How Do Pregnant Pictus Catfish Look Like?

Catfish is one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish for aquarists. One of the most common catfish species in aquariums worldwide is the Pictus Catfish.

This fish’s energetic personality and popping colors all make for delightful characteristics. It is also ideal for those who crave colorful fish breeds.

In this guide, you will find valuable information for questions like, “What is the diet of Pictus catfish?” and ” What do pregnant Pictus catfish look like?”

What Do Pregnant Pictus Catfish Look Like?

During the egg-laying period, the pregnant Pictus catfish grow rounder and fatter than the males.

The female Pictus lays eggs in warm water, then the male fertilizes the eggs and protects them.

It is difficult to breed the Pictus Catfish in a home aquarium as it often lacks open space for this fish to reach its full sexual maturity.

However, it may be possible if you keep Pictus catfish in an enormous aquarium. Ideally, choose a tank that is at least 200 gallons. Anything less than this will result in a slim chance of your Pictus catfish reaching sexual maturity.

In addition, you will also need to meet many other factors to raise Pictus catfish in your home aquarium.

What Are Good Tank Conditions for Your Pictus Catfish?

Pictus catfish swimming

If you want to keep Pictus Catfish in your aquarium, you should make it as close as possible to a wild river’s environment.

These fish generally appear in the Amazon River basin’s sandy riverbeds. Hence, you should arrange sand for your aquarium’s bottom.

Tank Size

You should make sure your aquarium holds at least 55 gallons of water for this 12 to 13 cm (5 to 6”) fish. So, your fish can swim as it wishes and not feel suffocated.

If you want to breed your Pictus catfish, ensure your aquarium is no less than 200 gallons.

We recommend keeping three to four Pictus catfish in the same tank as this species prefers to live in groups.


Pictus catfish is often present in the deep waters of the South American forest, surrounded by various species of plants.

So you should put some plants like Hornwort or Java Moss in your aquarium in a river.

You should keep many hiding places, driftwood, caves, and river rocks to make some dwelling places that are comfortable and natural for your tiny fish.


Pictus catfish is nocturnal, meaning it prefers darkness.

Yet, you should install dim light on the topmost position of your tank for your fish to operate more efficiently.


You can also install a filter to simulate the water’s high flow, like a river, in your aquarium. But you have to keep the water parameters stable.

What Is the Ideal Water Kind for Pictus Catfish?

Pimelodus Catfish

Water is an essential element for all aquatic species. Yet, you must comply with some water conditions before putting your Pictus catfish into your aquarium.

pH Level

It is best to maintain the water’s pH level range from 7.0 to 7.5.


You should maintain the mildly warm water in your Pictus Catfish aquarium. The water temperature should be between 75 and 81 °F (23 and 27 °C).


Regarding the hardness of the water, anything between 4 and 15 dGH will work for your Pictus catfish.

Pictus Catfish Diet

Pictus catfish is an omnivore and enthusiastic scavenger. It eats various algae, plants, and proteins.

Feeding your Pictus catfish both live food and freeze-dried is okay. Frozen food pellets and flakes are more manageable.

You should provide this fish with algae wafers and dried or frozen treats, like bloodworms, Daphnia eggs, mosquito larvae, frozen plankton, and brine shrimp.

Along with dried and pellet food, Pictus catfish also need quality protein. This species prefers live foods, so ensure to offer it at least once weekly.

Some recommended options for live food are:

  • Beef heart
  • Live bloodworms
  • Glass worms
  • Tubifex Worms
  • Fish
  • Brine shrimp

What Is the Temperament of This Fish?

Pictus catfish are very endearing and display various behaviors. It is also a contradictory little creature, shy at times and playful at others.

Pictus catfish do not disturb or attack any other water fish. However, you should avoid keeping small fish with this fish because the pictus catfish has a large mouth and is easy to consume small species.

Here are some suitable tankmates for Pictus catfish:

  • Doradidae
  • Loricariid
  • Giant Danios
  • Other Catfish
  • Opaline Gourami
  • Striped Raphael Catfish


How long does a Pictus catfish last?

A Pictus catfish can live from 8 to 10 years, relatively long compared to other beloved catfish, such as Otocinclus.

Do Pictus Catfish Lay Eggs?

Pictus Catfish are an egg-laying species. So under suitable conditions, females will lay eggs that males then fertilize.

How to Breed Pictus Catfish?

Breeding Pictus catfish in a home aquarium is challenging. Only a few aquarists have reported certain breeding behaviors, let alone actual breeding.

However, the primary condition is to ensure enough space for your Pictus catfish for it to reach its full sexual maturity.

Therefore, we recommend aiming for a minimum of a 200-gallon tank.

How Fast Do Pictus Catfish Grow?

It takes 8 months to a year for a Pictus catfish fry to become a full-grown adult.

Final Thoughts

After reading our detailed guide to the Pictus Catfish, we hope you can now decide if it’s the proper fish to add to your tank.

It is a fantastic species that will be an addition to most aquariums. Just ensure you will provide the requirements needed to keep them healthy.

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