Animal Stories - Catfish


Animal-World info on Pleco
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Amy - 2014-09-25
I think I may have a problem. I've just introduced a 9' plecco (Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps) to my 50 gallon, well established aquarium that is also home to three 4' goldfish. It's been day four, and he sleeps all day in his favorite cave, and for the first two nights, I could watch him darting around as soon as the lights went off. These last few nights, he's been a little sluggish getting out of his cave, so I've been placing his algae wafers in the top hole of his cave to make sure he was getting enough to eat. The resulting mess confirmed he was indeed eating, but tonight, as I turned out the light, he was again shy to get out, and when he finally did, I noticed he seemed thinner and less active than before. I've tested the water chemistry, the temperature is a steady 72°, and the tank is free from filth. I was told by the shop where I bought him from that he was an owner trade in, as he got too big for their 20 gallon tank. He was a very healthy specimen! Could anyone shed some light on this behavior and weight loss issue for me? Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you in advance!

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-09-26
    Hard to say what's going on, he may still be adjusting. It wouldn't hurt to do a water change, especially since you're sure he's been eating, because all that food may be putting quite a load on the tank. I also suggest you test your ammonia, it can jump when the nutrient load is increased because the biofilter takes time to adjust to a higher load.
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Animal-World info on Silver-tipped Shark
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Kristina - 2014-09-10
I got a silver tip shark about a month ago and I have it in a 5 gal tank. The fish mostly just sits in one corner of the tank and doesn't do much. why? is it because he's stressed or lonely? and how often do I need to clean/replace water in the tank. new at this fish thing.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-09-10
    It sounds like you fish is very unhappy, probably because the tank is way too small. If you check out the aquarium setup section for this fish, you'll get an idea of what to do to keep him not only healthy, but happy:)
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Animal-World info on Striped Raphael Catfish
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Caroline - 2014-09-07
I have two Striped Dora catfish and one spotted talking catfish in my tank. I got them when they were all very small, only about an inch long. My two striped catfish are now 6-7 inches in length (one is slightly bigger than the other). My spotted catfish is about 5 inches, it is also quite noisy. I have had all three of them now for going on 12 years. I was so worried about moving them when I moved house 4 years ago, but they are still going strong. I have not had any issues with any of them eating smaller fish, in fact I have a group of Pygmy Corydoras (my favourite catfish) that they get along fine with.

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Animal-World info on Red-tailed Catfish
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Tan Hui Chun - 2009-11-26
Hi, I wish to ask some question. How come my red tail catfish easily die? For example, I just buy one today, it die after two or three days? Thanks.

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  • Fishman - 2010-03-26
    All specimens of this fish are wild caught and they don't fair well being shipped if you absolutely have to buy one then buy them from a place with an arrive alive guarantee. Also how big is the tank they're in these are messy fish and a juvenile has a 50 gal minimum but they will grow and they will grow fast it probably got stunted and died or it had parasites when you got it.
  • Nick T. - 2010-07-23
    It could be many things, but it is probably the water temperature or the PH level. The temperature for a Red-Tailed Catfish should remain between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit(21 to 26 degrees Celsius), although it may vary a few degrees either way. The PH level should also remain between 6.5 and 7.5. I hope this has helped some!
  • Josh - 2011-07-18
    No way dude most 55 gallons are 48 inches long, and that is 4 feet and a redtailed catfish can grow 5 feet but grows 3 feet at a minimum 3 feet= 36 inches, that would mean your catfish could not even turn around, not only that but he wouldnt even fit in the tank
  • Jerry j - 2013-03-24
    I have a large redtail catfish about 51/2 inch. I put him in a 125 gallon tank with my blue channel catfish which is about 6/7 inch. But noe my red tail has white spots all over him and he don't really move around much. Wat can I do to save him before its to late
  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-03-24
    Jerry, I would raise temp and treat with a little aquarium salt.  Or can treat with ich medication.
  • Clarice Brough - 2013-03-24
    Generally if the spots look like it is sprinkled with salt, then it could be ich, but if they are larger it could be fungus. Be very careful when treating catfish as they are scaleless. They can be treated with pimafix or melafix but should not be treated with potassium permanganate or copper based medications. (Many ich medications have copper, so be sure you check the ingredients before you treat.)  Malachite green or formalin can be used at one half to one fourth the recommended dosage. All medications should be used with caution.
  • Anonymous - 2014-09-05
    I had a redtailed shovel nose catfish in a 20 gal for 3 months and he was just fine he is now in a bigger tank and growing
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Animal-World info on Striped Raphael Catfish
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Anonymous - 2014-08-12
I got a Beautiful Striped Rapheal Catfish, and 24 hours late one of my Green Tiger Barbs is completely... Did he eat him???

