October 14

Sarah Robertson

Crying Whiptail- the Perfect Addition to Your Tank

Catfish are becoming increasingly popular as aquarium fish. They are hardy and relatively easy to care for, making them a great choice for beginner aquarists. There are many different species of catfish and one of the most popular is the Crying Whiptail.

The name "Crying Whiptail" comes from the two black stripes that run down the top of the fish's head and through its eyes, which look like real tears. Crying Whiptails are similar to Rineloricaria spp., but they have more feathery sucker mouths. This is more obvious in adult specimens.

If you're thinking of adding a Crying Whiptail to your aquarium, here's what you need to know about their care:

A Quick Crying Whiptail Care Table 

  • Scientific Name: Loricaria sp. `RIO ATABAPO
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Compatibility: Peaceful
  • Ph: 6.5 - 7.5
  • Temperature: 73° - 82° F
  • Water hardness: 3 - 15 dKH
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10-20 Galloons
  • Tankmates: Corydoras catfish, Guppies, Minnows, Tetras, Shrimp, and Characins
  • Breeding: Paternal lip-brooder
  • Size: 7 Inches
  • Life expectancy: 5 to 8 years

Crying Whiptail Origin 

The Crying Whiptail is a species of fish found in Rio Atabapo, Colombia. The water is moderate here, with a sandy substrate interspersed with rocks and minimal aquatic vegetation.

These sedentary, elongate bottom-dwellers should be maintained in an adult aquarium that is big enough to accommodate them. These fish are also found in the aquarium trade under the name Farlowella sp. `RIO ATABAPO`and Loricaria sp.

Crying Whiptail Size

The typical size of a full-grown Crying Whiptail is 7 inches, though some have been documented to reach up to 8 inches in length.

The size of a catfish fish is determined by the size of its tank and the amount of care it receives. A tank that is big enough for the catfish to thrive in and has the correct filtration allows it to reach its maximum growth potential. Another element that affects a catfish's size is diet. A healthy and well-fed catfish will grow to be larger than one that is not.

Crying Whiptail Life Expectancy 

The average life expectancy of a Crying Whiptail is 5 to 8 years, although they may live up to 10 years if properly cared for.

Providing your catfish with the optimal environment and food is essential for its long, healthy existence. A clean aquarium with fresh water and hiding places will aid your catfish to feel more at ease. A diet that is high in vegetables and high-quality catfish food will also help to keep your fish healthy while extending their lifespan.

Crying Whiptail Behavior 

The Crying Whiptail is a docile fish that is not particularly aggressive or quick. Their mouths are too tiny to be predatory in nature. Any extremely violent or upset creature will have no trouble finding a target in a whiptail catfish. Tankmates should be carefully chosen because any violent or irritated fish would find it easy to prey on a whiptail.

Crying Whiptails are known to be very shy fish, so it is important to provide them with plenty of places to hide. Driftwood, rocks, and plants are all good options. If you do not provide enough hiding spots, your fish may become stressed and more susceptible to disease.

Crying Whiptails are most active at night, although they will become energetic during the day once they have been placed in an aquarium with plenty of driftwood, rockwork, and other hiding spots.

Crying Whiptail

Crying Whiptail Appearance 

The Crying Whiptail has an elongated body that is light brown to tan in coloration. The black lines that run from the snout to just before the dorsal fin are distinctive characteristics of this fish. A perpendicular line connects these two lines near the tail.

The parallel lines pass through the fish's eyes. Furthermore, this species has a dark spot on its dorsal fins that extends onto the body but stays in the fins' range. There are four black lines on the caudal peduncle, with a single broad line in the middle of the caudal fin. In well-conditioned fish, the upper lobe of the caudal fins has a filament.

Gender Differences 

It is difficult to tell the difference between male and female Crying Whiptails. The male's mouth, compared to the female fish's mouth, is larger, allowing him to retain an egg clutch. Also, when looking at the anal fins of each gender, you will notice that the males are more pointed. The female's anal fin is much rounder.

Crying Whiptail Tank Setup 

It is quite simple to set up a tank for your Crying Whiptail. These catfish are extremely adaptable and don't require high water quality. They can survive several pH levels and temperatures. It's still necessary to give them good care and maintenance in order for them to flourish.

Follow these tips for setting up the perfect tank for your Crying Whiptail:

Tank Size 

A Crying Whiptail requires a tank of 10-20 gallons. A bigger tank is usually preferable, as it provides more space for the catfish to swim and hide. It also dilutes waste and ammonia, making it easier on your filter.

