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Redtail Catfish of South America
Too Big for a Home Aquarium

This beautiful South American catfish is appealing to the home aquarist but not practical.

The Redtail Catfish habitat is in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins of South America. Its Latin name is Phractocephalus Hemiopterus.

The average life span of a Redtail Catfish is twenty to thirty years because their large size scares off predators.

They are used as a source of food in South America.
Characteristics of the Redtail Catfish

The most striking features of the Redtail Catfish are its white throat, speckled body and deep red tail. This makes this fish a desirable addition to a home aquarium.

Baby Redtail Catfish are four to five inches long so they appear to pose no threat when sold in a retail store. As juveniles, these catfish will grow to one or two feet in length. At maturity, Redtail Catfish can be four to five feet long.

As it matures, the Redtail Catfish develops a voracious appetite and will eat virtually anything that it can put in its mouth!
Eating Habits of the Redtail Catfish

This fish will eat anything and everything.

In captivity, the babies are fed live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms. They also will eat flake, pellets and vegetables.

Shortly after emerging from the fry stage, young Redtail Catish are fed larger live food such as river shrimp, minnow and feeder goldfish.

There will come a point in time where feeder goldfish and minnows will not be sufficient to sustain the Redtail Catfish. These live foods are expensive so it can become very costly to keep a Redtail Catfish on this diet.

They can be fed beef or chicken heart and raw hamburger which is a bit more economical.
Compatibility of the Redtail Catfish

When Redtail Catfish are young, they can be kept with other fish as long as the tank mates are too big to fit in their mouths. This will be short lived.

With the quick growth and huge appetite of the Redtail Catfish, they should not be kept with any other fish.
Aquarium Requirements for the Redtail Catfish

Baby Redtail Catfish can be kept in a tank that is decorated with small plants and rockery. As soon as the fish begin to grow larger, these items need to be removed because they will be eaten.

By the time a Redtail Catfish matures, it will need a 4000 gallon tank.
Beware of Buying Redtail Catfish

They are actually sold in stores. At four to five inches; an uninformed buyer may not realize the adult size of Redtail Catfish will be four to five feet.

Inexperienced staff may forget to mention to buyers that this fish will require a very large tank (about 4000 gallons) and will be very expensive to feed.

Unfortunately, people who buy Redtail Catfish are forced to dispose of these fish when they realize they are too big for a home aquarium.

Some people are lucky and are able to donate their Redtail Catfish to public aquariums. Others are forced to kill them.

Redtail Catfish is a beautiful species and should be admired at public aquariums but not purchased for home aquariums.

The copyright of the article Redtail Catfish of South America in Freshwater Fish is owned by Douglas DuHamel. Permission to republish Redtail Catfish of South America in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.
 

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Just one? Ofcourse we all have several of these 2200 gallont ank laying around everywhere in da house!
 

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Fortunately, lots of people know how to keep RTC in home aquarium as well, rather than reading words of snob...
 

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You forgot an important part of information...

Red tail catfish can be mixed with 15 arowanas, 65 bichirs, 12 lungfish, 8 plecos, 17 peacock bass, 21 tiger datnoids, 36 oscars and 3 arapaimas in a 180 gallon tank!

Do this and you will be a pro, but if you can get all the fins shreaded and riped and 1/5 of the scales missing you will be a KING!
 

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You forgot an important part of information...

Red tail catfish can be mixed with 15 arowanas, 65 bichirs, 12 lungfish, 8 plecos, 17 peacock bass, 21 tiger datnoids, 36 oscars and 3 arapaimas in a 180 gallon tank!

Do this and you will be a pro, but if you can get all the fins shreaded and riped and 1/5 of the scales missing you will be a KING!
DARN!!! Can i still be a king if I do 1 aro, 1 bicher, 1 lungfish, 1 pleco, 1 peacock, 1 datnoid, 36 oscar, 3 gigas, PLUS 5 white tip sharks in a 180 gallon, can I still be king?

HAHA~ Lets just take it easy on this guy, starting to feel bad! HAHA!!
 

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I keep 3 red tailed south american catfish in one home aquarium and they seem fine.
 

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Glad to see a Monster Fish thread on your forum and that some of your members provide large tanks for their monster fish.
 
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