Painted Talking Catfish (Acanthodoras cataphractus)

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Painted Talking Catfish

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Painted Talking Catfish

Acanthodoras cataphractus

95 Litres (25 US G.)

10.2-12.7cm (4-5 ")




6.0 - 7.4

21.7-25.6°C (71 -78 °F)

6-12 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

5-8 years



Additional names

Chocolate Raphael, Chocolate Talking Catfish, Milky Catfish, Spiny Catfish

Additional scientific names

Callichthys asper, Cataphractus americanus, Doras blochii, Silurus cataphractus


Mature females are larger than males and fuller in the mid-section.

Tank compatibility[edit]

A generally peaceful fish provided it's kept with larger tank mates, may eat smaller tank mates. Should tolerate it's own kind and conspecifics.


In the aquarium they will eat most prepared foods and any live foods that will fit into it's mouth (including other small aquarium inhabitants).

Feeding regime[edit]

Prefers to be fed after lights out. Feed once or twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

In the aquarium they need smooth sand or gravel to prevent damage to their barbels. The tank should be large and well-filtered with plenty of hiding places in bogwood and rocks.


Active at night preferring to hide during the day. Likes to be kept in groups of 4 or more.


This catfish's body is dark brown, with a creamy brown lie of thorny spines running from the shoulder to the tail. Other rows of spines share the body colour. All fins are cream with dark speckling. There are three pairs of barbels. Can be confused with Acanthodoras spinosissimus, but A. cataphractus has blotchy markings on the tail while A. spinosissimus has a vertical band.


External links[edit]