The red tail catfish is known as the puppy whale in China and Hong Kong. In traditional China, we believe in 5 elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth, and we believe that water means money so we like to keep big fishes! This is why the red tail catfish is one of our favorites. It's strong, big and the body is pretty and very special with a clear red tail. Also, it eats almost everything you eat! (Of course, meat!). In some cases, some people keep this big fish in a pond and feed them the leftover food after lunch and dinner, e.g., my friend's red tail catfish likes chicken wings best! They seem to know who you are and come to you like a puppy! So if you have a large pond, it's a good choice!
I have had my red tail for 6 years and he has grown from 5 cm when I bought him to 60 cm. He is doing fine in an indoor heated pond with several other fish: two 28 cm oscars, two 38 cm clarias catfish, a 60 cm black shark and a few others. He is the first one to come up and feed. He will take 8 gold fish from my hand and he doesn't touch the other fish as long as he is well and feeding. He is fine in the pond with a 13 cm male convict in and nothing touches him. I would recommend this large tank buster to anyone who has the room.
I have had Mongo for almost one year now; he is a little over 30 cm and grows non-stop. Mongo has been living in my 570 L South American tank with discus and angelfish. So far this had been an ideal arrangement, Mongo eats in the bottom and from my hands, and the rest of the fish eat top side or mid tank. My life lesson started happening a couple of weeks ago, I did not notice it at first until my girlfriend told me she felt the tank looked empty...enough to say that 2 of my fully grown angelfish were gone! No trace, no carcass, nothing...gone! At fist I was puzzled; maybe they jumped out, something...not Mongo! Yes Mongo! He followed up with 4 more fully grown angels! No Discus as of yet. Now I have a decision to make...move Mongo to his own 1000 L pond in my basement, or allow him to eat the two remaining angelfish in the show tank...I will miss my angelfish! Point to the story is this, if it fits in it's mouth, the redtail catfish will eat it! Take care!
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