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Acanthicus adonis (Polka Dot Lyre Tail Plec)

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A very distinctive catfish recognised as much for its spiny appearance and flamboyant fins as for its colouration. Juveniles are dark grey to black with relatively large, quite widely spaced white spots. As the fish mature the spots become proportionally smaller and the ground colour fades to mid grey. The body is very spiny, particularly along the sides of the body. The tail fin has long streamers from the ends of each lobe. Sexual differences are not obvious, and though it is usually assumed that the males are more spiny than the females, the safest way to sex these fish is by examining the genital papillae. Both sexes are territorial and aggressive, though males perhaps slightly more so.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

One of the more tricky plecs in terms of compatibility with other fish. Acanthicus are territorial and generally object strongly to having to share living space with other catfish, particularly plecs. On the other hand, these catfish mix superbly well with midwater fish of similar such as cichlids, barbs, characins and so on.

An omnivorous plec with strong carnivorous tendencies, this catfish eats some algae and soft plant material such as courgette, but also needs things like bloodworms and chopped seafood. Will also eat whitebait and lancefish. Though not predatory in the strict sense of the word, these catfish are large and could potentially catch and eat small fish that strayed too close to the bottom of the tank, so choose tankmates with care.

Because of the overt territoriality of these fish, particularly the males, reports of breeding in captivity are few and dependent on the fish being provided with aquaria far larger than the home hobbyist can provide.

Family Group: Catfish
Distribution South America: Amazon river system
Temperature 22-28 C
Size Up to 1 m, though much smaller in captivity
Water Parameters Adaptable, but avoid extremes
Water PH 6.0-8.0
Water Chemistry Adaptable
Diet Adaptable
Sociability Aggressive
Care Level Easy
Schooling Fish No