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Spiny catfish - Acanthodoras cataphractus

Spiny catfish - Acanthodoras cataphractus

Scientific name: Acanthodoras cataphractus

Common name: Spiny catfish

Family: Doradidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 10 - 12 cm (3.94 - 4.72 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.2 - 7.7

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 18°N (71.43 - 321.43ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 21 - 26 °C (69.8 - 78.8°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: South America

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels

Food and feeding

Spiny catfish is a nocturnal feeder; offer them some food after lights are out to make sure that they get their share of the meals. They will accept quality flake and catfish pellets along with a selection of live or frozen foods. Blood worms and brine shrimp are ideal.


South America; Spiny catfish are to be found in the tributaries of the Amazon River.


Females will be larger than the males with a plumper body shape.


There are mixed reports of these breeding in the aquarium. Mature pairs have been seen digging a pit in the substrate and depositing their eggs. Both parents guarded the nest until hatching but there are no reports of fry surviving past this stage.


The expected life span for Spiny catfish is 5-8 years.

Short description

Ensure that these fish are kept in a large aquarium. They are very shy and require a lot of hiding places along with some plants. Daytime activity is very rare as they will hide away until the darker hours.


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Spiny catfish, picture 1 Spiny catfish, picture 2 Spiny catfish, picture 3

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