Grasscutter Catfish (Schilbe intermedius)

From The Aquarium Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
No Image.png
Grasscutter Catfish

Schilbe intermedius

208 Litres (55 US G.)

27.9-35.6cm (11-14 ")




7 - 7.5

22.8-27.2°C (73 -81 °F)

5-10 °d

Pellet Foods
Live Foods
Other (See article)

10-30 years



This animal is available captive bred

Additional names

Butter Catfish, Butterfish, Silver Catfish

Additional scientific names

Schilbe dispila, Schilbe palmeri, Schilbe senegalensis fasciata, Schilbe senegallus


These fish originate in most of the African waterson the west coast up to the southern border of Mauritania, down to Nigeria, and as far east as Chad and the Southern Nile of Sudan.
The countries containing this fish are Senegal (very close to Mauritania's south border and under Gambia), Gambia, Guinea Bissau,Mali, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory coast), Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Chad, and Sudan.
Grasscutters were recognized as a Species by/discovered by Rüppell, in 1832.
On the Endangered Species list they are labeled as LC or Least Concern.
Lifespan is an estimate as they will most likely live past 20 years, but online reports suggest that the currently owned ones are anywhere from 7-16 years, and are available younger than that at some Shops.


Females will be plumper and slightly larger and males slimmer.

Tank compatibility[edit]

They are a non aggressive fish to all fish similar in size, but will eat anything it can fit in its mouth. They prefer to school in groups of three or more.Should also be housed with Community fish of reasonable size(best if 2 inches or larger, but you will probably want to go larger as there are reports of them eating more agressive tankmates like bettas in one gulp, and any other fish up to a third of its size)


They aren't very picky eaters. They will eat most Catfish pellets. They will also take bloodworms and Lancefish, as they are favorites of this fish.

Feeding regime[edit]

Grasscutter's should be fed once or twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Likes lots of open space for swimming around. Prefers a moderate swimming current, and dark substrate. Some places to hide but a lot of open space. Live plants not preferable as they will uproot these.


There are currently no known reports/records of grasscutters breeding in captivity.
They are very active and prefer to be in schools of three or more. However, if this fish gets sick, it is hard to treat it effectively, as they are very susceptible to disease and have a very weak immune system.
They have a tendency to uproot live plants and 'nibble' on them earning the name "Grasscutter"
These fish also have a very good personality. Each is individually different, much like how most Cory cats have a little quirk about them.


Grasscutters are known for their large shovel-like mouth that has anywhere from 4-6 nasal barbs. Their eyes slightly protrude from their head. They also have a long anal fin starting at the vent and coing to the start of the caudal fin. Grasscutters also have four pairs of short, circum-oral barbels. They are a silvery grey in color and are normally darker on top than on the bottom.


External links[edit]