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-08-13
    It could be that the barb was a snack, unusual but it could happen.
  • Toni-Ann Mistretra - 2014-08-26
    Definitely eats other fish. We have had our striped Raphael catfish for around 17 years. He/she has gone through a variety of expensive feeder fish including barbs, neons, cichlids, and a ghost fish! Feeding it shrimp pellets and other high protein foods along with algae pellets or discs will help, but no guarantees. We renamed ours Cano ;)
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Animal-World info on Silver-tipped Shark
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Jaymi Loobey - 2014-08-20
Okay. I am thoughrohly confused now. I saw this fish at petco and the card said nothing about it being brackish or slightly poisonous. The petsmart site you guys show as selling this fish says it's related to minnows, not catfish like you do. And you say it is a scaleless fish even though the picture you have of it clearly is of a fish with scales. I just want to know if one will go well with bala sharks and a koi. Sheesh!

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  • David Brough - 2014-08-20
    The point you make about confusion in the pet industry is a good one. The problem is compounded by the fact that different fish may have the same common names. That is why we always mention the genus-species. The fish at Petsmart has the same common name but is a different species. Animal-World is describing Ariopsis seemani while Petsmart is selling is something else... Im not sure what it is since I can't find it on their page. However, if you google Silver-tipped Shark you will find that a majority of write-ups describe it as a catfish. There are also actual sharks, a large species of requiem sharks with the same or similar name. The catfish on Animal-World may better be called a Columbian Shark Catfish, we will consider changing it. Sorry about the confusion.
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-08-20
    I think the retailer has the fish mis-labeled - and thus their care info pertains to a totally different fish. You can tell the difference between a minnow species and a catfish species by looking at the fins on their back. This fish, the Silver-tip or Columbian Shark, has two fins on top, a large dorsal fin in front followed by an adipose fin just in front of the tail. Minnows are not sharks or catfish, but Cyprinids, and although some types of minnows may have barbels (just like this fish does) no Cyprinid will ever have the second fin on its back... the adipose fin will be absent.

    As far as compatibility, the Bala Shark (which is a Cyprinid) is a good sized fish, and peaceful but skittish. It gets along with most fish, even smaller fish, just as long as they are too large to fit in its mouth. This Silver-tip is a catfish, and it too is peaceful with other fish as long as they are the same size or larger. Minnows would be fine with either of these two fish, as they too are peaceful... but watch the size when keeping them, especially with a catfish. If you add a fish that is tiny, it could become lunch.
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david - 2008-11-29
I just bought a silver tipped shark at petco yesterday and now im really worried because I was told that they get about twenty four inches and that they will eat any fish thats smaller then him. I really love this shark but I dont want him to eat all my fish in the tank. He;s only about an inch or two now but should I return him??? I have swordtails, platties, mollies, yo-yo loach, rainbow shark, and tetras. I am doomed right? This fish will eat all my fish when it gets bigger right??? Please help me before it's too late for me to return the shark. Thanks Dave

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  • *Brianna* - 2010-04-02
    My Silver Tip Does Fine With The Other Tank Mates In My 29 Gal. They Include Swordtails, Platties (3 Really Small Ones), Indian Ghost Fish (With Are Like Tetras) Danios, And Also Ive Had A Few Little Guppies In There. They Did Fine. And My Silver Tip Is About 5 Inches. =) For Everyone Els eI Havent Had Any Killings Yet So I Think They Would Do Fine With Smaller Fish. He Also Has A Few Other Same Size Fish He Swims With.
  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-05-25
    The biggest issue you may have is tank sive.  They can out grow the tank depending on size.  They are not very aggressive fish and do well most of the time with smaller fish.
  • Jay - 2013-05-21
    I have 2silver tip and 4 tiger barb went missing my sharks r only 3 inches
  • Toni - 2013-08-20
    Do you know what might cause my silver tipped shark to swim using only his tail fin? He won't use any of his other fins. I'm afraid he might eventually die. :-(
  • Anonymous - 2014-08-11
    Silver tipped sharks are calm and non agrresive creatures your fish are fine
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Animal-World info on Featherfin Squeaker
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Josh Autry - 2014-08-04
Hi, I'm new to being an aquarium hobbyist. I recently bought a 40 gallon aquarium and its running remarkably. I currently have 9 corys (3 different species...julii, emerald, and albino)n 3 red tailed tinfoil barbs and an albino BN pleco. All the fish get along quite well. But anyway, I was at my local fish store, (professional aquarists) and I noticed the african feather fin cat. They really cought my eye and I'd like to have at least 2 of them. My tank has two great homes on opposite sides of the tank and I'd have room for another cave. I know they're territorial but I'd like to see two of them in my tank. With that being said, I know I'd have to move them to a bigger tank. So my question is, how long can I have them in my 40 gal before I move them to a 55 or 75?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-08-05
    Your tank, as you know, is not large enough for a single adult, as one will need about 50 gallons. Moving them will depend on how quickly they attain full size. Though you should have some time, you'll have to keep an eye on them as size depends on a number of factors including age, how comfortable the fish is, and how well it is fed. Another problem you will face though, is trying to mix it with your cory cats. That is not a good mix as it will be aggressive towards them.
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Animal-World info on Silver-tipped Shark
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kye turnbull - 2013-05-12
my friend said that he went swimming some where and saw Australian shark catfish that were about 1.75 metres long! im going to get some of the Australia species on the week end, there the easiest to find here because there native ( also these fish were seen in freshwater, they grow even bigger in salt!)

