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Pimelodus ornatus

Pimelodus ornatus
Ornate Pimelodus Catfish
Pimelodus ornatus is one of the more sought after Pimelodids that's imported with any regularity. It's a very striking fish and a shoal of adult specimens can make for a most impressive sight. Like other pims, it's a scaleless fish and is therefore also very susceptible to certain diseases such as whitespot. Unfortunately its delicate skin means it's also sensitive to many of the common medications on the market. Be sure to read the instructions carefully before adding any medication to a tank containing these. If in doubt, halve the dose as a precautionary measure. 

Caution must also be exercised when catching any Pimelodus. They have very rigid pectoral and dorsal spines, which can easily become tangled in the mesh of an aquarium net. These can also cause a painful wound if you happen to be impaled. The sensation is something akin to being stung by a bee or wasp, an initial sharp pain being followed by localised swelling and some fairly nasty throbbing sensations. The toxin responsible is not actually injected into the skin, but is contained in the mucus that coats the fin spines. While these "stings" are essentially harmless, they certainly cause a couple of hours of discomfort and you should avoid handling these cats wherever possible. Try using a pint glass or similar instead of a net if you need to move them for any reason.