Crying Whiptail Tank Water Parameters 

The Crying Whiptail can survive in a wide range of pH levels and temperatures. To guarantee their safety, though, it is still important to provide them with adequate care and setup. The optimum water temperature for the Crying Whiptail is 73° - 82° F, with a pH level of 6.5 - 7.5.

These catfish are also capable of surviving in an aquarium with a water hardness as low as 3 to 15 degrees KH if the water is sufficiently soft. There must never be any nitrates or ammonia in the tank. If these pollutants aren't removed from the tank, they may be harmful to catfish and even cause death.

Tank Decor

Crying Whiptails are a peaceful, shy species of fish. They should be provided with plenty of hiding spots in order to feel secure in their environment. Driftwood, plants, and rocks are all good options for tank decoration. Driftwood not only provides a place for your fish to hide, but it also helps to create a more natural-looking environment.

Make sure that the decorations are firmly anchored in place so that they can't fall and crush your fish. Also, they must be aquarium friendly with soft edges to avoid harming your fish.

The Crying Whiptail is a bottom-dwelling species of fish, so it's important to have a substrate that they can easily burrow into. A fine gravel or sand substrate is perfect for them. However, avoid using shells or other hard substrates, as they can damage the catfish's delicate fins.

Plants are not a requirement for the Crying Whiptail's tank, but they can help to create a more natural environment for your fish. If you do choose to add plants, make sure that they are tough and can withstand being burrowed into. Cryptocoryne, Anubias, and Java Fern are all good options. If you don't want to use live plants, you can also use plastic plants.


Crying Whiptails are a nocturnal species of fish, so they don't require bright lighting. In fact, too much light can actually stress them out. A dim light is all that's needed to create a natural-looking environment for your Crying Whiptail. If you want to add plants to the tank, you may need to increase the lighting slightly.


Filteration is important in any aquarium, but it's especially important in a smaller tank like the Crying Whiptails. A good filter will help to keep the water quality high and remove any toxins or pollutants from the water. It's recommended that you use a filter with a flow rate of at least 30 gallons per hour.

Some good filter choices for catfish include:

  • Canister Filters
  • Hang-on-Back (HOB) Filters
  • Undergravel Filters
  • Power Filters

Note: The process of cleaning your filter is straightforward: simply remove it from the tank and wash it with water. Because soaps and chemicals may harm your filter, never use them on it.

Cleaning Your Crying Whiptail Tank 

You should perform a partial water change of 20-30% once a week. This will help to remove any toxins or pollutants from the water and keep the water quality high. When you're changing the water, be sure to use a de-chlorinator to remove any chlorine from the tap water.

To clean the gravel in your tank, you can use a gravel vacuum. A gravel vacuum is a hand-held siphon that's used to remove debris and waste from the gravel. To use it, simply place the end of the siphon in the gravel and suck on the other end to start the suction. The water and debris will be sucked up into the siphon and can then be disposed of.

In order to clean the glass of your aquarium, you can use a scraper or sponge. Be sure to avoid using any soaps or chemicals on the glass, as they can be harmful to your fish.

When you're cleaning the tank, it's also a good idea to check the filter and make sure that it's clean and in good working order.

Crying Whiptail Tank Mates 

When it comes to compatibility, the Crying Whiptail is a good community fish. They are peaceful and get along with most other aquarium dwellers. Some good tank mates for the Crying Whiptail include:

  • Other Corydoras catfish species
  • Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • platies
  • Swordtails
  • Rainbowfish
  • Kuhli loaches
  • Dojo loaches
  • Botiine loaches
  • Pangio kuhlii

When choosing tank mates for your Crying Whiptail, it's also important to consider the size of the fish. The Crying Whiptail is a small species of catfish, so it's best to avoid keeping them with fish that are too large and aggressive.

Some examples of bad tankmates for this species of fish include:

  • Oscars
  • Cichlids
  • Piranhas
  • Discus
  • Angelfish
  • Dwarf gouramis
  • Bettas
Crying Whiptail Diet

Crying Whiptail Diet 

The Crying Whiptail is not a picky eater and will accept most types of food. They are known to be particularly fond of live foods, such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and mosquito larvae. However, they will also accept freeze-dried and frozen foods.

