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Whiptail catfish - Farlowella acus

Whiptail catfish - Farlowella acus

Scientific name: Farlowella acus

Common name: Whiptail catfish

Family: Loricariidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 13 - 16 cm (5.12 - 6.3 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6 - 7

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 3 - 10°N (53.57 - 178.57ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 24 - 26 °C (75.2 - 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

Feeding these fish meaty foods will not be beneficial to them. Whiptail catfish much prefer algae wafers or vegetable matter. Lettuce, cucumber and peas are ideal for this.


South America; Whiptail catfish are to be found in the Lake Valencia and the River Torito, Venezuela.


Males will have a broader snout which will be covered with short bristles.


The male will clean a spawning site; normally the tank glass and the female will lay the eggs normally in the evening. The male will fan the eggs and in 6-10 days they should hatch. This is now a critical time for saving the fry. They must be fed immediately with vegetable matter and Infusoria. There is usually a high mortality rate with these fish.


The expected life span for Farlowella acus is 5-8 years.

Short description

Farlowella acus are a very timid fish, be careful of tank mates; Corydoras and small characins are ideal. Water changes will have a diverse effect on this species. Large weekly changes are not ideal when keeping these. 2-3 small changes weekly with aged water will be more beneficial.


Thanks to Tristan McKinnis!

Whiptail catfish picture

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