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The Almighty Armoured Catfish

01 August 2020

This stunning and rare armoured catfish, Lamontichthys llanero, is finally in stock. It is named after the Venezuelan ''llaneros'' through which run the rivers in which these fish are usually found and another common name is Cowboy Whiptail. The species is quite active- especially juveniles who will appear to continuously move around, hunting for food. Older specimens seem to be more shy and reluctant.

They feature a round head, deep body and colours which allow them to stay camouflaged. They have eight to nine brown bands on a cream body. All fins feature brown bands. All species of Lamontichthys have one pectoral fin spine and seven pectoral fin rays on each fin. This is different to the rest of the Loricariinae species which have one pectoral fin spine and only six pectoral fin rays.

Aquarium Advice

In order to keep these fish, you will need to keep the aquarium water very clean and pristine. Well oxygenated waters with a good current is a good starting point. It is advised to create a stream-type setup with a sand substrate, some driftwood and perhaps some rounded rocks. They would also likely settle for a a planted tank. These fish are reophillic, which means they are most happiest with a degree of current running through the tank, they do need well oxygenated water with a lot of movement and most live plants tend not to thrive under these conditions.


Being omnivorous, they should be offered vegetable matter in both fresh (eg cucumber slices, blanched spinach) and dried (algae wafers, spiralling tablets) forms. They will also accept small live and frozen foods such as bloodworm or daphnia and these should be fed regularly.

Temperament and Tank Mates

Lamontichthys llanero is not particularly aggressive but it is worth noting, there is a small chance they may not always work in a general community tank due to their specific personal requirements.
Possible tankmates ideas are; peaceful characins (can tolerate a lot of water movement), reophilic cichlids such as Retroculus or the African Steatocranus and other Loricariids which require similar water conditions. Generally, these fish are peaceful enough with conspecifics and can be kept in groups.


Males tend to have odontodes on the first ray of their pectoral fins and their heads are also broader. Breeding has been achieved, but there is still not very much easily accessible information on the matter. What we do know is that these fish spawn on a flat surface, sometimes even the aquarium glass and there are very few to become successful only when the conditions were sterile and flake food was given.

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There are limited stock left of this absolutely stunning catfish. If you are interested to know more, email our sales team today on: or click HERE to put it straight into your online shopping basket!