Some good freeze-dried and frozen foods for the Crying Whiptail include:

  • Brine shrimp
  • Bloodworms
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Krill
  • Daphnia

If you're looking for good all-around food for your Crying Whiptail, you can't go wrong with pellets or flakes. There are many different types of pellets and flakes on the market, so be sure to choose one that's designed for bottom-dwelling fish.

Vegetables are also a good addition to the diet of the Crying Whiptail. Some good vegetables for this species include:

  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots

Algae wafers are also a good option for the Crying Whiptail. Algae wafers are a type of pellet that's specifically designed for bottom-dwelling fish. They contain a high level of algae, which is an important part of the diet of the Crying Whiptail.

Tips for Feeding Your Crying Whiptail 

When feeding your Crying Whiptail, keep the following in mind:

  • The size of the food should be small enough to fit into the mouth of the fish. If the food is too large, the fish may have difficulty swallowing it.
  • It's best to feed your fish several small meals per day rather than one large meal. This will help to prevent overfeeding and will allow the fish to better digest the food. If you notice that your fish are putting on weight, cut back on the amount of food you're giving them.
  • Do not feed your fish live food more than once or twice a week. Live foods can be harmful to fish if they are fed too often.
  • When offering vegetables to your Crying Whiptail, it's best to blanch them first. Blanching is the process of boiling vegetables for a brief period of time. This will help to make them softer and easier for the fish to eat.

Crying Whiptail Diseases 

The Crying Whiptail is a hardy creature that is unaffected by most illnesses. However, there are a few diseases that they can get, including:

  • Corydoras Catfish Disease: This disease is caused by a parasite that affects the intestines of the fish. Symptoms include weight loss, lethargy, and anorexia. The best way to treat this disease is to use a medicated food or a sulfa-based antibiotic.
  • Hexamita: This disease is caused by a flagellated protozoan that infects the intestines of the fish. Symptoms are weight loss, lethargy, and anorexia. The best way to treat this disease is to use a medicated food or a sulfa-based antibiotic.
  • Dropsy: This disease is caused by a build-up of fluid in the body of the fish. Symptoms include bloating, lethargy, and anorexia. The best way to treat this disease is to use an antibiotic.
  • Velvet Disease: This disease is caused by parasitic fungi that infect the skin of the fish. Symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, and irritated skin. The best way to treat this disease is to use a copper-based medication.
  • Fin Rot: This disease is caused by bacteria that infect the fins of the fish. Symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, and ragged or eroded fins. The best way to treat this disease is to use an antibiotic.
  • Hole in the Head Disease: This sickness is caused by bacteria that attack the fish's head. Lethargy, loss of appetite, and holes in the head are some of the signs. Antibiotics are the most effective treatment for this condition.

Preventing Diseases in Crying Whiptail 

It's usually preferable to avoid an illness than to cure it. As a result, taking some preventative measures to keep your Crying Whiptail healthy and free of disease is in your best interests. The following are some strategies for preserving the health of your Crying Whiptail:

  • Regular water changes are essential to maintaining the high quality of the water and lowering the chance of illness.
  • It's crucial to clean the aquarium on a regular basis. Parasites and germs can survive in algae and other waste, putting your fish at risk of disease.
  • New fish should be quarantined for at least two weeks before being introduced to the main tank, as they may carry infections that can spread to your other aquarium inhabitants. New fish must be quarantined for black mollies in the water heater.
  • Include a range of foods in your catfish's diet to keep it healthy and reduce the risk of illness: A varied diet will ensure that your catfish is both healthy and disease-free.
  • It's a good idea to examine your catfish for signs of sickness on a regular basis. If you notice any changes in your catfish's appearance or behavior, contact an expert as soon as feasible.
  • Don't give your catfish too much food. Overfeeding may cause your catfish to become overweight, which can lead to a number of diseases.
  • Overcrowding is not advised. It's preferable to keep the tank clean and prevent your pets from congregating in one spot. Overcrowded tanks have been linked to stress, which has been shown to endanger your catfish with a range of health problems.
  • The livelihood of your catfish depends on a clean and disease-free environment.
  • Keep an eye on the water's quality: This will assist in the maintenance of excellent water quality while also lowering the chances of illness.


If a disease is detected early, it may be treated and cured. Some illnesses, on the other hand, are incurable and potentially fatal. If you believe your catfish has an illness, you should immediately visit an expert. Early diagnosis and treatment offer the greatest probability of success.

