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Highwaterman catfish - Hypophthalmus edentatus

Highwaterman catfish - Hypophthalmus edentatus

Scientific name: Hypophthalmus edentatus

Common name: Highwaterman catfish

Family: Pimelodidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 25 - 30 cm (9.84 - 11.81 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 5.5 - 7

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 19°N (71.43 - 339.29ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 22 - 25 °C (71.6 - 77°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: South America

Temperament to its own species: aggressive/territorial

Temperament toward other fish species: aggressive/territorial

Usual place in the tank: Top levels

Food and feeding

Highwaterman catfish is definitely not for the beginner due to its unusual feeding habits. Its diet consists mainly of phyto plankton and copepods that are strained through its long gill rakers. This fish does not have teeth and cannot cope with any other form of foods.


South America; Highwaterman catfish is to be found in the Amazonian and Orinoco basins.


There are no visible differences between the sexes.


As of yet, there are no reported cases of this fish breeding in the aquarium.


The expected life span for Hypophthalmus edentatus is 16-17 years.

Short description

Hypophthalmus edentatus are found as juveniles in the lower part of streams but as they mature they will move down to the estuaries and can cope with brackish water. In the wild they prefer to live in areas that have a muddy substrate due to their unusual feeding habits.Highwaterman catfish requires a lot of oxygen. Make sure that your tank is filtrated well. Also, make sure to give enough space to this fish. Otherwise, it will fight with small fish or any fish which breaks it’s territory borders.

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