• African Lizard Whiptail Catfish (Phractura lindica)
  • African Lizard Whiptail Catfish (Phractura lindica)
  • African Lizard Whiptail Catfish (Phractura lindica)
  • African Lizard Whiptail Catfish (Phractura lindica)
  • African Lizard Whiptail Catfish (Phractura lindica)

African Lizard Whiptail Catfish (Phractura lindica)

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This African whiptail catfish is rarely seen in the aquarium hobby and is a peaceful scavenger for the community planted aquarium!


The African Lizard Whiptail Catfish (Phractura lindica) is a very rare, small whiptail catfish that is not commonly kept in the aquarium. Despite that fact, it is much hardier than many of the South American whiptail catfish species and is an excellent choice for almost any peaceful aquarium, especially planted aquariums. It is distinctive by its highly variable, mottled coloration of various shades of black and brown.


The African Lizard Whiptail Catfish is primarily nocturnal, but will often become active during daytime hours once established in an aquarium with plenty of driftwood, rockwork, and other hiding places. It is not known to eat wood heavily like some suckermouth catfish (Panaque sp., etc.), but it may benefit from some supplementary wood (or rather the biofilm on driftwood) in its diet. The African Lizard Whiptail Catfish will not bother most plants. Feed the African Lizard Whiptail Catfish an omnivorous diet with great variety of dry, frozen, and live foods that contain a good amount of both meaty and vegetable content. It may also appreciate being regularly fed some fresh vegetables such as shelled peas, spinach, zucchini and cucumber as well as blanched green, leafy vegetables.  


The African Lizard Whiptail Catfish is extremely peaceful and is compatible with most other non-aggressive fish and invertebrates that will not outcompete it for food. It is possible that larger specimens might eat very small dwarf shrimp, particularly their fry. However, some aquarists keep the African Lizard Whiptail Catfish with their shrimp colonies with no problems. This fish reaches a modest length of just 3.5 inches, and it is a very thin fish that usually does not account for the bioload that many thicker fish of a similar length produce. It reportedly has not yet been bred in the aquarium.


What We Like About This Fish:
  • Very colorful, peaceful, and hardy addition to almost any aquarium.
  • At a maximum size of 3.5 inches (9 cm), this is a very practical and manageable fish.
  • This fish will not bother most plants, but it will may help with algae control, especially as a juvenile. It will also scavenge and consume uneaten fish food.
  • Unique appearance as well as plenty of personality.
  • Variable coloration, especially on dark substrate.
  • Temperature:  75° - 82.4° F (24° - 28° C)
  • pH:  6.0 - 7.5
  • KH:  2 - 15 dKH
  • Minimum tank size:  20 gallons
  • Diet:  Omnivore, but meatier foods should be fed regularly along with vegetable matter. New specimens may require live/frozen foods
  • Social behavior:  Generally solitary, but will socialize somewhat, especially during breeding.
  • Origin:  West Africa, Congo River system
  • Average adult size:  3.5 inches (9 cm)
  • Average purchase size:  2 - 3 inches (5 - 7.6 cm)
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