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  • kye turnbull - 2013-05-13
    anyone got suggestions on what keep it with? im thinking maybe with my tandus tandus catfish, hopefully they will be good friends ( unlike what happened to my bristle nose catfish )
  • Clarice Brough - 2013-05-14
    I think you'll have better luck with this combo, as they occupy different areas of the tank and don't look alike. Have fun!
  • kye turnbull - 2013-05-15
    Tandanus catfish don't look anywhere near what bristle nose look like, they look like silver tipped sharks but brown and have a tail.
  • kye turnbull - 2013-05-15
    an ell tail
  • 7bar7 - 2014-08-01
    I just bought 2 silver tipped shark.... My fish supplier would not sell only one... they HAVE to have another silver tip with them or they will not be happy... Sounds like some of the problems I read here may be from loneliness....
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Animal-World info on Featherfin Squeaker
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ben - 2009-12-29
I bought my featherfin around 3cm and now its at full grown 15cm.
It tends to hide but will come out when feeding and I have found it swimming upside down near the surface of the water many times (thinking it has died!). Very hardy fish and cleans the bottom of the tank very well, but is territorial and doesn't like people looking at it (mine flinches and will try to hide even more when people look at it).

Word of advice, DO NOT keep with Neons, Cardinals or Rummynoses in the tank, it waits till they are asleep at night and gobbles them down. I have lost 15 cardinals over a few weeks and 7 rummynoses in one night to this eating machine. Unfortunately I had to separate my featherfin from my main tank due to these incidents...

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  • denise - 2011-04-06
    "Ben," I praise you for you comment. I have a large tank with a male betta, 15 neons a pleco,a few mollies and platys, 3 danios, 10 corys,1 frog. I recently added a featherfin. I started noticing my platys starting to act strangely, one looked real stressed and later died, another 2 are now poorly and I seperated them from the other fish. Then I noticed one of the teras was missing an eye, by that evening it was dead. Then another tetra was missing an eye. I couldnt understand what was going on, the tetras have been in the tank over 2 years now with no problems, the platys have been there about 18 months, again with no problems. I have spent hours looking for info on featherfins and tetras but to no avail, till I found your comment.... so thank you very much. i suppose I have no choice but to take the problem fish back. thanks again
  • Maddie - 2011-07-06
    I brought a featherfin over a year ago (originally sold to me as an upside-down catfish). He/she has grown to about 13cm. It's kept in a 200L tank with 2 silver sharks, 3 angelfish, 3 kuhli loaches, 2 paki loaches, about 10 neon tetras, and several mollies, platies, guppies and swordtails. My featherfin has gotten along fine with ALL of my fish, even though he/she is the biggest in the tank. It always seems scared at any slight movement.
    Only yesterday I brought another featherfin, this one however is about 18cm, and a lot fatter. Today I've noticed my smaller featherfin following the other. Once the new one notices its being followed, it chases my smaller one in circles. Can anyone tell me whether they're playing? Courting? Or bullying each other?
  • Jacki Wooge - 2012-11-12
    I've been going crazy with trying to figure out why my fish keep dying one by one. I have neons they've all survived as of yet but I've had mollies and guppies just start acting weird and then die. Sometimes I see a red spot on them. Ive been wondering if it was the lace catfish.
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