Among the “flounder Catfishes” we find only a few species that can be considered regular encounters in our hobby. One of these is Planiloricaria cryptodon, which is exported from Peru on a regular basis. P.cryprodon is a very enjoyable aquarium inhabitant, but because of its adult size it needs a tank with a rather large surface area. They mostly stay buried in fine sand, but quickly come to life once they realize there’s food in the water. The crawl across the substrate, greedily hovering up anything they come across. They are not aggressive to each other, but will chase away conspecifics during feeding. Clean water and good filtration is essential for long-term maintenance of this species.
Name: Planiloricaria cryptodon (Isbrücker, 1971)
Trade names: Flounder Whiptail Catfish, Spoon Face Whiptail Catfish
Origin: Rio Ucayali, Peru. Rio Purus, Brazil. Rio Mamore, Bolivia.
Maximum size: 35 cm / 14''
This is a typical sand-dweller that should be given open space on the bottom of your tank. They are very peaceful, and should not be kept with boisterous and oppressing species that outcompete them for food. They prefer meaty foods, abut should be fed a varied diet of quality dried foods and frozen foods. The cool thing about them is that the males are mouth brooders, so the eggs are cared for by the male who keeps them right underneath his head and torso. The best way to tell the genders apart is by looking at their vents, which are differently shaped.