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Old 04-02-2005, 12:51 PM   #1
amiidae
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Default Species profile - Merodontodus tigrinus (Zebra cat)

Scientific name: Merodontodus tigrinus

Common name: Zebra Shovelnose, Tigrinus catfish, Tiger striped catfish.

Family: Pimelodidae

Origin: Brazil:
(Rio Maderia) Colombia: (Caqueta River)
Peru

Maximum size:
Usually abt 3' in captivity, definitely bigger in the wild.

Description:
M.tigrinus is quite closely related to B.juruensis, but it has a longer upper jaw and the first rays of the dorsal and pectoral fins are described as being flexible. Both of these catfish share a similar colour pattern of inclined stripes on the body, although M.tigrinus is the more striking of the two cats. B.juruensis is quite often referred to as the "False Tigrinus". The colour pattern is outstanding with a yellow to almost white base colour to the body with black stripes. Most of the fins share this same colour pattern of that of the body of this catfish.

Care:
Provide this fish with a minimum 6'x3'x3' tank/pond and a large filter such as a sump tank. As far as water quality goes, they will be fine with a PH between 6.5 to 7.5 and a temperature of 22- 26C, they need plenty of surface water movement and plenty of oxygen in the water. These fish can be housed with fishes such as stingrays, STs, arowanas and etc. Just make sure that they are of equal size or bigger as this cat has large mouth and will eat anything that fits its mouth.

Feeding:
They have similar feeding habits like most of the catfishes. When they're small 2"-6", they can be fed on bloodworms, small feeder mollies and other smaller feeder fishes daily or every other day, once they get to 8"-12" they should take big mollies and other big feeders readily. MP can be train when juvenile.

Breeding: These fish does not bred in captivity.

Personal:
If you are keeping more than one in a tank, the tank has got to be big and ensure you provide sufficient rock slabs for them to hide. if not, fights will definitely occur. It is better to have at least 3 and above so that the aggression towards any single fish will be minimized.

Extra:
The original specimens that were caught and described by Dr Britski of the Saô Paulo Zoology Museum were from the Rio Maderia in Brazil. It was originally thought that this was the only location where this species of catfish was found, however this catfish is known to be collected in Columbia and Peru. The original fish were collected in 1978 by Michael Goulding.. A publication by Dr Dario Castro of the University of Bogotá in 1984 recorded this catfish as being collected from the lower Caqueta River in Columbia

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Old 10-02-2005, 11:12 PM   #2
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pixs of my tigrinus....size 13"+ enjoy...

Last edited by aapl76; 01-01-2007 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 05-07-2005, 01:51 PM   #3
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Default Zebra Tignirus info

Article by Tan Teck Chye



About The Merodontotus Tigrinus

Some time back, we were fortunate enough to get hold of 2 specimens of Merodontotus Tigrinus, one of the rarest and most beautiful catfish that has found it's way out from the great amazon basin.


The Zebra ShovelNose catfish as it is often called was first caught and desribed by Dr Britski in 1981. It's inhabits the white water areas that spans across the amazon region of columbia, peru and the Rio Maderia in Brazil.

This catfish is indeed one of the most expensive among the members of the Pimelodidae Family. Few Tigrinus ever makes it's way down to our local fish shop and hobbyist fortunate enough to chance upon them can glaze endlessly at it's beautifully stripped body running the entire length of it's body.

Close examination of the body reveals a slight blue tint to it (especially around the head region), especially towards the head region. The eyes are small and it's wide curving snout makes you wonder if it is not perpetually smiling at you. Zebra like stripes crosses it's body and should be straight and defined in a good specimen (as shown in the body shot above). Crisscross or Y stripes are considered imperfection.

Large specimens are even hardly to come by while smaller 2-3 inches M Tigrinus have recently made it's way to the market. Care should be taken in rearing them from young as not many have been successful in getting them to feed.

Caring

We find that they adapt well to our local temperature without any need for adjustment. As they are usually found in 'whitewater' environment, pH for this fish should be either neutral or slightly acidic (region of 6.5).

The rushing water in its natural habitat provides for water turbulance and high level of dissolved oxygen. It is important to simulate this. In our tank, an internal powered filter provides this (in addition to addtional filtration capacity).

As it is nocturnal in nature, it is not easy to observe the feeding habit of this fish. We feed ours with small feeders (e.g. goldfish, red fish). In the morning, the disappearance of these feeders is a good indication that the tigrinus have been feeding.

So far, we have succeeded only in feeding live feed to the fishes. Being nocturnal in nature, don't be surprised if the fish ignores food when you throw them in. It feeds mainly at night and in darkness. Our nightly ritual involves releasing a small batch of feeder fish into the tank. Feeding is confirmed by observing the number of 'disappearance' the following morning. It is also through this mean that we determine the appetite of the fish.

As the fish grow accustom to it's tank environment, we have noticed outright feeding as we introduces the feeders in.

The fact that the Tigrinus is a scanvager should indicate feeding of fish/prawn meat. However, regular attempts have been made on introducing chunks of market prawn to the tigrinus but this have failed so far.

