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Longnose Twig Catfish

(Farlowella gracilis)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 8"
• Minimum Tank Size: 40 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, KH 4-10, pH 6.5-7.8
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: South America, Colombia   • Family: Loricariidae
• Species: Suckermouth Catfish   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Longnose Twig Catfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Longnose Twig Catfish (Farlowella gracilis) is a popular species of armored catfish originating from the tropical river basins of Colombia. They go by a variety of common names within the aquarium hobby including: Longnose Twig Catfish, Twig Catfish, Whiptail Catfish and Slender Armored Cat. Many hobbyists keeping tropical community aquariums or Amazon biotope aquariums keep Longnose Twig Catfish both for their attractive appearance and their ability to consume algae and detritus.

Longnose Twig Catfish perform an important role within the aquarium ecosystem by keeping excess algae in check and helping to keep the aquarium substrate free of decaying plant material and excess foodstuffs. They are also known for being a long lived and very hardy species once acclimated in the aquarium environment.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Longnose Twig Catfish in the home aquarium.

The native tropical river habitat of the Longnose Twig Catfish consists of slowly moving waters that typically have a sandy or mixed rock and sand substrate with submerged tree root and vegetation near the river banks. Fish species originating from river habitats are typically used to clean, highly oxygenated waters and a good amount of water currents.

Hobbyists should look to replicate these water conditions by providing additional dissolved oxygen and water flow via strong filtration water returns or power heads. Ideally submerged root, driftwood, rocks and plants should be provided to create a more natural habitat and provide additional places for the Longnose Twig Catfish to feed on algae.

Tank mates should include peaceful community fish species (tetras, barbs, gourami, danios, cory cats, loaches) and smaller more peaceful Cichlid species (convicts, firemouths, rainbows, angelfish, smaller catfish). This species is best kept by intermediate or above hobbyists with established community aquariums, planted aquariums or Amazon river biotope setups.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Longnose Twig Catfish and provide a healthy diet.

The Longnose Twig Catfish is an omnivorous species that requires both plant and meaty material in its diet in order to thrive and to maintain a healthy immune system. They will consume naturally occurring algae from within the aquarium, grazing on the aquarium glass, substrate, rocks and driftwood. They will also consume leftover meaty foods that are present on the aquarium substrate.

However, in most cases the Longnose Twig Catfish will also require additional feedings as there will not be enough to food to support them through scavenging only. Hobbyists should provide additional feedings of blanched vegetables like zucchini or squash, sinking algae wafers, shrimp pellets and other sinking pellet foods designed for substrate scavengers.

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