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Farlowella acus
Whiptail (Twig) Catfish

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Whiptail Catfish - Farlowella acus

Photos & Comments

farlo1.jpg (20kb)
Photo Credit: Lyn Fincham

I've had my farlowella for about one month now and it is doing quite well. One thing I've noticed about it that goes against the usual is that it often "crawls", almost like a snake, across the bottom of my tank searching for algae and uneaten food. I keep my tank's pH right at 7.0 and it seems to get along fine with my gouramis and mollies. It is plenty fast enough to escape the claw of my fiddler crab, who very rarely bothers it anyway. This is a fascinating fish.

Contributed by Billy Huber

I bought my twiggy about three months ago, not knowing much about it. I read up on it and found out that you should put with docile fish. But I had already put it in my 200 L tank with my 23 cm red oscar, a 13 cm tiger oscar, and a 10 cm texas cichlid. None of them have paid any attention to it though. When my red oscar swims up to the glass be fed, it will sometimes be right next it and not even notice it. I couldn't put in my 100 L tank which contains a 10 cm female convict cichlid and her now 3-4 cm babies. Also, these are awesome looking fish!

Contributed by a visitor

I think these fish are fantastic. My twig catfish is so tame you can reach in the tank and stroke him and he won't move. It's in their nature to be inactive and passive. Quite often he will find a bit of free space and just stay there for hours, just watching the other fish. They don't like boisterous fast moving species, so you need to keep them with other timid fish or they will stress out.

Contributed by Lynn Hunt

We have had our farlowellas for several months now and our tank has not been in the best of shape as far as water goes. We have had many sicknesses in our tank including Ich, tail and fin rot, bloat, eye clout, etc, and our farlowellas have survived it all. Our fish also moves about the tank all day long, swimming and eating so they are not lazy. I guess as with most fish, it depends on the fish, and how strong they are.

Contributed by Jessica & Tyler

I have had mine for almost about a year and a half now and my Wife named him twiggy as well. He is very active and usually hangs out on my elephant plants. I occasionally feed him algae pellets and he will fight off my dwarf frogs to get them. He is almost always active and will put up a fight even against my head standers and rainbows to get at his chosen eating spot. He will push them around with his nose until they leave. I have never seen him come to the surface. I have twiggy and a little clown pleco in a 200 L tank and I have never had algae problems. Twiggy has become the wifes favorite fish.

Contributed by Ezra Moreland

I kept a farlowella in my tank for a year and a half. It survived 2 moves and an accident with my DIY CO2 generator. Careful when pruning plants - I once threw away a leaf that he was attached to on accident. After realizing what happened a few minutes later, I picked him out of the trash can and he was fine. It was extremely hardy even in very hard alkaline water (pH 8). I kept it in a well planted 80 liter tank. It mostly hung out attached to an amazon sword leaf and only ate algae (I never fed it specifically). Excellent beginner fish.

Contributed by David Moulton

I had kept Farowellas before, but have all since passed on. I had not seen any in a few years when I noticed a local pet store carrying them again. I purchased one that day and took it home and placed it in my 100 liter live planted Amazonian setup. He became established fairly quickly and made it clear to the other inhabitants that a specific live Amazon sword plant was his. After a few months I had gone back to the pet store and spotted another Farowella. I quickly purchased the lovely little fish and added it to the community. Almost immediately the two fish met and stayed close together. After about four months I upgraded and purchased a 280 liter tank, I placed the entire community in this larger home. Within days I noticed the female Farowella's abdomen swollen and the male was within a few inches of her. The following week I had a lovely surprise as I was feeding and examining one morning. The pair had spawned on the front glass of the tank. The parents were both guarding approximately 26 eggs, but the female stays closest and cleans the eggs. I am thrilled to see the embryos moving about in their eggs. I had to place a piece of drift wood angled over the little family to protect them from the hungry mouths of the other inhabitants. I noticed that there is not a lot of information about these spawnings, and I am going to give as much information as possible:
- Temperature in the tank prior and during spawning: 29C
- Time of spawning: Night
- pH in the tank: approx. 6.8
Live plants and natural drift wood are in the tank. I feed every day with meals of freeze dried blood worms, Hikari tropical fish food, and spirulina algae tablets. Hopefully my little family will grow and prosper!

Contributed by Kari Hudnall

I have had a royal whiptail for about 2 years and he is about 25 cm now. They are awesome to watch and they seem to hop from plant to plant. He eats everything: carrot, melon, cucumber, courgette, spud, plec discs. He shares with a gold nugget plec, a large knife fish and a fire eel. They are in a 500 litre planted tank, about 26C and soft water, pH around 7. Great fish.

Contributed by Cara Maxwell

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