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Flagtail Catfish

(Dianema urostriatum)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 75-84° F, pH 6.0-7.5, KH 5-20
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Brazil, Amazon   • Family: Callichthyidae
• Species: Catfish   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Flagtail Catfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Originating from the creeks, tributaries and floodplains of the Brazilian Amazon basin, the Flagtail Catfish (Dianema urostriatum) is a catfish species well suited for aquarium life. Flagtail Catfish stay fairly small with a maximum length of about 5 inches, combined with their peaceful temperament and ease of care make them well suited for even beginning hobbyists. Hobbyists in general are attracted to this species for their flexibility in feeding and ease of care.

Flagtail Catfish will readily consume a wide variety of foods and can exist happily in a wide variety of aquarium setups ranging from simple community aquariums to fully planted or Amazon biotope aquariums. While tolerant to a wide variety of water conditions, the Flagtail Catfish is used to very warm tropical waters in its native water ways, thus they do best in aquariums with water temperatures between 75° F to 82° F.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Flagtail Catfish in the home aquarium.

While very capable of adapting to a wide variety of aquarium setups, the Flagtail Catfish will do best in aquariums that are designed to mimic their natural Amazonian habitat. Good tank design options for this species include a sandy or smooth pepple substrate, plenty of plants, wood root and open swimming areas. Flagtail Catfish do best with moderate water currents and do not have specific lighting requirements. Like most smaller fish species the Flagtail will be much more comfortable in an aquarium with plenty of cover, which will give it a strong sense of security should it feel threatened.

Any peaceful to semi-aggressive tropical fish species make suitable tank mates for the Flagtail Catfish. They can also peacefully co-exist with other similarly shaped and sized catfish species. Flagtail Catfish do not have special filtration requirements and can generally be well kept with high-end power filters, canister filters or wet/dry filters without issue.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Flagtail Catfish and provide a healthy diet.

Flagtail Catfish are easy to feed as they will eat an extremely wide variety of foods. They are also eager feeders that will quickly adjust to their aquarium surroundings and will begin to take food both at the waters surface and from the substrate. It is best to feed them a varied diet consisting mostly of meaty foods like bloodworms, chopped earth worms, brineshrimp, quality flake, frozen or freeze-dried foods and other similar meaty fare.

They should also be fed some vegetable matter, typically a staple flake or sinking pellet food should suffice. Best to feed them a few times per day what they will consume within a few minutes and then monitor their overall girth and growth rate to determine the best long term feeding frequency.

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