Green Whiptail Catfish (Acestridium dichromum)– I find fish that have the ability to hide while in full sight to be amazing. Most often, the camaflauge take the form of imitating a leaf or a stone. Very few fish can pull of mimicking a twig, but the Green Whiptail and it’s close relatives in the Twig Catfish group can. The Green Whiptails have the added ability of being able to change their color from green to tan depending on the brightness of the object they are resting on. As you can probably guess just by looking at the photos, these fish are algae eaters, but they are nowhere near as easy to keep as the commonly available plecos or other fish sold as algae-eaters. They require very clean water and are best suited for a mature aquarium with stable water chemistry. Choosing tankmates can be tricky. You cannot have anything that could easily eat this small, thin, fish. Nor can they be with fish that are too boisterous or greedy like most danios, barbs, corydoras or livebearers. And they are easily out-competed by larger plecos. Oto cats, pygmy cories, most small tetras and rasboras can be housed with them, though a species tank is better. Male Green Whiptails may fight among themselves but it is generally harmless pushing. A group of six or eight of these small fish can be housed in a 20 gallon/ 75 liter tank.
Origin: Venezuela and Brazil
Size: 6cm/ 2.5 inches
Temperature: 23-28°C/ 73-82°F
Diet: Algae, spirulina wafers, and vegetables such as zucchini, green beans, lettuce, etc.
Habitat: The tank housing Green Whiptails should have a lot of branches and submerged wood. Plants such as vallisneria are appreciated as the surfaces of their leaves offer additional places for algae to grow. Dried leaves sunk to the bottom are beneficial. Add a powerhead. These fish are from places with a strong current.
Breeding: Not recorded in captivity, but probably similar to other twig catfish that attach the eggs to vertical surfaces like the aquarium’s glass. Generally twig catfish are easy to spawn but the babies are hard to raise. Most Green Whiptails currently for sale are wild caught.