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Redtail Catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus)
Redtail Catfish
Please Note: Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided. Approximate size range may also vary between individual specimen.
Please Note: Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided. Approximate size range may also vary between individual specimen.
Redtail Catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus)

Quick Stats

Care Level Moderate
Temperament Aggressive
Color Form Black, Red, White
Diet Omnivore
Water Conditions 70-76° F, KH 9-10, pH 5.5-6.8
Max. Size 4' 7"
Family Pimelodidae
Minimum Tank Size 300 gallons
What do these Quick Stats mean? Click here for more information
Care Level Moderate
Temperament Aggressive
Color Form Black, Red, White
Diet Omnivore
Water Conditions 70-76° F, KH 9-10, pH 5.5-6.8
Max. Size 4' 7"
Family Pimelodidae
Minimum Tank Size 300 gallons
What do these Quick Stats mean? Click here for more information

Overview

The Redtail Catfish has a broad head and body that tapers towards the tail. It has a dark black body, white underbelly, and a bright red tail.

The Redtail Catfish can grow impressively large in an aquarium setting and should be given plenty of room to swim. Due to its size and high energy, this fish should be kept with larger tank mates. Besides the minimum tank size of 300 gallons, rocks, plants, and large driftwood should be used to enhance and simulate a natural environment. Since the Redtail Catfish is a highly active fish, a tightly covered aquarium should be used to prevent it from jumping out of the tank. They mature into a very heavy fish and should be maintained in a reinforced aquarium.

Redtail Cats breed using external fertilization after laying their eggs. Breeding in an aquarium setting is rare.

Feeding the Redtail Catfish is not difficult due to the fact that it is not a picky eater. In the wild, this fish will eat fish and crustaceans. In the aquarium setting, assorted worms, frozen foods, sinking catfish pellets, and dry foods will provide the proper nutrition.

Approximate Purchase Size: 2" to 6"

Customer Testimonials

Bao N Sunnyvale , CA
This Redtailed Catfish grows very, very quick, and he will eat any edible thing that fits his big flat mouth!!! Smaller fish or even fish a little bigger than his mouth will start disappearing from your tank. He will learn to go up to top of the tank during feeding especially for frozen shrimp. He is mostly active at night!!! This is a beautiful, unique, and exotic catfish, but a very large tank is required!!! This fish is not for beginners!!! I kept him with a 16 inch Albino Giant Gourami.
Tiffany H Nazareth , PA
I purchased a Redtail Cat about 1 month ago. It was 4 inches long. It has grown another inch already. It has a verocious appetite. I feed him every 2-3 days. The Fire Eel it shares its home with has a hard time getting any food. It has the best personality. As soon as I am spotted, it becomes very active, coming over to me. It also seems to enjoy being felt when I'm rearranging tank decor. If you have room for a VERY large aquarium this is a wonderful species.
Allen S St. Louis , MO
An excellent fish that will eat anything. At 8 inches, he ate a 10 inch Arowana. They grow fast. I bought mine at 3 inches - in a year he was at an amazing 1 foot 5 inches. He's a great buddy and actually lets me hand feed him and "pet" him.
Joseph E Lindenhurst , NY
The Redtail Cat is a beautiful and powerful fish. It moves everything in the tank to get food. They grow fast but it depends on the type of food fed to it. Hikari sinking pellets are the best to make your Redtail Cat beautiful and big fast.
D. J Brooklyn , NY
I purchased two 3-inch Redtails a year ago; now they are both over a foot long. A great fish to own but not for the novice.
TJ W Portage , MI
I just purchased one a few months back for the second time. He was only 3 inches long. He is now 8 inches long and fat. I have him in with a large Tinfoil Barb and large Bala Shark. I love these fish and recommend them to anyone that has a tank big enough.
Trent L FL
I purchased a red-tail about a year ago. When I got him, he was somewhere between 2-3 inches and is now almost a foot long! He has a very entertaining personality but will eat anything. He is alone now, after eating my 11 inch pleco, 8 inch needle fish, and a few other large specimens. Definitely a fun fish with an entertaining personality, but definitely needs a lot of room, and some (if any) VERY large neighbors that can protect themselves.
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