Tropical Fish Site

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Gladiator Catfish – Oxydoras Niger


Common name: Gladiator Catfish, Ripsaw Catfish, Black Talking Catfish

Scientific name: Oxydoras Niger

Average Adult Fish Size: 36 inches / 90 cm !

Place of Origin: Amazon region (Peru, Brazil, Rio Purus, Rio Sao Francisco) of South America.

Typical Tank setup: South American biotope with some rock work, roots/driftwood/bogwood along with well rooted plants.

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 180 gallon / 720 litre or larger!

Compatibility: Peaceful if given enough space and hiding places it can call its’ own. Should be kept with fish 6 inches / 15 cm or larger.

Temperature: 70 – 76 Deg F / 21 – 24 Deg C

Water chemistry: pH 6.0 – 7.8

Feeding: Readily accepts all manner of prepared foods. Sinking Catfish Pellets are high on the list, along with floating pellets and sticks, as well as frozen bloodworms, brown worms, chopped mussels, market shrimp, and earthworms.

Sexing: There are no known external sexual differences. There are however some thoughts and suggestions that there may be some differences in the shape of the bony plates which extend from the head to the edge of the pectoral fins. It has been suggested that the male has a more pointed plate, and the female has a more rounded plate. There is no scientific evidence available to support or refute this though.

Breeding: Unknown

Additional Information: Always use a very fine mesh net when transferring this fish. It will get stuck in a regular mesh net making it difficult and time consuming to free. Be careful when handling as its bodily serrations, especially those of larger specimens, can cause injury. Adequate filtration along with frequent water changes are a must for this large specimen.