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Phractocephalus hemioliopterus
Redtailed Catfish

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Redtailed Catfish - Phractocephalus hemioliopterus

Photos & Comments

phracto3.jpg (26kb)
Photo Credit: Lynn Smith

When a redtail catfish regurgitates, it empties the contents of its stomach, including the acids that break down its food. If for any reason your filtration stops working (power cut, etc), this can cause an undesired effect, DEATH to your favorite pet. The red tail needs clean water all of the time, it can't put up with its own pollutants. Which I found out one morning when I had a power cut, and found my 90 cm redtail floating in a tank full of debris.

Contributed by Kenny Lee

We have had one of these catfish for about 6 months now. His name is Waldo (as in where's Waldo?) and he is one of our favorite fish. We have a log for him to hide in, so we don't see him too often, but if nobody is around he will come out, (even if the light is on) and as soon as somebody comes into the room you can see him take off for his hideout. It is worth having him just to know he is there, and trying to catch him out when he thinks nobody is looking! :)

Contributed by Laura Zirbes

The most endearing trait of my redtail catfish is its ability to be handfed, which cannot be said of the other giant catfishes in my tank. My redtail catfish shares its 200x60x60 cm home with a tiger shovelnose catfish, a marble antenna catfish, and a planiceps. The redtail becomes extremely active when it is hungry and responds to my hand in the tank by going up to meet its meal of feeder fish. The only downside of this habit is the redtail appears to have been much too pampered, it cannot catch feeder fish on its own inside the tank. Its other tankmates, though, easily catch their meal without any human assistance. The redtail appears to eat on the average every four days, while its tankmates eat almost everyday. As a result of which, the redtail was the slowest to grow. But all of my tank’s inhabitants are grown up, averaging 60 cm in length. I’ve had my redtail for close to two years already and I haven’t grown tired of it, especially with the way it responds during feeding time.

Contributed by Oliver S. Antonio

I work at a petstore in Alberta, Canada. We have a 75 cm redtail catfish named Sherman. He is about 7 years old and is the joy of our aquarium center. Sherman is the most gentle and personable fish in the store. Although he eats a lot (he loves mice), he is an irreplaceable addition to our store and makes a wonderful pet! It is also important to note that these fish require large living quarters as they can grow an excess of 1 meter in the wild!

Contributed by Guy Mersereau

I have a Red Tail called Buster. He got his name because of his size. He is very gentle. I have found a good source of food for a Red Tail. I take the shrimp pellets that you buy in stores and pour them into a bowl then fill with water. When the pellets become soft, make them into balls (about the size of golf balls) then freeze them in an air tight container were they won´t dry out. This makes up about half of my Redtail´s diet. In my case this has helped keeping Buster docile towards my other fish.

Contributed by Jennifer Henry

I had a Redtailed Cat in a 279 liter aquarium and I added a second just slightly smaller. I have never seen fish so happy in my life. My original one was mainly inactive during the day. but now these two roll with each other, hang with each other, hunt with each other, and if somehow they get seperated they soon see each other and nudge each other. When they take a break they seem to cuddle a little before finally settling down.

Contributed by (no name given)

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