Sturisoma aureum

Photo: Neil Woodward/Pier Aquatics


The real S.aureum is now becoming a regular encounter in the hobby, but it was not always so. For a long time it was thought that S.festivum was in fact S.aureum. The true S.aureum is also a very suitable aquarium fish, suitable even for well kept community tanks.


Name: Sturisoma aureum (Steindachner, 1900)

Trade names: Golden Sturgeon Catfish, Giant Whiptail

Origin: Rio Magdalena, Colombia.

Maximum size: 25 cm / 10”

Sturisoma species can be in really poor condition during their time in transit. Wild specimens must be closely inspected before purchase. Once settled and calm, they will forage during most of the day. They eat mostly vegetable foods, so vegetables and tablets should be offered. Additional frozen foods like insect larvae and crustaceans are also greedily taken. Sturisoma species are very peaceful and non-territorial fish, and prefer well filtered, clean water. When they are well conditioned they often breed, and eggs are often lied directly on the aquarium walls. The male, recognizable by  it’s chin “beard”, guards the brood, but the young are known to be difficult to raise. This is mostly due to their need to feed constantly along with their unwillingness to move around much, and such heavy feeding regimes of course makes the water quality deteriorate quickly. In other words, more work for the fishkeeper!

S.festivum was long thought to be S.aureum. The true S.aureum does however have a longer, more pointy head, less bulky body and lacks the elongated first ray in the dorsal fin.

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