All FishesAriidaeAriinaeAriopsis

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Scientific NameAriopsis seemanni  (Günther, 1864)
Common NamesColombian Shark Catfish
Haj-havmalle (Denmark), Hajmal (Sweden), Mini-Hai (Germany), Shark Catfish, Tete Sea Catfish, White Tip Shark Catfish
Type LocalityCentral America
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
Pronunciationsea MAN aye
Hop to next section Species Information
Size 350mm or 13.8" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationID 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.
SexingImmature at under 200mm length, female has lighter fins in adult fish.
Hop to next section Habitat Information
DistributionPacific rivers from Southern California down to Colombia.
Pacific, Eastern Central Pacific (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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IUCN Red List StatusLeast Concern
pH6.8 - 8.0
Temperature22.0-26.0°C or 71.6-78.8°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersSalt 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
FeedingA 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.
FurnitureLarge, 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.
CompatibilityVery 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 TankmatesInitially 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.
BreedingA 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.
Hop to next section Further Information
ReferencesCatalogue of the fishes in the British Museum v. 5, pp 147, Fig.
Registered KeepersNone.
Breeding ReportsNone.
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Last Update2017 Oct 11 10:19 (species record created: 2001 Oct 13 00:00)