Red Tail Catfish

Catfish | South American Red Tail Catfish

The iFISH Store

Regular price $ 19.99 Sale

(Please note that the fish shown in the photo is only a representative of what an adult specimen would look like. The color may vary based on the age and sex of the fish you receive.)

Scientific Name: Hractocephalus hemioliopterus

Common Names: South American Red Tail Catfish, Red Tail Catfish

Adult Size: 24+ inches

Life Expectancy: 20 years

Habitat: South America

Tank Size: 800 gallons; Red Tail Cats should not be kept in aquariums smaller than 250 to 300 gallons, at the very least, and even tanks of this size will not provide enough swimming space for a large specimen. Preferably, if kept in an aquarium, they should be housed in a long and wide tank no smaller than 700 to 800 gallons.

Ideal Tank Conditions: 

  • Temperature Range: 34 - 90°F
  • pH Range: 7.0 - 8.6
  • Hardness Range: 150 ppm

Temperament: Redtail catfish are bottom-dwelling fish that prefer to live alone. These fish won't hesitate to attack smaller species, and they often exhibit territorial aggression if there are too many fish in the aquarium.

Diet & Nutrition: Redtail catfish are omnivores that require a protein-rich diet. In the wild, redtail catfish eat anything they can find, including crustaceans, small fish, insects, and fruit. Ideal foods for the redtail catfish include sinking pellets and both live and frozen foods like shrimp, crayfish, small fish, and worms.

Breeding & Spawning: Breeding Redtail Catfish is exceedingly difficult. Since sexing the fish is incredibly difficult, and the size of the tank required to house more than a single specimen is prohibitive, it's unlikely anyone would attempt to breed these fish.

Gender: While some theorize that the red coloration on the tail fin of the catfish may be an indication of sex, there is no known external difference to give away the sex of the fish. 

Note: In the aquarium, they will eat just about anything that will fit into their cavernous mouths, including tankmates. Choose only tankmates that are very large and robust such as very large cichlids.

Compatible Tank Mates: See Compatibility Chart

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