Brown-Point Shield Skin Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: December 17, 2022

The Brown-Point Shield Skin is a very unique and interesting freshwater fish that is native to Africa.

This fish is not for everyone, but if you can provide them with the necessary care they can be a very rewarding pet.

In this guide, we will go over everything you need to know about Brown-Point Shield Skin care. Tank size, diet, lifespan, and more.

Species overview

Brown-point shield skins (scientific name: Chaetostoma formosae) are a type of armored catfish that’s found in the Orinoco River basin in South America.

They prefer slow-moving waters with a lot of vegetation, which is something that’s common in many tropical fish habitats.

Shield skins get their name from the large plates of armor that cover their body. This armor protects them from predators and gives them a very distinct look.

Due to their peaceful nature and interesting appearance, brown-point shield skins are a popular choice for many aquarium enthusiasts. They are also very easy to care for, which makes them a great choice for beginner fishkeepers.


Brown-Point Shield Skin

This fish is easily recognizable due to the large and prominent shield on their forehead. This shield is actually an extended piece of skin that can be a bit lighter or darker than the rest of their body (usually brown or black).

This shield is used for protection and starts at the fish’s snout and extends all the way back to the beginning of their dorsal fin.

The rest of the fish is a brown color that can be a bit lighter or darker depending on the individual. They have a long and thin body shape that helps them be quite speedy in the water.

Their fins are all translucent and streamline. The dorsal fin is located about two-thirds of the way back on their body and is tall and thin. The anal fin is located just behind the dorsal fin and is a bit shorter.

They have a forked caudal fin that’s taller than it is wide. This fin is used for steering and is clear with a bit of brown coloring at the base.


The average lifespan of a Brown-Point Shield Skin is around 10 years. Of course, this can differ greatly based on the care they receive.

If you provide them with a good diet, a clean and stress-free environment, and plenty of hiding places, then they can easily live for a decade or more.


Brown-point Shield Skin can grow to be 2.5 inches long.


Tank Size

The recommended minimum tank size for a Brown-point Shield Skin is 10 gallons. If you’re looking for a freshwater fish that can fit in an average-sized tank, this is not the fish for you.

If you want to keep two fish in the same tank you’ll want to add at least another 10 gallons to that minimum number if you want them to thrive.

Another reason why you need to provide enough space is for the sake of enrichment and comfort. These fish like to roam and will often run gentle but steady laps around your tank. Giving them a little bit of extra space can go a long way in making sure they can comfortably turn around in the tank.

Water Parameters

These fish are very peaceful and can be kept with a wide variety of other fish species. They are not fussy when it comes to water parameters and can adapt to a wide range of different water conditions.

The ideal water parameters for Brown-Point Shield Skin are:

  • Water temperature: 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH levels: 6.8-7.8
  • Water hardness: 5-15 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 6-12 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

As with most fish, the inside of their tank is very important. You want to make sure that it’s set up in a way that’s comfortable and enriching for them.

The substrate that you use is up to you, but we prefer something on the softer side. This will be more comfortable for them to lie on and won’t damage their skin.

Since they’re a bottom-dwelling species, you’ll want to make sure there are plenty of places for them to hide. This can be in the form of plants, rocks, or even driftwood.

We also recommend including a good amount of food for them to eat. They’re not picky eaters, so just about anything will do.

Common Diseases

The Brown-point Shield Skin is a fairly hardy fish, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get sick.

The most common disease that affects this species is ich. This is a parasitic infection that is quite common in freshwater fish.

It will present itself as white spots on the body, fish, and gills of your fish. We won’t do a full ich treatment guide here (there are plenty of those online) but it’s something you need to take very seriously if it affects your fish.

Other potential diseases include bacterial infections, fungal infections, and parasites. These are all fairly common in freshwater fish and can be treated with the help of a veterinarian.

The best way to prevent these diseases is to maintain clean and stable water conditions in the tank. A healthy environment will lead to healthier fish who are more resistant to disease.

Behavior & Temperament

Brown-point shield skins are very peaceful fish. They’re not aggressive and will do well with other fish that have a similar temperament.

These fish are also known to be shy. They’ll often hide when they first meet other fish or when they’re in a new environment. Once they’ve had a chance to acclimate, they’ll become more social and active.

Brown-point shield skins are bottom-dwellers, so they’ll spend most of their time near the substrate. They’re known to be good at scavenging, so they’ll often be seen looking for food in the substrate or on the glass of the aquarium.

Overall, brown-point shield skins are peaceful and shy fish. They’re not aggressive and will do well with other fish that have a similar temperament.

Tank Mates

Brown-Point Shield Skin is a good community fish. It is not too big and not too small. It is a good middle-of-the-road fish.

The Brown-Point Shield Skin is not an aggressive fish. It is a peaceful fish. The Brown-Point Shield Skin does well with other fish that are the same size or smaller.

Some good tank mates for the Brown-Point Shield Skin are:


Brown-point Shield Skin loaches are a little difficult to breed in captivity. They are a seasonal breeder, so you’ll have to wait for the right time of year. They also need a specific type of water to breed in.

The best time to breed them is during the rainy season. That’s when they naturally breed in the wild. To simulate the rainy season, you’ll need to do a large water change. Drain out about 80 percent of the water in the tank and replace it with fresh, clean water.

The quality of the water is just as important as the quantity. Brown-point Shield Skin loaches need soft water to breed. The hardness of the water should be no more than 5 dGH. The pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5.

Once you’ve done the water change, the female loaches will start to lay eggs. They lay them in plant leaves or on the glass of the tank. The male loaches will then fertilize the eggs.

After about a week, the eggs will hatch. The fry are very small and need to be fed baby brine shrimp or other live foods. They are also very sensitive to changes in water quality. Do regular water changes to keep the fry healthy.


The Brown-Point Shield Skin is a great fish for beginners or experienced fish owners alike.

They’re very easy to take care of and are very peaceful, making them a great addition to any community tank.

Their unique look is also sure to turn heads, so if you’re looking for a fish that will stand out, this is the one for you.

Overall, we highly recommend this fish and we think you’ll be very happy with them!