Emerald Catfish

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Brochis splendens - (Castelnau, 1855)
Emerald Catfish

Similar to the Corydoras spp. but a separate genus. Aaron Norman


A peaceful, undemanding fish, ideal for community settings and the beginner’s aquarium. Keep in groups of at least three to fully enjoy their wonderful antics. The gorgeous, metallic emerald sheen seen in healthy Emerald Catfishes only develops if good water quality is maintained.

Family: Callichthyidae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Habitat: Because this species sifts through the gravel and may injure its barbels, a tank for the Emerald Catfish should have a fine-grade or smooth, rounded gravel substrate. Densely plant with live or artificial plants and leave plenty of places for refuge, including inverted flowerpots and driftwood.

Maximum length: 7.6 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 76 L (20 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Bottom


Omnivore. In the wild, these fishes feed on aquatic insect larvae and other foods they find sifting through the substrate. They will accept a wide variety of commercial fare, including flakes and catfish wafers containing shrimp, as well as live and frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, bloodworms and Tubifex worms. Feed first thing in the morning and just after the lights go out at night.

Aquarium Compatibility

Avoid substantially larger and aggressive tankmates, such as large cichlids.


Captive spawning is uncommon. Will spawn in groups and lay eggs on plants and tank sides.


This species is sometimes confused with the Bronze Corydoras Corydoras aeneus, but is somewhat larger and has more rays in the dorsal fin.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: AN
Text credit: KW