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August 19, 2018
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Title Mees' Pimelodid, a tiny pictus cat alternative.

Sara Waller

Last Updated



A brief description of the Mees' pimelodid.

The Mees' pimelodid (Brachyrhamdia meesi) is a small catfish found near the mouth of the Amazon River in Pará state.  It inhabits swift flowing parts of rivers, where it is found around the shorelines.  The Mees' pimelodid grows to an adult size of 2.4 to 3 inches long.  Mature females should be noticeably more full bodied than males.

The Mees' pimelodid is closely related to members of the Pimelodella genus, including the popular pictus catfish.

The Mees' pimelodid should be maintained in an aquarium of 30 gallons or larger.  A sand substrate (CS7581) is ideal.  Driftwood roots and branches can be used to provides hiding places.  Live plants may also be incorporated, though they are not necessary.

The Mees' pimelodid prefers a temperature of 76°F to 83°F, a pH of 6.0 to 7.5, and a hardness of 1 to 10°H.  

The Mees' pimelodid is typically a very peaceful fish and suitable for a community aquarium as long as there are no fish under one inch long.  Good tank mates include larger tetras, dwarf cichlids, peaceful barbs, Corydoras sp. and smaller Loricariids.  It is totally not generally aggressive towards conspecifics, and is equally happy when kept singly, or as part of a group.

Mees' pimelodids and other Brachyrhamdia species of catfish mimic otocinclus and Corydoras species in the wild and will often be found schooling with these fish for protection from predators.  They are easily told apart by their much longer barbels.

Mees' pimelodids primarily feed on bottom dwelling invertebrates in the wild, but in the aquarium it relishes live and frozen foods such as blood worms (SF4792), earthworms, and black worms, as well as sinking dried foods (AL166).  Take care not to overfeed, as these small fish are surprisingly greedy.  For maximum color, growth, and health these fish will look their best when given probiotics (AL169) in addition to a balanced diet.

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