08-22-2010, 12:56 PM
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1077's advice is sound. Make sure you know the species you want and it is what the store orders and what arrives. I have had stores order a number of the rarer fish and when the fish arrive it is some other species; the suppliers either do not know the difference or they just send what they have; after all, the store is not likely to return them. I once had a store order Corydoras hastatus, which is the less often seen dwarf cory species here. When they arrived, they were C. pygmaeus which I already had, even though on the inventory list that came with the fish it read C. hastatus.
There are presently 11 valid species in the genus Centromochlus [which used to be called Tatia, so you may still see fish under this name], and another 5 species that are often listed in this genus but are actually not. So that means you might end up with any one of 16 different species if the store orders "Woodcat" or "Driftwood cat" or similar. You will want the exact species.
The fish in my avatar is a Spotted Woodcat, Centromochlus perugiae [may still be seen under the former name Tatia perugiae]. I wrote the fish profile so my experiences with this species are reflected in the information in our profile. The main thing is, you will never see them. They are extremely nocturnal. Mine (I have three) only come out well after total darkness, after the lights are out and the room is pitch black; my tank lights go out at 9 pm and the fishroom light 30 minutes later, so they are then in darkness. When I first got them I had to check the tank with a flashlight around 12 midnight and there they were, swimming quite fast all around the tank, foraging for food.
They can be "trained" to appear at feeding time, and mine now come to the entrance of their respective tunnel around 5 pm each day. If the tank cover slides back, they are out swimming rapidly around the wood in anticipation. This is when I feed bloodworms, on alternate days. But aside from this, I never see them.
They must have real wood with tunnels, and it must be placed in the flow from the filter, as they require a slight current. In my 115g, when I moved them from the former 90g, I just moved the pieces of wood they were in, and placed them in the 115g. Within 3 days, all three of them had taken up residence in another piece of wood, the one closest to the filter outflow. There is a photo of two of them peering out, in the photo set under my 115g Amazonian Riverscape aquarium.
They have a fairly long lifespan; I've had mine for 18 months now, but Dawn, another member, has this species and her fish are more than 9 years old now.
Last edited by Byron; 08-22-2010 at 01:00 PM..