Tatia perugiae is a strikingly beautiful “Driftwood Cat” from South America. It is also known as Tatia altae, Centromochlus perugiae, Centromachlus prugiae and Perugia's Woodcat. Its native habitat is found in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. They grow to be 5.0-7.5 cm and display a very attractive black leopard spots.
Spawning Tatia perugiae is still uncommon in the hobby and very little is known about this shy species. The fact that it is a strictly nocturnal species makes it even harder to observe its breeding behavior. In most cases, the aquarists will not realize that spawning has taken place until he or she notices tiny Driftwood cat fry in the aquarium.
Care and housing
Before spawning Tatia perugiae, you must make sure that your aquarium is a really good home to them. Happy and healthy fish tend to be more prone to spawning and the offspring is normally also of higher quality. The aquarium should be well decorated with plenty of hiding spots, since a barren aquarium can make the fish stressed. Keep the water temperature around 26-28 degrees C and the pH-value around neutral, from pH 6.5 to 7.5. Giving your Perugia's Woodcat fish their own breeding aquarium is a good idea since eggs and fry may otherwise be eaten by other fish. As far as we know, this catfish do not engage in parental care and can therefore be removed after spawning.
Breeding Tatia perugiae
Sexing and courtship
Sexing this catfish is easy, since the male’s anal fin has been turned into a reproductive organ and resembles a spearhead. During courtship, the male will chase the females around. This behavior can go on for a considerable amount of time without resulting in any spawning, so witnessing your Perugia's Woodcats chase each other does not mean that you will get fry anytime soon.
Changes in water chemistry, such as a large water change, altered hardiness and/or a change in pH-value may induce spawning for Tatia perugiae, but this is only supported by anecdotal evidence.
Eggs and fry
Tatia perugiae carries out internal fertilization and the eggs will not be released until 24-48 hours after mating. Newly hatches fry are very thin, smaller than ¼ inch in length, look similar to wood and like to stay hidden near driftwood. If given a nutritious diet, they will grow very fast. When they are a few months old they will start to display the leopard spotted pattern worn by their parents.
When the fry hatch, they do not have to be fed immediately since the feed off their yolk sacs. In the wild, adult Perugia's Woodcat prefer to search the water’s surface for food and feed chiefly on ants, beetles and woodflies. This seems to be true for the fry as well, and you should therefore give them food that stays near the surface. You can for instance give them crushed flake food, insect larvae (blood worms), and newly hatched brine shrimp.
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