The Red Tail Catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus)

Red Tail Catfish

The Red Tail Catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus), is a pimelodidae (long-whiskered) catfish, also called the Red Tail Catfish, South American Red Tailed Catfish, and Banana Catfish. It also is known as the cajaro in Venezuela, as well as the pirarara in Brazil, is a very large freshwater fish.

As a member of the Pimelodidae family consists of medium to large sized fish, usually larger than 40 inches (100 cm), but Its beautiful white belly and red tail are its distinct characteristics. It is the only member of its genus and with its distinct appearance, it’s just confused with a periodic hybrid that may appear periodically. The Red Tail Catfish of this family typically swim in the lower levels.

These colorful large Red Tail Catfish have a brown back, with yellow sides and characteristic orange-red dorsal and caudal fin (therefore the common name). It has a pair of barbels on the upper jaw as well as 2 pairs on the lower jaw.

The Red Tail Catfish inhabit everything from large rivers to streams and are found in lakes, rapids, lagoons and flooded areas. They grow in a wide range of habitats, and this capability has allowed them to become an invasive species in many countries, most especially in Thailand. It might also have become established in the USA, as specimens have been found from Florida to Nebraska (however they can not survive in cold climates).

The Red Tail Catfish have a wide distribution in South America as well as occur throughout much of the Amazon and Rio Orinoco basins. They are found in Guyana, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, and Brazil.

The Red Tail Catfish can reach about 4 feet (122 cm) in the home aquarium, and they grow even larger in nature. The largest recorded Red Tail Catfish was 123 pounds 7 oz. (56 kg), and 5 feet (160 cm) in length. They can live up to 20 years in captivity, but their lifespan is usually far shorter because they are seldom given the conditions needed to keep them healthy.


How To Take Care Of Red Tail Catfish?

How To Take Care Of Red Tail Catfish

Do you know how to take care of Red Tail Catfish? in spite of their attractive appearance, these catfish get very large therefore are not recommended for the average aquarium. They are only able to be kept in an average fish tank as juveniles.

The Red Tail Catfish are not really active and would prefer a big cave as well as a den to hang out in. The aquarium size ranges depending on the size of the catfish. The outright minimum size for an adult is 1000 gallons with a big sump filter system. For larger specimens requires a 1500 gallons tank or more will be needed. The aquarium needs to be arranged in dark colors and has floating plants to diffuse light. Provide hiding places. If the aquarium is dimly lit, after that just a couple of large pieces of bogwood will be enough.

These Red Tail Catfish are actually quite peaceful, however, they have a big mouth and a hearty appetite. They can’t be kept with smaller fish as these tank-mates will end up being lunch eventually, however, are fine kept with other same-sized large fish with a similar temperament. They are also territorial with their own species and other catfish from the Pimelodidae family.

The Juvenile Red Tail Catfish is growing very fast and will quickly require a large aquarium. They are considered quick growers and will outgrow 99% of home aquariums. This is a huge aquarium, making them not really appropriate for most homes so it’s best not to buy this fish unless you have a large backyard fish pond to put them in.

The Red Tail Catfish could live for many years so putting one in a small aquarium that they can quickly outgrow is not a good idea in any way. They are best kept by advanced aquarists with space or left to public aquariums and means to give them with the proper habitat and take care of their entire lifespan.

These Red Tail Catfish can tolerate a pH from 5.5 – 6.8 but prefer neutral water. They like soft water soft to moderately hard ranging from 5° to 12° dH, and require a temperature of 68°F – 82°F (20°C – 28°C).


What Does The Red Tail Catfish Eat?

What Do Red Tail Catfish Eat

The Red Tail Catfish is omnivorous but prefer meaty foods. In the wild, they eat a wide variety of foods, including fish, plant matter, fruits, and invertebrates. This must be reproduced as closely as possible in captivity, as well as they will gladly accept fish filets (salt-water fish only to avoid diseases and parasites), earthworms, and marine shellfish such as mussels and shrimp.

As juveniles Red Tail Catfish, they will typically eat all type of live food, fresh, and flake foods. To keep a good balance provide a high-quality flake food or pellet day-to-day. As they grow go provide higher percentages of pellets, live or frozen foods, and fruits.

Overfeeding tends to be a real worry about these Red Tail Catfish, and they can become sick or perhaps die if they are overfed. Juveniles need to be fed every other day, and adults only have to be fed one or two times a week. It’s recommended to feed them a few times per week with meaty type freshwater foods or catfish sticks or the larger pellets. They will eat smaller sized fish tank mates but other large fish species tankmates that will not become food for this catfish.

Feeder fish must be avoided, if a person breeds the feeder fish themselves or unless a risk-free source can be found. A Lot of the feeder fish found at pet shops are riddled with parasites and diseases, and will likely transfer them when putting in the same aquarium as these fish.


The Breeding Of Red Tail Catfish

The Breeding Of Red Tail Catfish

Presently, there are no records of these Red Tail Catfish being bred in captivity, and it’s uncertain more than a handful of aquariums large sufficient exist in private hands to even try breeding. They cannot be kept in a home aquarium (unless you occur to build a huge tank) for more than 2 years, by 2 years they will have grown too large for nearly all.

The only place you will likely locate information on breeding them is from a public aquarium or zoo. These things require huge aquariums of about 1500 – 2500 gallons tank at adult size. Most breeders even report difficulty breeding them in large fish ponds. Tail CatfishUnderwater AnimalsHow To Take Care Of Red Tail Catfish?,Red Tail Catfish,The Breeding Of Red Tail Catfish,What Does The Red Tail Catfish Eat?The Red Tail Catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus) The Red Tail Catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus), is a pimelodidae (long-whiskered) catfish, also called the Red Tail Catfish, South American Red Tailed Catfish, and Banana Catfish. It also is known as the cajaro in Venezuela, as well as the pirarara in Brazil, is a very...It's all about things you do not know about monkey, eagles, guinea pig, puppies and many more.