Redtail Cat

posted: 05/15/12
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Redtail Cat
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Redtail Cat has a broad head and body that tapers towards the tail. The fish has a dark black body, white underbelly, and a bright red tail.

It 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 250 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.

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

Feeding the Redtail Cat is not difficult due to the fact that it is not picky. 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.

Ideal tank mates include: Larger miscellaneous fish, Large Plecos and Large South American Cichlids.

Fish Facts

Name: Redtail Cat (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus)

Family: Pimelodidae

Range: South America

Size: Up to 55 inches

Diet: Omnivore

Tank Set-up: Freshwater: Plants, rocks, driftwood

Tank Conditions: 70-76°F; pH 5.5-6.8; dH 9-10

Minimum Tank Capacity: 250 gallons

Light: Medium

Temperament: Aggressive

Swimming Level: Bottom

Care Level: Moderate

Reproduction: Egg Layer

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