Animal Stories - Red-tailed Catfish

Animal-World Information about: Red-tailed Catfish

   The Red-tailed Catfish is quite an attraction. The beautiful red tail and the white belly are unmistakable characteristics of this fish!
Latest Animal Stories
Khai - 2014-02-20
Hey I have 2 red tail catfish. One of them is doing great but another one didn't even move and eat. I just wanted to get any advice and what to do to make it active? Please help!

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-20
    Sounds stressed, like its sick or its unhappy. Things that come to my mind... is the tank big enough for these two huge fish to be comfortable? it could be a housing issue, And how long have you had it, if its new, has it been this way since you got it? if so, it may have had problems, and you should talk to your fish store right away
alex - 2014-01-09
I have a RTC about 8' long in a 4 foot 22' wide tank and he hasn't been eating. I fed him anchovies and earth worms but he spits it back out what can I do to make him eat?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-09
    He may just be bored, perhaps you could try varying his diet. For example you could try some frozen bloodworm cubes, shrimps, or silversides to name a few. Maybe look for some pelleted food for carnivores too.
daniel strenke - 2014-01-01
I just bought two red tailed catfish. l put them in my 10 gallon tank for now will they be Ok in it or should I put them in my big tank right away? My big tank is 220 gallons with really big oscars .

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-04
    I love these fish, but I see some serious problems ahead. The Red-tailed Catfish might be fine in the 10 gallon for a couple of weeks (I'm assuming they are just 3-4' right now), but they grow very quickly. They can eventually get to be as much as 53' in length, and a 2000 gallon tank is recommended. Most aquarists simply can't accommodate them because of their necessary tank size.  Putting them in the Oscar tank is another problem. Oscars are great fish, very personable and fun to keep, but they simply aren't community oriented. They will kill other tankmates so are best kept singly, or as a pair.
Aimee - 2013-12-24
I have a redtail catfish. He was in 1 of my outside ponds, i live in New Orleans, this past week the weather got pretty cold, i just noticed the heaters broke, he was barely breathing but still alive i brought him to 1 of my inside tanks with my south american fish, can he be saved? or is it too late?? please help!!! he is too big and beautiful for me to give up on!

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-12-26
    The Redtailed catfish is a really beauty and it sounds like you've rescued him just in time. Still only time will tell if he will be fine, but you did the right thing. Let us know how it goies!
EFFER - 2013-04-10
I have 14inches RTC (5 months) and for the last 4 days he is not eating, his last meal was last Sunday - 2 gold fish, after that he don't eat at all. his color is remained like before black with spots, im just worried coz I already put Tetra General medicine, change water on a daily basis and yet no good progress. Should I change the water again and put Melafix? is aquarium salt is good for RTC? coz I read so many forum some said it is ok, some said it is not. I really appreciate your help. thanks.

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-04-11
    Not advisable to add salt to their water.
  • Anonymous - 2013-04-29
    feed it blood worms
mr.0 - 2010-06-12
I live in singapore. I bought three cute 2 inch red tail catfish for S$18.

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  • Nick T. - 2010-07-21
    I am interested in buying a baby Red-Tailed Catfish. BABY, as in, under 5 inches. I live in Metairie, Louisiana. I would like to know if you are willing to ship it to me.
  • jordan - 2013-03-24
    I am from Singapore and I just bought 2 rtc approx 3 inches each total to $10:)
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.
Ryan - 2004-05-05
This catfish gets MUCH larger than 24 inches. The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha,Nebraska has a two that rival the size of any blue cat I have seen, and I have seen photos of these fish approaching 5 feet. Keep this in mind when the pet store says this fish will stop at 15-20 inches.I have seen verified weights well over 60 pounds, and I think the world record was nearly(or maybe over) 100 pounds.

Jeremy Galloway - 2007-12-30
I have a RTC that is roughly 30 inches in length. He is great! He has eaten from my hand since he was only around a half an inch long. I started feeding him red worms and moved up to earthworms and then too catfish food and for the last couple of years he has been eating kibbles and chunks dog food. I feed him about six pieces twice a day and am careful not to over feed him. I would love to show you how he acts! He has toys in his tank that he loves to play with (nothing he can swallow) and loves to be played with. I take my hand and pet him and also wrestle with him by grabbing his tail and pushing him through the water. He will actually put his tail in my hand and want me to push him. He has a ball in his tank that he will balance on his head and push throught the water from one end of the tank to the next. He loves attention and if he wants it he gets it by splashing water or hitting the tank lid or his new thing is to spit water half way across the room. He is truly a great pet and i consider him part of the family.

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  • Jay - 2013-02-22
    Is your Rtc on YouTube if so send me a link.
nawal - 2013-01-03
i have 5' RTC for the last 1 week we are feeding him with small pieces of chicken (5 pcs. per meal)day and night, however starting yesterday he starts to vomit some of the chicken and avoid eating anything, water is regularly changed also. what i have to do to bring back his appetite? i dont want him to die. pls. help

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-01-04
    Some times chicken can be hard to process, the protien can be hard on the fish.  Try some live food to get appetite back and stick with foods that come from the water as these are easier for the fish to digest.