Colombian pictus catfish photos

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Giant Snakehead
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Quite a bit rarer than the large-spotted Peruvian form. Not many photos at all available, so to that end, here's some photos of Gray Fullbuster the Colombian pictus catfish (and some clown loach photobombers).

 

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Giant Snakehead
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That is correct, yes.
 

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Giant Snakehead
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Tentatively made the decision to add 5 more pictus catfish to my existing 473 liter. They will be returned if there is territorial aggression, as I was rightfully warned about the possibility of during both the purchases of Gray and these.

Nonetheless, if there's no aggression, they'll be designated as Gray's clones (analogous to the ones in the actual show).

The purchase of Gray's clones came with some fortunate and interesting things. When I went to Big Al's to place an order for spotted pictus, the order was already coming in at the time I had asked, and I was told it was from Colombia. What luck, as not only was it perfectly timed, but the Colombian pictus catfish is my favorite variation.

They were available for sale in time for today's Boxing Day deals, which allowed me to get 20% off. But something rather unexpected ended up being the case: even though they came from Colombia, Gray's clones match the Peruvian morph much better. Their pattern scheme falls within line of the Peruvian pictus in that the spots are large and few, as opposed to the Colombian where there are many, smaller spots.
I have no idea how close to the Peruvian border with Colombia that they were caught, although one of the morphs imported from the alleged place of the other is nonetheless interesting.

(Just as in the original images, there are loach photobombers here. However, these aren't clown loaches - the photobomber here is the new black kuhli loach I also got today in order to increase my shoal from 5 to 6).



 
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Fishman Dave

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Wow!!! When i go buy Khuli loaches from a store they come 1”long and as thin as a piece of string, not already fully grown. Hence my main concerns of keeping them with Pictus cats.
 

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Yeah, they had a mix of sizes available. I do think that was fortunate, since not only are they at less risk of beoming pictus lunch at a larger size, they're more sturdy and adapt much better to captivity than the younger, smaller imports.
 
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Giant Snakehead
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Originally sent this as a PM/intended profile comment to thebiggerthebetter, but as he rightfully pointed out there's no reason it can't be a thread!

What I said:

Old as it may be, I found your thread on pictus catfish!

Great thread and I believe it's helped me to solve the mystery of my Gray. He's (as you probably have heard about already) the Colombian variety, which is reported to get 20+ cm (as opposed to the oft-quoted 13 cm that applies to the Peruvian variety). And I did see the dead Colombian there that would have been 20 cm with a full tail fin.

Yet in the 3 years I've had him, despite being a fast-growing species and not having stunted proportions, Gray is only Peruvian-sized. I was very puzzled about this when I learned of the size discrepancy between Peruvian and Colombian, but your image helped me solved the mystery.

That dead 20 cm Colombian is way plumper than Gray, as a female would be expected to be relative to a male. And since female catfish are often reported to get quite a bit bigger than males, I think that is a sensible explanation for Gray not being 20+ cm.

Also means I got the gender of Gray right
😂 Never expected that!

What thebiggerthebetter said:

Thank you. What you are saying sounds logical. There could other explanations I think such as a natural variation in adult sizes, w/c vs c/b fish, plus when fish die of illness, their final form may not be their natural form, e.g. they may get swollen.

What I continue with:

Natural variation in adult sizes does technically fall within the scheme of size related sexual dimorphism, but if it's not sexual dimorphism related, it's also possible. I still lean more towards the former, however, given the plump disparity (more on that below)

To my knowledge pictus catfish have never bred in captivity and are all wild caught, so that would be a non-factor here. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong though.

Honestly I had not considered that at first, but unless you remember any additional details from that dead pictus which contradict the following, it looks a lot more like just a plump female in that it is merely full bodied and nothing more. It does not look nearly as much like a swollen, sick fish, given that the belly is not protruding as it would be in known cases of bloating diseases.

However, you were the one who dealt with it, not I. If you know any extra details that suggests it was more likely to be swollen due to being sick, do tell.

