A New Giraffe Catfish

Yellowcat

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Since I recently lost my prized L. Fowleri after 17 years, I've since been looking for another catfish for my 130G tank. After looking for something rare (of course) that I've never kept before, I haven't seen anything available anywhere in the exotic species trade of late from online vendors I trust. Also looking in the Vendor Forum here as well as the Buy & Sell Forum where I found the new one!
According to one expert here who noted it seems to be a "Volta" variant of Auchenoglanis occidentalis, I decided to go for it as this variety seems to be a smaller variation compared the others that grow to 2 or 3 feet. Here's a photo:
IMG_1047 2.jpg
I've kept 3 other variations of whats known as A. Occidentalis, A. whittei and 'bouche' variants before but never one like this. Hopefully it won't outgrow the tank as the others have in the past. Already feeding well at night and finding a favorite spot in the driftwood. My other Auchenoglanis, the 3 A. Biscutatus are doing fine, not much growth to report after 2 1/2 years now, the largest is still around 7" TL the smallest of the two small staying @ 3 1/2" , seemingly I have 2 males, one female. At least now they are less shy and hanging out away from their driftwood spots. My Doradids, the 2 rhinodoras dorbignyi have doubled in size after 2 years here, one small at about 5", the larger one is now 7" plus, again probably a male and female pair as they were each the same size at first. My other pair of doradids, the werthiemaria maculata I've had for 7 months have also doubled in size from 2" to 4", extremely shy and nocturnal, almost impossible to photograph. Interesting is their patterns are starting to change with time from something squiggly to more defined spots. In adults they are mainly brown with gold spots but it seems obvious there will be a while before they will look like the adult version. Here's a photo from last year and one from today:
IMG_0761.jpg
P1013132 2.jpg
Other than those, my Synodontis Batensoda has grown a little, now at about 7". The 2 rare Synodontis Pardalis are almost never seen and probably haven't grown much past the 6" mark. The parauchenoglanis monkei are likely fully adults now after almost 5 years, also likely a M & F pair, 3" and 6" respectively. The platysulurus mucosus, also likely a M&F pair remain at 6" & 7 1/2" Lastly, my pimelodus blochii at almost 11" is grumpy as ever, still skittish after having (her?) for over 25 years now!
An added bonus to last weekend's road trip to collect the giraffe cat was meeting up with David who sold me the fish. A very knowledgeable keeper of fishes with an amazing collection of some very exotic wonderful specimens indeed! Thank you Sir!
 

thebiggerthebetter

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Wonderful bewhiskered update! The new g-cat is in my view 100% what I came to know as the Volta sp. Our supposed female is around 20" now and lives in the 25K, which makes me uneasy and I often have to seek it out to make sure Mr. Wels hasn't gulped her down. Our supposed male is around 14" and as such had to stay back in the 1800 gal. Both do great it seems, feed with vigor, both facing the stiffest competition imaginable at the feeding times in both tanks.
 

Yellowcat

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Thanks Viktor for the confirmation of it being a Volta sp.! The fish is now at 10" TL. It took a couple of hours to acclimate the fish as the PH was off by one point and I forgot to check and see if I could determine the sex of the fish and even if it's possible on these cats by virtue of ventral observation, I've forgotten, it's been a while. Glad to see this fish has an amazing appetite, a good sign that it's settling in to it's new home. At a glance, based upon proportional morphometrics (there's a topic of discussion for your next dinner party!) I would guess it to be a male and would hope so, since it might remain smaller than a female and I could then keep it for longer. (Of course I have a 50 percent chance of being right) As with all giraffe cats, the gravel substrate will be well cleaned as vacuuming gravel is a chore I try to keep infrequent as possible. Also hoping that with time, the fish will become more outgoing and interactive, a trait so becoming of giraffe catfish in general but usually shy at first, it can take months or years as with past A Wittei but worth the wait when they like to be hand fed. Hard to say with no experience with "Volta sp." and the individual's personality is also a factor as with most all fish, so we'll see....
P1013134.jpg
 
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Yellowcat

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This is a tough one to ID, the fish looks to be stressed being so pale and the shredding of the tail may indicate it was recently acquired ? The head shape with the short snout is typical of A. Biscutatus, the shape of the adipose fin is not typical of some types. The dark dot on the gill plate and similar black dots within the larger patches is commonly found in the A. Wittei variety and others too. It appears as a very small juvenile which are the hardest to ID as colors and patterns are commonly undeveloped fully. All considered it seems closest to A. Biscutatus but I'm not really sure to be honest. If this is a currently kept fish, wait a few days until it shows a more normal color and distinct patterns, then post it as a 'what is my catfish' question at PlanetCatfish.com or back here in the Catfish Forum where others may see it and give their opinions..
 

Rtc/tsn

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This is a tough one to ID, the fish looks to be stressed being so pale and the shredding of the tail may indicate it was recently acquired ? The head shape with the short snout is typical of A. Biscutatus, the shape of the adipose fin is not typical of some types. The dark dot on the gill plate and similar black dots within the larger patches is commonly found in the A. Wittei variety and others too. It appears as a very small juvenile which are the hardest to ID as colors and patterns are commonly undeveloped fully. All considered it seems closest to A. Biscutatus but I'm not really sure to be honest. If this is a currently kept fish, wait a few days until it shows a more normal color and distinct patterns, then post it as a 'what is my catfish' question at PlanetCatfish.com or back here in the Catfish Forum where others may see it and give their opinions..
This was kept a while ago and I rehomed him out of my 55g because I couldn’t get a proper ID
 

thebiggerthebetter

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From my review, I've never seen any other Auchenoglanis have the small black dots in the fins but the biscutatus. This along with everything else makes me sure this is what we know as A. biscutatus in the trade.
 

thebiggerthebetter

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Thanks Viktor for the confirmation of it being a Volta sp.! The fish is now at 10" TL. It took a couple of hours to acclimate the fish as the PH was off by one point and I forgot to check and see if I could determine the sex of the fish and even if it's possible on these cats by virtue of ventral observation, I've forgotten, it's been a while. Glad to see this fish has an amazing appetite, a good sign that it's settling in to it's new home. At a glance, based upon proportional morphometrics (there's a topic of discussion for your next dinner party!) I would guess it to be a male and would hope so, since it might remain smaller than a female and I could then keep it for longer. (Of course I have a 50 percent chance of being right) As with all giraffe cats, the gravel substrate will be well cleaned as vacuuming gravel is a chore I try to keep infrequent as possible. Also hoping that with time, the fish will become more outgoing and interactive, a trait so becoming of giraffe catfish in general but usually shy at first, it can take months or years as with past A Wittei but worth the wait when they like to be hand fed. Hard to say with no experience with "Volta sp." and the individual's personality is also a factor as with most all fish, so we'll see....
View attachment 1498793
The photo is of a Bouche?
 
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Yellowcat

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This was kept a while ago and I rehomed him out of my 55g because I couldn’t get a proper ID
I just now looked up your original post from a year ago and back then I and others determined it was a. biscutatus..
 

Yellowcat

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[/QUOTE]
The photo is of a Bouche?
No it's the new Volta sp. from 2 days go. Your keen eye probably noticed what appears as a dusting of fine sand on the back and head which is common for the 'Bouche' variant and can indicate stress coloration in others. It has diminished since...
 
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