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Platydoras costatus
Striped Raphael, Talking Catfish, Chocolate Doradid

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Striped Raphael Catfish - Platydoras costatus

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Platydoras_costatus_2.jpg (20kb)
Photo Credit: Fernando Mafra

I have had my striped Raphael for about 8 years now. He has gone through various stages of being overweight and slimming down. I don't think he knows when to stop eating. He usually lays low under the rocks, but if my Jack Dempsey tries to push him out of his spot, he isn't scared to push back. He isn't aggressive towards the cichlids unless they start the fight, and he won't back down.

Contributed by Eric Vugteveen

I have a handsome 13 cm specimen which my wife has also aptly named the humbug! He is nocturnal until I put tubifex worm blocks in the tank, he then decides to come out and take them from the surface WHOLE! He is by far my favourite and I will be getting another one soon. They are one of the hardiest fish I have ever had and are no trouble whatsoever to look after, as long as they have their hiding place. I have setup one rock leaning on another diagonally so he gets shelter from the light and I still see him.

Contributed by (no name given)

A striped Raphael! So now I know what his proper name is! I've had this fish going on 7 years now, and could never find out any information on him. I LOVE this fish. He is my favorite in my community tank. So much character, and eats anything. Even little pieces of dogfood. He hides in a black and white plant for most of the day (it cracks me up, how he knows that plant camouflages him best) but when he sees me moving towards the tank, he immediately assumes it's meal time, and starts swimming to the surface, waiting for food. I had to laugh at what I read on this fish. I discovered everything listed on him by accident through the years. Getting caught in the net, the croaking, (which scared me half to death) and tiny fishes disappearing in the night, with no clue, save for the little tail fin of something still sticking out of his mouth in the morning. Yes, I learned by trial and error with this guy, but it was all worth it, because he's so interesting and full of surprises. He is in a tank with some knifefish, and an Indian catfish, and they all peacefully co-exist with each other. They respect him. I like the attitude of this fish. "If you don't bother me, I won't bother you." Unless, of course, you are small enough to be eaten.

Contributed by Terri Liska

I have had a striped and a spotted rapheal catfish for 2 years, plus I've had 2 bullhead catfish for the same time. I feed them crayfish, which they love to eat. They eat the shell too. They usually wait until the crayfish molts, then they eat it that night, it's gone in the morning. Also, sinking shrimp pellets and chicken liver. I have a 1200 liter with lots of live plants and driftwood.

Contributed by Steve Choryan

I have had my fish for over a year and it co-existed with a South American Pike, which will kill everything and tear up a tank. It was the only catfish choice I could think of to help clean up after the pike. It will survive most conditions as the pike needed a very acid environment around pH 6.0. It has a defense mechanism to lock its pectoral fins to it's serrated side if you should grab him in that area. I have shown many people his talking attribute by catching it by its dorsal fin and lifting it out of the water. This did not harm it as a net would and it just swims off to hide after handling the stress well. Just careful not to get pinched. Great specimen.

Contributed by Jerry Sipdell II

We have had our Raphael Catfish "Raphie" for 11 years. We got him along with the purchase of a used tank. I believe the original owner had him for 5-7 years. He had 2 bouts with parasites, one 5 years ago and a bad one last month. When he is in distress is the only time he is seen out of his log. He seems to know when he needs help. He stayed out during the week long treatment period, then returned to his log when he was well. I had placed a divider in the tank because "Lumpy" the pleco seemed to bother him when he was sick. When I removed the divider Lumpy tried to take over the log. Raphie, after a brief scuffle that had the log bouncing off the bottom, reclaimed his log. Not bad for an old fish.

Contributed by a visitor

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