Thanks for getting back to me and suggesting to make a thread! With any luck this will help those with similar dilemmas.
 
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thebiggerthebetter

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I've never known for sure where the pictus come from. I vaguely recall reading about artificial breeding but this is not enough to be certain that we get captive bred fish. With the tremendous volumes of pictus catfish offered worldwide at almost any LFS, including the big box stores, and online and the seeming year round availability, I think it is a good guess that they are captive bred.

Does anyone know for sure?

The short / blunt snout on many of our pictus (including that 8" specimen you linked above) may also point to artificial breeding. This is just a vague hunch based on seeing this with other fish, such as Synodontis eupterus for instance.

As for the manner of death, a good portion of fish we lose get swollen before they die. Not bloated, although this happens too, but swollen more or less evenly across different body parts. Yet, I do not recall any details as to how that 8" pictus died. One thing is obvious that I pulled it out with some delay and the tank mates had done some work on it already and the flesh might have started spoiling a bit too much already too. Sorry. Gruesome details.

Not very helpful, I know, but that's all I can add at this point.

Nothing wrong with this thread, albeit I'd post all of this in your thread on your Gray, the pictus. IIRC you have one (or more?). I personally like to have every post that concerns one particular fish in one thread. This convenience is way underrated.
 

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Giant Snakehead
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I've never known for sure where the pictus come from. I vaguely recall reading about artificial breeding but this is not enough to be certain that we get captive bred fish. With the tremendous volumes of pictus catfish offered worldwide at almost any LFS, including the big box stores, and online and the seeming year round availability, I think it is a good guess that they are captive bred.

Does anyone know for sure?

The short / blunt snout on many of our pictus (including that 8" specimen you linked above) may also point to artificial breeding. This is just a vague hunch based on seeing this with other fish, such as Synodontis eupterus for instance.
In regards to my experience with wild vs captive bred, I will say that my local Big Al's, as far as I can tell, only gets them wild caught. For example, when I ordered spotted pictus catfish for Black Friday, they said they had already ordered a wild Colombian shipment, but there was no guarantee it was coming, since for some unknown reason the spotted were much harder to get than the 4-line.

Whether they're captive bred or not, though, isn't easy to know unless one lives in the Czech Republic. They are the ones big on hormonally-induced artificial breeding of fish that would otherwise never breed in captivity, and they guard their secrets with their lives.
More data would be very good.

As for the manner of death, a good portion of fish we lose get swollen before they die. Not bloated, although this happens too, but swollen more or less evenly across different body parts. Yet, I do not recall any details as to how that 8" pictus died. One thing is obvious that I pulled it out with some delay and the tank mates had done some work on it already and the flesh might have started spoiling a bit too much already too. Sorry. Gruesome details.

Not very helpful, I know, but that's all I can add at this point.
That's fine, for obvious reasons no one keeps track of all those gruesome details involving dead aquarium fish.
I think a good takeaway is that the swollen/plump pictus is consistent with both gender differences and death, although we can't say much beyond that because of limited information.

Nothing wrong with this thread, albeit I'd post all of this in your thread on your Gray, the pictus. IIRC you have one (or more?). I personally like to have every post that concerns one particular fish in one thread. This convenience is way underrated.
You are absolutely correct on that, I agree with it having read through the big fish stories section of Fish Story's website and dealing w/links.
kno4te kno4te , would you be able to move these posts to that thread? Thanks in advance.

As for the number of pictus I have, currently 6. There's Gray and the 5 clones I tentatively got on Black Friday, elaborated more on that thread.
 
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MultipleTankSyndrome

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Really don't want to make this post but I might have to put Gray down 😢, I'll not go into why as I'll be even sadder if I do.

Help has been sought and fixing the problem is currently being attempted. If it can't be fixed, then........

In the event that that happens, a replacement will be picked up ASAP. And the new original Gray will be the slimmest and smallest spotted (thus matching Gray pattern and likely gender) out of the 5 existing clones+6th replacement.
 
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