Lima shovelnose Catfish Aquarium Care, Feeding and Native Habitat Information
The Lima shovelnose catfish is a species of shovelnose catfish that are common throughout the Amazon and parts of South America. Their name originates from their flat rounded heads, which they use like a shovel to dig in the substrate for various food items. In the wild, the Lima shovelnose catfish spends much of its time moving about the bottom of rivers and tributaries looking for small crustaceans and fish species to consume. Lima shovelnose also position themselves vertically near tree roots and similar structures waiting for unsuspecting fish to swim nearby. While they are an aggressive predatory species, the Lima shovelnose is one of the smaller Pimelodidae family species reaching between 14 to 18 inches within the aquarium environment. While this is still a large sized fish, it is much smaller than the 36 to 48 inches of length that other members of the Pimelodidae family reach.
The Lima shovelnose Catfish requires a larger aquarium as an adult (180 gallons or more), but can be raised in smaller aquariums from 55 gallons on up as a juvenile. They are an active fish species that is known to jump out of uncovered aquariums, thus well covered aquariums are recommended. Lima shovelnose will do best in aquariums that resemble their natural surroundings as close as possible, thus a sandy/gravel mixed substrate, driftwood or tree root and Amazonian plant species will all highly desirable additions to a Lima shovelnose tank. While not overly sensitive to overall water quality the Lima shovelnose does put out a large bio-load, which means aquariums housing this species should have strong biological filtration and good water movement in order to keep high quality water conditions. Lastly the Lima shovelnose should be housed with other large aggressive fish species that it cannot fit in its mouth.
Lima shovelnose catfish consume a wide variety of small crustaceans, fish, insects and worms in the wild. They will readily accept these same foods within the aquarium environment, or they can fairly easily be weaned from these foods to more economical pellet foods, crickets and earthworms. An added benefit of pellet foods, crickets, earthworms and similar foods is that they do not spread diseases like feeder fish can and provide a more nutritious and balanced diet for the Lima shovelnose.