Tank Layout

In the wild, tigrinus grows to a whooping 24-28 inches. While this may not be achievable in an aquarium environment, it is important to provide as large an area as is possible. A confined space may cause the fish to be jumpy and damage it's delicate snout. The first sign of trouble occurs if your fish stops feeding.

Thus we recommend at least a 4X2 tank. We house our catfishes in a simple gravel based tank with rocks (large branch can be used as well) to provide shade and hiding place/cave for this nocturnal creature. Lighting should not be overly bright. Take care to provide sufficient turbulance and high dissolved oxygen (an internal power filter is highly recommended). Make sure that your tank is equiped with efficient filtration as the Tigrinus requires well good water condition.

A water change of 20% twice a week is recommended. As for tankmates, avoid any fish that can potentially become a meal for the catfish. Pacus or similar size fishes have so far

Last edited by GARY©; 05-07-2005 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 16-07-2005, 11:52 AM   #4
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Default Zebra part 2 information sharing............

Merodontotus tigrinus


Merodontosus tigrinus is also known as the Tiger-striped Catfish. This magnificent catfish belongs to the family Pimelodidae, representatives of which can be found widespread throughout the rivers of South America. The original specimens that were caught and described by Dr Britski of the Saô Paulo Zoology Museum were from the Rio Maderia in Brazil. It was originally thought that this was the only location where this species of catfish was found, however this catfish is known to be collected in Columbia and I personally have experience of Peruvian exporters collecting these fish in Peru. The original fish were collected in 1978 by Michael Goulding. A publication by Dr Dario Castro of the University of Bogotá in 1984 recorded this catfish as being collected from the lower Caqueta River in Columbia.


Merodontotus tigrinus is quite closely related to Brachyplatystoma juruensis, but has a longer upper jaw, and the first rays of the dorsal and pectoral fins are described as being flexible and not pungent. Both of these catfish share a similar colour pattern of inclined stripes on the body, although it has to be said that Merodontotus tigrinus is the more striking of the two fish. Brachyplatystoma juruensis is quite often referred to as the "False Tigrinus". The colour pattern is outstanding with a yellow to almost white base colour to the body with black stripes. Most of the fins share this same colour pattern of that of the body of this catfish.


The show size listed in the Catfish Study Group U.K. listing is 450mm s.l. i.e. from the tip of the snout to the base of the caudal peduncle. In their natural habitat, however they grow well in excess of this size and can attain lengths in excess of 600mm quite easily. This catfish is perhaps one of the most expensive specimen from this family of fish. The first specimen that I ever saw back in the mid eighties had a price tag of £1000 (U.K.), and I have recently seen specimens for sale at between £500 and £600. Obviously consideration needs to be given to the size of aquarium in which to keep such a magnificent catfish as this, I would not recommend anyone to keep one of these catfish in anything less than a 72" x 24" x 24". As well as the size of aquarium good filtration is also very important in order to keep a catfish such as this in perfect condition. I would also suggest that sand such as BD Aquarium sand be used as a substrate for the aquarium. This is a catfish that I have not personally kept which probably has something to do with the high price that these fish demand.
I know of a couple of catfish enthusiasts that have kept this fish successfully over the years, one of which was Graham Crook (Danny Blundell's son-in law) and Robin Warne.

It was whilst on a recent fish collecting trip to Peru with Robin Warne, Giles Barlow, Allan James, Jools and Clare Dignall, Stephen Pritchard and Alan Appleton that I found out some little known information about this fish.
The exporter in Peru that specialises in large specimen fish such as this informed us that they collect them as juvenile specimens from a local breeding area in the river and grow them on for export. We were informed that when collected at between 50 and 75mm they could be reared successfully in the holding tanks and fed on their favourite food of knife fish. This particular exporter found that when collected at a size of around 300mm they did not fare well and would not feed in captivity. The Peruvian exporter keeps these catfish at his premises for around six months before offering them for sale.

Suggested tank mates! anything that does not constitute a meal, I would suggest some of the larger Characins as opposed to any other catfish, which may compete for territory. Most enthusiasts would keep this catfish as a single specimen in a display aquarium.



Family: Pimelodidae
Description:


Anatomical characteristics:
Long upper jaw. First rays of the dorsal and pectoral fins are described as being flexible and not pungent. Long maxillary barbels reaching back to the posterior of the dorsal insertion. Small eyes laterally placed.
Colour pattern:
Yellow to almost white base colour to the body with black stripes. Most of the fins share this same colour pattern of that of the body of this catfish. Head area from snout to insertion of dorsal fin, devoid of stripes.
Common Name(s): Tiger-striped catfish, Zebra Shovelnose
Synonym's: None
Country's of Origin:

Brazil: Rio Maderia Colombia: Caqueta River Peru
Size: Up to and over 60.0cm (24inch)
Temp: 22-26ºC (71-79f )
pH: 6.5.-7.5.
Breeding:Not recorded.There are no known obvious external sexual differences
Feeding: As these are predatory catfish they prefer meaty foods such as whole prawns, mussels, pieces of fish and earthworms etc.

References:

Sands, David; Catfishes Of The World Volume 3 Auchenipteridae and Pimelodidae
Baensch; Aquarium Atlas Photo Index 1-5
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