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 Talking/Humbug/Raphael Catfish

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Rich
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PostSubject: Talking/Humbug/Raphael Catfish   Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:53 am

http://www.planetcatfish.com/scripts/clog_link.php?q=platydoras+costatus

The talking part comes from the fact these fish can make a clicking noise which is remarkably loud for the size of the fish, and this occures especially when out of water (like many catfish, they can withstand a reasonable time out of water) but will also use the same noise in water to warn other fish off. The noise is (from experience) similar to that made when one runs the finger nail across the teeth of a platic comb, allowing them to snap straight again.

Try the following link to hear an example http://bluesteelltd.com/jgd/platydoras_costatus.mp3


PLEASE NOTE THESE FISH HAVE SHARP SPINES SO CARE IS NEEDED WHEN HANDLING (IE use of nets or bare hands)

Striped Talking Catfish


(Striped Raphael Catfish, Humbug Catfish)

Scientific Name: Platydoras Costatus.

Range: Brazil, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay.

Maximum size: 17,5 cm. (7").

Food: This secretive and nocturnal
fish leaves its daytime hiding place to scavenge for food in the dark. It will accept all aquarium fish foods, like sinking catfish tablets,
stick food, shrimps and small pieces of meat and fish. Bloodworm and high protein dry food are very suitable. Occasionally, this species may
grab an unfortunate tank mate small enough to be swallowed whole. Once established and acclimatized, a well-aimed piece of food can temp this fish out of his hide-out, even during day time.

Temperament: A peaceful fish, suitable for a community tank as well as a predatory fish tank (due to its secretive lifestyle).
Note that any fish that fits its mouth is viewed as a potential meal, although only fish that venture too close risk being grabbed: it is no
active hunter, but rather an opportunistic feeder.




July 1997 Catfish of the month (Planet catfish)



Although the price of these fish has increased slightly in relative terms over the last decade and the size of specimens offered for sale has
dropped, in my opinion, they remain a very attractive fish for the price. Their main drawback is their extreme nocturnal nature. Raphael cats love to hide from the light and will wedge themselves into almost any dark place to avoid exposure - who needs sunscreen? This unfortunate behaviour means that to cater for these fish correctly you have to give up on being able to view them most of
the time, in my mind this adds to the occasion when they are spotted "out and about".

One of the difficulties with this natural daytime shyness is a common problem faced by many catfish keepers - heater burns. These fish, if not given sufficient cover, can wedge themselves between the aquarium heater/thermostat and the substrate or aquarium glass. If they are so hidden when the heater comes on then you might be faced with a dead catfish, or at best an unpleasantly scarred fish that will be susceptible to secondary infection. Heater guards are one solution, but if you place the heater far enough above the substrate and supply alternative dark retreats then the fish will oblige by moving home the next time the lights are out.

When the lights are out both in the tank and in the room housing the aquarium, you can creep up to the tank and watch these fish go about there nocturnal activities (using a weak torch). If they are hungry you will find them in an almost continuous cruise around the aquarium in search for food. It is easiest to feed these fish at this time, for any food offered will be eaten by the night active fish.
However with a little patience and skill you can train them to eat during the day. Assuming that the fish has taken up home in a particular cave or suchlike, put some food at its entrance at a regular time every day. If the fish is hungry enough, it will come out to eat. Eventually the fish will react to you moving the aquarium hood and will come out to feed at any point during the day sometimes even venturing towards the water surface.

The image to the side perfectly illustrates the barbed hooks that adorn the flanks of these catfish, they might look quite ornate from a
distance, but cause real problems when trying to net these fish. Alternative methods, such as enticing the fish into an appropriately sized PVC pipe and removing both fish & pipe, have to be employed to avoid damage to net, fish and aquarist!

Platydoras costatus are not commercially bred and so all specimens available for sale are wild-caught. With all such shipments,
odd balls or "contaminants" can sometimes be found. These are similar species that are often thrown in with the intended species by exporters. They do not necessarily come from the same river or locality, but simply have passed through the same exporters or sometime importers facility. In this way the similar Orinocodoras eigenmanni can sometimes be offered for sale labelled as a Striped Raphael Cat or suchlike.

This contaminant is most easily distinguished by its longer, more elongate snout and longer adipose fin. The contrasting white stripes on Platydoras costatus are also considerably brigher, particularly on youngsters. Both these fish are identical in terms of
care and full gorwn adult size.

Size 160mm (MAX)

Scientific Name Platydoras costatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s) Humbug Catfish, Striped Raphael Catfish, Striped Talking Catfish
Type Locality Indiis [South America].
Synonym(s) Silurus costatus
Pronunciation pla tee doh russ - kos TAT uss
Etymology Platydoras:
From the Greek platys, meaning flat, and doras, meaning skin (also a
word commonly used in forming generic names for doradids); in reference
to the depressed head.
Identification Orinocodoras eigenmanni
can sometimes be offered for sale labeled as a Striped Raphael Cat or
suchlike. This contaminant is most easily distinguished by its longer,
more elongate snout and longer adipose fin. The contrasting white
stripes on Platydoras costatus are also considerably brighter, particularly on youngsters.
Sexing Unknown
General Remarks Talking
catfishes get their common name from noises they make, mostly at night,
by griding their pectoral fin bone in its "socket". Click here to listen to this species.
Habitat Information
Distribution Widespread throughout Brazil, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay.
Amazon (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Lower Amazon, Tocantins (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Piauí Rivers, Parnaíba (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Orinoco (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Coastal Rivers of Guyanas, Essequibo (click on these areas to find other species found there)
pH 6.0 - 7.5
Temperature 23.0-30.0°C or 73.4-86°F (Show others)
Other Parameters Slightly softer water is beneficial but not essential.
Husbandry Information
Feeding
All aquarium fish foods, sinking catfish tablets offer the best method of
getting food to the fish. Bloodworm and high protein dry food are also
favourites. Try delivering food at night.
Furniture Caves
or pipes are a requirement if this fish is to avoid long-term stress or
the possibility of mistaking a heater for safe refuge.
Compatibility An ideal community fish, peaceful but rugged.
Suggested Tankmates Anything from tetras to cichlids, preferably South American, but will mix with all community fish.
Breeding Unknown.
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PostSubject: Re: Talking/Humbug/Raphael Catfish   Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:33 am

Nice looking little fish there Rich,
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PostSubject: Re: Talking/Humbug/Raphael Catfish   Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:34 am

They grow quite fast too - im told 6" is max - so far they are shy - but i do hear them at night - also - they are slowly becoming more sociable in daylight - obviously dinner time is good for them - they pop out of the cave they share (they seem quite socialble with their own kind from what ive seen) and grab anythig n everything thats on the floor

I think they actively gather food and hoard it for private eating.

Anyway 0 they seem to adore anything a bit meatier so the hikarie carnivore pellets go down a storm with them.
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