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Old 04-02-2005, 12:46 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 7,140
Default species profile - Phractocephalus hemiliopterus (Redtailed cat)

Scientific name: Phractocephalus hemiliopterus

Common name(s):
Redtailed catfish, Amazonian redtailed catfish.

Family: Pimelodidae

Parts of the Amazon including deeper waters through to the flooded forest in the rainy season.

Maximum size:
In the wild, there were sighting and reports of 6-8' cats being caught in the past. However, 5' is more commonly seen. In captivity, however 4' is a good size with majority reaching only at 3' , a lot of hobbyists have them abt 3' - 3.5'. Some exceptional ones may be bigger.

As far as tropical fish goes, they are actually quite a hardy fish and will adapt to captive conditions very well as long as a good filtered aquarium is provided. Eventually they will require a tank/pond of 8'x3'x3' min. But of course, the larger the tank/pond the better it is for this fish. It is better to start in small 2' tanks when <10" in length and later transfer to bigger tank/pond as they grow up. As for water parameters, anything between Ph6.5-7.5 and a temperature between 25-30C is fine. Keep nitrates down weekly, water change may be required.

While they're small (2"-6") they are fed on bloodworms, small mollies and other small feeder fishes daily or every other day. Once they get to 8"-12" they should take big feeder fishes. MP can be trained when juvenile.

Never bred in captivity from what i know. Although we are starting to see red-tail/tigershovelnose hybrids coming into our LFS, IMHO, this is most likely done using hormones.

This is not an ideal aquarium fish, unless you have a big pond or a huge tank in your house with an equally good filtration system to match. They should be left to public aquaria IMHO. Never keep other fishes that can be fitted into the RTC's mouth, as anything they can swallow, will be eaten. In the wild, cameras, sunglasses and mobile HP were found in the RTC's stomach. Not to mention tank mates.

By aapl76
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Old 16-02-2005, 11:23 AM   #2
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A couple of slightly better pics:

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