Home | Aquarium Livestock | Crazy Cats – Bizarre and Interesting Catfish Species for Your Aquarium

Crazy Cats – Bizarre and Interesting Catfish Species for Your Aquarium

Hello everyone, Craig here,  and I have to admit something… I LOVE catfish.  Big and clunky, or little and petite, doesn’t much matter. I just love catfish! We’ve been getting some pretty amazing catfish in lately, and I wanted to just highlight some of the crazy species we see here from time to time.

Hog-nosed BrochisLet me start with Brochis multiradiatus, otherwise known as the Hog-nosed Brochis cat.  Not exactly a Corydoras cat, this larger cousin of the Cory’s has a lot of character. These big fellas are about 4 inches long and they are like vacuum cleaners at the bottom of your aquarium! They are brown to grey with a metallic green overlay, and elongated, pig-like noses. These cats are not as commonly seen as their little cousins the Corydoras. Hog- nosed Brochis cats have always proven to be sturdy and hard working residents in community and semi-aggressive community aquariums.

Spoon-faced whiptailWant something weird? Well, the first time I saw the Spoon-faced Whiptail, I was practically speechless. The bizarre body structure of Planiloricaria cryptodon has to make it one of the strangest looking fish of the catfish in the world. With a head that is flat and round, these guys really do live up to their common moniker of Spoon-faced Cat. To make them even more interesting, they have very long tail filaments that can easily be as long as their bodies. They get rather large, growing up to a little over 8 inches, but they are very effective scavengers. In an aquarium with soft, fine substrate these cats will crawl around the bottom and suck up any left-over foods that might have settled there. Totally strange, but hard working, too.

Next on the list is the Spatula-barbeled Catfish, Phyllonemus typus. These small catfish from Lake Tanganyika are something really special. Their coloration is silky brown with a white belly, and they have long, thin barbels that each end in a flattened, feathery black tip. I can remember seeing these fish in books when I was younger and wondering what they looked like in person… well, I gotta say, they are even more beautiful than in the book, in my opinion.

Perhaps the star of the current list of catfishes we have in stock is the Starlight Bristle-nose Catfish, Ancistrus dolichopterus, or L-183.  A stunning and somewhat new addition to the world of plecos, the Starlight Pleco has Starlight Bristlenose Plecodark coloration with tiny white speckles covering the front half of its body. The edges of its tail and dorsal fin are a bluish-white color. These are highly prized by breeders and collectors. These plecos only attain a size of about 4 inches. I can see how some people are absolute fanatics about this fish.

The selection of catfish in our fish room is constantly changing. These listed above barely even scratch the surface of the interesting and beautiful species available in the market. Anybody out there have a favorite catfish species to tell us about? It is kind of like being able to live out a personal fantasy, being able to order and see these amazing fish every day! If you’re ever interested in these or any other catfish we have available, or if you have any questions we can answer, please feel free to comment below or stop in and take a look for yourself.  

Thanks, Until next time,



  1. avatar

    Do you have any Ancistrus dolichopterus, or L-183, for sale at this time?

  2. avatar

    Hello Ron, We don’t have any L183 in stock at this time. Its been over a year since we’ve been able to get them. If you’d like us to sign you up for an email notification when they are available again, you can contact our livestock mailorder department at 877-367-4377 or livefish@thatpetplace.com.

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