussy eater with preferences for meaty foods, carnivore pellets, and most commerical diets for tropical fish are taken. Will take flake at a push, but much prefers catfish pellets, livefoods such as bloodworm and brineshrimp, earthworm pieces. Capable of eating large meals due to mouth and stomach dimensions but this fish should not be encouraged to overfeed or take on items that are too massive. Night feeds are not required for this diurnal fish. Even wild caught specimens are voracious feeders.
Care: Care is simple, prefers moderately lit tanks with heavy vegetation around the edges, and clear areas for swimming.Likes cover but acclimates quickly and usually sits in the open. Will not tolerate high nitrate or low oxygenation for extended periods, and water changes must be frequent. This is a bigger relative of the glass catfish so common in the hobby, and must be given similar considerations as regards water quality.
6 - 7.5
24°C - 28°C
75°F - 82°F
1 dH - 20 dH
Potential Size: Male: 12cm (4.7")
Female: 15cm (5.9")
Water Region: Bottom; Will often sit immobile amongst stones, plants and on gravel.
Activity: Diurnal; A highly visible day active catfish in the aquarium.
Gender: Females are deeper bodied than males on average, but there is no true sexual dimorphism.
Breeding: Loose groups with a ratio of females higher than that of males. Eggs are laid among greenery, and hatch in under a week. Young are reputed difficult to feed, but efforts to keep them stocked with tiny live foods should yeild the best results. This is not a commonly captive bred fish
Variants: Distinct species, although shares morphological traits with others in the family shilbeidae. Finnage is characteristic. Not selectively bred.
Comments: Much overlooked and richly patterned catfish for those who like their fish to have unusual looks and rich ,subtle colouration. Zero trouble to take care of in a well managed aquarium, once acclimated they are creatures of habit and stick to their daily routines, commonly choosing favourite resting places.Two to three specimens in a tank is ideal, they buddy up and spend most hours within close proximity irrelevant of sex. Best viewed when scouting the tank for early morning opportunities to feed. Equally at home in flowing or still water.Seemingly languid, but fast and powerful when they are required to be.
Main Colours: Brown, Silver, Yellow
Markings: Mottled
Mouth: Normal
Tail: Flat
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Image Credit: longhairedgit
Submitted By: longhairedgit
Contributors: longhairedgit
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