Above: a nice young Lima Shovelnose Catfish swimming in one of our aquariums, when one of us snapped this picture.
Comments: This is a Premium Pet Fish, and we never see Premium Fish like this in any of the live fish stores or the online stores that we visit.
These Premium Pet Fish are more energetic, hardier, and have brighter colors with a beautiful metallic sheen.
Click here to learn more about Premium Pet Fish.
Origin: This Catfish is usually caught and shipped to us from the Amazon Rain Forest, where it ranges throughout much of South America.
Maximum Size: This Catfish can grow to be over 18" long, including their tails. Sometimes very old females are longer.
Behaviors: They will usually move around pretty actively during the day, but some of them seem to hide during the day and become more active at night.
When there's food to be eaten, they become very active looking for it.
They'll also eat fish small enough fit into their mouths. So beware!
Compatibility: Some recommended tank mates include any fish that they cannot swallow and that will not bite or nip on them, such as aggressive cichlids.
Click here to read more about compatible groups of pet fish.
Temperature: They live well from about 75 to 82 degrees F., but they're probably most comfortable at about 78 degrees F.
Click here to learn about aquarium temperature, aquarium thermometers, and aquarium heaters.
Feeding: Premium Fish Food Flakes when very small and Premium Pellet Food when larger.
Click here to learn more about and shop online for premium fish foods.
Water Conditions: This Catfish seems to be tolerant of a wide range of water conditions.
Probably a pH of about 6.5 with moderate hardness is best.
Most water in the US has a higher pH and is harder but seems to be OK, so it's probably best NOT to adjust the pH or the hardness of the water.
Here in our facilities the water is hard and the pH is usually about 7.8.
We ship them in this water.
Click here for a lot more information about aquarium water conditions.
Aquarium Size: It is probably best to house these fish in at least a 40-gallon tank, when they're less than 4" long, but a bigger aquarium is always better.
Allow at least 5-gallons of water for each Catfish under 4" long.
They'll eat a huge amount of food and grow very fast.
At about 4" they should be moved into a 60-gallon aquarium.
Eventually they'll need a much bigger aquarium.
Decor: These Catfish do not need gravel, and a layer of gravel more than 1/4" thick will usually fill with bits of uneaten food that will contaminate the water.
Click here for more about aquarium gravel.
Pieces of aquarium-safe driftwood are also nice.
Live Plants are beautiful and improve the water quality.
But these guys will often bulldoze plants, and so plants are rarely seen in aquariums with this fish.
Aquarium Filter: Bio-Wheel Filters are highly recommended. A Penguin 350B in an aquarium with 40-gallons of water is OK to start with a few of these Catfish that are less than 3" long.
At 4" long they should be moved into a 60-gallon aquarium with two Penguin 350B filters.
Eventually this fish will need a much bigger aquarium with as many Penguin 350B Filters as will fit across the back of the aquarium or a large sophisticated filtering system.
Click here to learn more about aquarium filters.
The addition of Lava Rocks will keep nitrates in the ideal range.
Click here to learn more about using Lava Rocks in aquariums.
Life Span: These Catfish can live for several years, probably many years provided they are fed premium food and kept in a very large aquarium with very fresh water.
Gender: As they mature females presumably become plumper than males.
Breeding: There've been some reports of spawning this catfish in an aquarium or large outdoor ponds with water in the ideal temperature range.
Popularity: This Catfish is common and rather popular in spite of its huge mature size.
Names: The scientific name is Sorubim lima.
Variations: This Catfish lives across a wide range in South America and their markings vary geographically.
We hope you've enjoyed reading these comments.
DrTom - 04/01/2015
We have 380-aquariums with lots-and-lots of popular aquarium fish plus lots-and-lots of rare fish!
We consider ourselves to be the link between the world's best sources of fish and the world best customers. We love our work, and we are very responsible.
All of our fish are Premium Quality Fish from the best suppliers in the world. Our fish have better health, more energy and brighter colors, as you can see in our pictures on this website.
We also offer lots and lots of information about keeping pet fish, all from the knowledge of the Bailey Brothers, who have a combined total of 100+ years of experience as breeders, wholesalers, and retailers of pet fish!
Our fish and our customers are treated with the best of care, and we work energetically everyday to make sure every customer enjoys their new fishy friends.
When you purchase pet fish from us, you know you're receiving premium quality fish and premium quality service.
"Received my fish last night and was so pleased! They all arrived alive and appeared to be healthy.
"Once in the tank, they became very active and are now thriving in their new home.
"Beautiful fish, I asked for color and aquariumfish delivered. Processing and shipping was extremely quick."
Nevin and DrTom, the Bailey Brothers
This website is owned and operated by the Bailey Brothers, DrTom and Nevin, who've been together in the fish business for more than 50-years.
The Product Manager has been with the company for more than 35-years.
So we feel very confident that this is the fishiest crew anywhere.