Some common treatments for diseases include:

  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics are a class of drugs used to treat infections caused by bacteria.
  • Copper-based medications: These drugs are used to treat a range of diseases, including velvet disease, fin rot, and hole-in-the-head disease.
  • Medicated foods: Medicated foods contain drugs that can help treat and prevent a number of diseases.
  • Aquarium salt: This substance is often used to treat a number of diseases, including parasites, fungal infections, and bacterial infections.
  • Quarantine: Quarantine is a process in which new fish are isolated from the main tank for a period of time. This helps to prevent the spread of disease.
Crying Whiptail Diet

Crying Whiptail Breeding

This species is a lip-brooder and has been raised in home aquariums. If you want to breed this fish, you must have a pair. The easiest way to get a breeding pair is to buy six juveniles and let them grow up together. As they age, the pairs will start to form.

  • Select a Pair Of Healthy Fish: If you want to breed this fish, you must have a pair. The easiest way to get a breeding pair is to buy six juveniles and let them grow up together. As they age, the pairs will start to form. Make sure they are of similar size and age. Also, they must of in good health.
  • Condition The Fish: Both the male and female need to be in good condition before breeding can take place. This means they must be well-fed and free of any diseases. To condition, the fish, start by gradually increasing their food intake. Give them small meals several times a day instead of one large meal.
  • Set Up A Breeding Tank: It's best to set up a separate tank for breeding. This tank should be no more than 20 gallons in size. The water should be clean and well-filtered. Be sure to include plenty of hiding places, such as rocks and plants. The temperature should be between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Ph should be between 6.5 and 7.0.
  • Spawning: Spawning starts with the male chasing the female around the tank. Eventually, the male will start to nudge the female's abdomen with his head. If the female is ready to spawn, she will release her eggs. The male carries the fertilized egg mass supported by his well-developed branched labial (rictal) barbels after spawning, and he will still bury them in the sand during this time. The eggs will lip-brood for 10-16 days before the fry emerges with big yolk sacs.
  • Raising the Crying Whiptail Fry: After the fry has emerged from their egg sacs, they can be fed baby brine shrimp or other live foods. As they grow, you can start to feed them small pellets or flakes. It's best to do water changes every few days to keep the tank clean. The fry should be ready to be moved to a new tank when they are about 2 inches long.

Note: It's tough to raise catfish fry, so it's critical to keep an eye on them and ensure they're getting enough food. If you discover any of the fry-looking skinny or underweight, feed them live baby brine shrimp or microworms. Cull any fry that doesn't appear to be growing. Also, avoid overfeeding as this can lead to water quality issues.

Frequent Questions 

How do you take care of a Crying Whiptail Catfish? 

To take care of a Crying Whiptail Catfish, you will need to provide them with a tank that is at least 50 gallons, has plenty of hiding places, and is well-filtered. The water temperature should be between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH should be between 6.8 and 7.2. It's best to do weekly water changes of about 20%.

What temperature should water be at for a Crying Whiptail Catfish?

They are very hardy in nature and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but 72-78 degrees is ideal.

Can Crying Whiptail Catfish live alone? 

These fish are best kept in groups of at least three. They are social fish that need the company of their own kind.

What should I feed my Crying Whiptail Catfish?

Crying Whiptail Catfish are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods. They prefer live foods, such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. But they will also eat pellets, flakes, and freeze-dried foods.

These fish should be fed 2-3 times a day. Give them as much food as they can eat in 2-3 minutes.

Do Crying Whiptail Catfish have teeth?

Yes, they have small teeth that are located on their bottom jaw. These teeth are used to grind up their food.

Do Crying Whiptail Catfish have barbels? 

Yes, they have four pairs of barbells. These barbels are used to help them find food in the water.


The Crying Whiptail, also known as the Crying Whiptail, is a peaceful armored catfish that makes a great addition to any aquarium. They have a beautiful silver coloration with black spots and a long, flowing tail.

These fish are relatively easy to care for, but they do require a tank that is at least 50 gallons. They are best kept in groups of three or more. Crying Whiptail Catfish are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods. They should be fed 2-3 times a day. If you are looking for a beautiful and peaceful addition to your aquarium, the Crying Whiptail Catfish is a perfect choice. These are very beautiful community fish that are sure to add some personality and color to your home aquarium.

Sarah Robertson

I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

Sarah Robertson

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