Redtail Catfish – Traits | Size | Tank | Lifespan | Feeding | Baby

Redtail Catfish

Redtail catfish, scientific name Phractocephalus hemioliopterus is a fresh-water ray-finned fish from the Pimelodidae family or Flat-headed catfish. Redtail catfish can develop as much as 135 CM in size which is rather a lot.

Not all aquarists like small fish. Some of them are inclined to maintain a small variety of massive fish.

If you belong to this class and have the chance to start an aquarium with a number of tons of water, then the Amazonian good-looking red-tailed catfish will likely be a superb selection. You will learn to maintain such an enormous at the house from our article. Let’s Begin!

Redtail Catfish quick facts

Scientific Name: Phractocephalus hemioliopterus

Care Level: Difficult
Temperament: Aggressive
Color Form: Dark Gray/Brown,
Lifespan: 15+ Years
Size: 4 – 6 feet
Diet: Carnivore
Family: Pimelodidae
Minimum Tank Size: 1000 Gallons
Tank Set-Up: Sparse/Bare Tank

Redtail Catfish Description

It is characterized by somewhat massive sizes (as much as 130 cm). It is difficult to think about, however, such an enormous has developed into a reasonably frequent aquarium fish.

Unfortunately, there are nonetheless locations place juveniles of those catfish are bought as stunning decorative fish, and sellers by no means reveal the conceited size of adults to the patrons.

Surprisingly, the growth of red-tailed catfish doesn’t even constrain the quantity of the aquarium. The excellent urge for food and limitless gluttony results in the truth that the fish grows right before our eyes.

Redtail catfish hunts at night from an ambush and Inhabits in South America.

The native inhabitants make use of redtail catfish as a meal’s merchandise, though their meat is darkish in color. The species is artificially bred in fisheries of some nations in Southeast Asia, from the place it additionally goes on sale as aquarium inhabitants.

To scare away bigger predators or just undesirable visitors, the red-tailed catfish could make loud noises that resemble the roar of an elephant. To do that, the fish sharply passes a mix of water and air by means of the tightly pressed gills.

For this function, the nickname “screaming fish” can be given to this catfish.

It is value noting that the Redtail catfish is straightforward to care in upkeep, shortly will get used to the owner, and even permits itself to be stroked and hand-fed. Often present in public aquariums and aquariums.

Redtail Catfish Appearance

Redtail catfish have an elongated, highly effective body. The head is massive, flattened with a large mouth and huge eyes. The mouth opening is bordered by three pairs of long whiskers – one on the higher jaw and two on the decrease.

All fins are effectively developed. The tail is single, there’s a well-defined adipose fin.

The color of the Redtail catfish is sort of enticing. The higher body is darkish, the decrease is white. Numerous black spots are scattered on the pinnacle. The tail is vibrant orange or red, which contrasts sharply with the body. The apex of the dorsal fin has an identical color.

The most recorded body size is 135 cm. In small-volume aquariums, the fish not often grows more than 60 cm.

Red-tailed catfish is a real long-liver, in a position to dwell in captivity for as much as 20 years.


The homeland of the redtail catfish is the nice and cozy tropical waters of the rivers of South America belonging to the Amazon and Orinoco basins.

The water right here is mushy and bitter, on the backside yow will discover a lot of snags, which function as shelters for twilight looking. Catfish was artificially populated within the southern states of the USA and nations of Southeast Asia.

Red-Tailed Catfish Feeding

The natural diet of red-tailed catfish is extraordinarily various. This resident of Amazonia is totally illegible and eats all the pieces that he can catch: fish, worms, crustaceans, and fruits which have fallen into the water.

If the chance presents itself, he’ll simply feast on small amphibians, reptiles, and even rodents. As you’ll be able to see, desire is given to animal meals.

The basis of vitamin for such a big predator is, first of all, seafood: white fish fillet, mussels, peeled shrimps. It is helpful to introduce small items of fruit, scalded lettuce into the diet.

It shouldn’t be advisable to feed red-tailed catfish with merchandise from the meat of warm-blooded animals (rooster, beef, and so forth.), as a result of they’re virtually not digested by fish, which may result in weight problems and issues with inner organs.

Unfortunately, most catfish, particularly adults, don’t favor dry meals. Sinking tablets for backside fish could be provided, for instance, Tetra Tablets TabiMin (XL). There are instances once they fell to the catfish’s style.

Always provide catfish a diversified diet. It is famous that when feeding with the identical product on daily basis the fish get so used to it that they refuse different meals. It is necessary to feed younger fish day by day, it’s higher for adult people on a number of occasions per week.

Follow the feeding requirements, do not forget that catfish will swallow meals, once more, and once more, they don’t have any sense of proportion, and this can be a direct solution to weight problems and fast air pollution of water.

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Redtail Catfish Care and Maintenance

Given the large size of red-tailed catfish, You will need an aquarium of really massive size. One particular person ought to have at the very least 300 liters, though the aquarium with a number of tons of water capability is taken into account ideally suited for this species.

The redtail catfish lead a near-bottom life-style, due to this fact the underside space must be as massive as possible. The older the person, the more time she spends without motion, mendacity on the backside.

In an aquarium, Redtail catfishes don’t abuse the decorations. They can simply flip over any poorly fastened factor, and within the worst case, even break the glass. The design must be as austere as possible.

You can put a number of massive snags, which are able to develop into a fish refuge. It shouldn’t be advisable to make use of sand and small pebbles as soil. Red-tailed catfish like to swallow soil and cross them by means of the gills.

To stop fish from unintentionally damaging them, it’s higher to cease on medium and huge stones, and even go away to the aquarium without soil, which may even facilitate the cleansing of meal particles.

Planting dwelling crops within the house of red-tailed catfish is totally impractical. They will likely be shortly destroyed by this flat-headed predator.

Natural voracity and desire for animal meals require the set up of highly effective filters and compressors. Red-tailed catfish don’t like vibrant light, preferring mushy and muffled.

It is necessary to notice that, if possible, it’s necessary to make use of exterior tools (for instance, a temperature regulator, thermometer, and so forth.), this big can break something even with a small blow of the tail. Once per week, it’s necessary to switch 20% of the quantity of water within the aquarium.

The optimum water parameters for the content: T = 22-28 ° C, pH = 6.0-7.0, GH = 2-10.

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Redtail Catfish Compatibility

At first look, it appears that evidently a phlegmatic catfish continuously mendacity on the backside shouldn’t be able to offend anybody, however, this impression is fake. At any moment, a pointy throw could be made and an unfortunate fish will likely be within the big mouth of a predator.

Therefore, the mixed content of red-tailed catfish with any species, smaller than its size, is doomed to failure. Moreover, even massive fish should not secure from being eaten by this catfish.

Hence the conclusion: the perfect aquarium for maintaining red-tailed catfish could be a big aquarium with a single inhabitant.

If you want to maintain this catfish with different fish then you’ll be able to consider maintaining them with massive aquarium inhabitants – Arowana, Oscar Fish, Jaguar Cichlid, black pacu, Leopard Pleco, Pangasius, and so forth.

However, don’t forget that every new massive tenant would require a proportional improvement within the quantity of the aquarium.

The spacious aquarium might comprise a number of people of red-tailed catfish, however, we should not overlook their pronounced territoriality, which regularly results in bloody clashes.

Breeding Redtail Catfish

It is possible to get offspring from red-tailed catfish at house solely if you’re the joyful owner of a heat ornamental pond for a number of tons of water. It is in such circumstances that fish are bred in fish farms in Southeast Asia.

Cases of breeding within the aquarium haven’t but been recorded. Read more about stargazer-fish-venom.

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