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Scientific Name Ariopsis seemanni  (G√ľnther, 1864)
Common Names Colombian Shark Catfish
Haj-havmalle (Denmark), Hajmal (Sweden), Mini-Hai (Germany), Shark Catfish, Tete Sea Catfish, White Tip Shark Catfish
Type Locality Central America (Pacific).
Synonym(s) Arius jordani, Arius seemanni, Galeichthys eigenmanni, Galeichthys gilberti, Galeichthys jordani, Galeichthys seemanni, Galeichthys simonsi, Hexanematichthys jordani, Hexanematichthys seemanni, Hexanematichthys simonsi, Tachisurus jordani, Tachisurus seemanni, Tachysurus eigenmanni
Pronunciation sea MAN aye
Hop to next section Species Information
Size 350mm or 13.8" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification ID based on adult specimens, the young fish appear regularly in the hobby and various species (from coastal Peru and Brazil) may be available. The differences between many of the genus are slight at an early age.
Sexing Immature at under 200mm length, female has lighter fins in adult fish.
Hop to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Central and South America: Pacific draining rivers and estuaries from Mexico to Peru.
Pacific, Eastern Central Pacific (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Least Concern, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 2007.
pH 6.8 - 8.0
Temperature 22.0-26.0°C or 71.6-78.8°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Salt should be added in relation to the age of the fish. The older the fish, the more salt, right up to 100% marine. The fish is very tolerant of changes of salinity and will live in freshwater happily as a young fish.
Hop to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding A true omnivore, these fish are often near starvation when bought at the smaller than 2" size but can be brought on very successfully on frozen bloodworm. Once acclimatized, feed less protein rich foods such as catfish tablets. The fish can be trained to approach the surface to feed. Adults can be fed frozen prawns intermittently. User data.
Furniture Large, open spaces not too brightly lit, this fish is an active shoaler although initially youngsters are quite shy if not given plenty of plant cover. Rocks and or wood are unnecessary.
Compatibility Very similar to South American Pimelodids, keep with fish that like similar water conditions and are big enough to prevent being considered prey. Youngsters (smaller than 12cm) can be kept in alkaline fresh water (with for example rift lake cichlids), but larger fish MUST have salt added to the water in order to thrive.
Suggested Tankmates Initially most medium sized active fish, but with the addition of salt to the water as the fish grow, brackish water fish such as Monos, Scats or large Mollies are the order of the day.
Breeding A mouthbrooder, the few, amazingly large eggs are incubated by the male. Reproduction in the aquarium is difficult as the aquarist requires to emulate the migration from marine to fresh water and back again in a spacious aquarium. The is one verbal report of this being accomplished by an American aquarist who spawned the fish by gradually changed the water from marine to fresh water and back again over a 12 month period.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Hop to next section Further Information
Reference Catalogue of the fishes in the British Museum v. 5, pp 147, Fig.
Registered Keepers There is no registered keeper.
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There are 2 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2020 Sep 16 01:15 (species record created: 2001 Oct 13 00:00)