Animal Stories - Spotted Raphael Catfish


Animal-World Information about: Spotted Raphael Catfish

The Spotted Raphael Catfish makes a croaking or clicking noise when you take it out of the aquarium!
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Ann-marie Fyfe - 2011-04-01
My baby spotted raphael catfish is upside down, but moving around like that. I am not sure what's wrong with it because it was fine before today?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-01
    The Spotted Raphael Catfish (scientific name Synodontis nigriventris) is also called the Upside Down Catfish. It will swim upside down and it is frequently the normal behavior for this fun, decorative catfish.
    Sometimes they swim right side up and sometimes upside down. I would imagine it would be a little frightening to see. Normally when a fish is upside down there is something seriously wrong. Your case, he is probably just hanging out.
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Trinity - 2010-02-28
I live in Oregon and my aunt has a male and female chocolate catfish in her tank. Among other fish, and have never had a problem with losing other fish due to the catfish. They swim like they are a pair. The female chocolate catfish is pg, she is ready to have baby's soon. If she does this will be a first. I have not found any one that has been sucessful on the internet or local fish stores, I will keep you updated if we are proud parents. If anyone else has some input, please let me know. thank you.

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jbg 0910 - 2009-12-20
I also have a Spotted Raphael catfish but unfortunatley dont see much of him. Ive only had 3 fish die since I had him. They disapeared so i believe the spotted ate them... but other than that he is quite peaceful fish.

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gb - 2009-06-28
We have had our spotted 8 years, and has survived two tanks, and three moves. He is truly a survivor, outlasting eight other fish in the house. He probably ate a few baby guppies and a few other tank mates along the way, but also had a few nips out of his fins taken as well. We do see him in the evenings, even when the lights are on. He seems to not mind the family room lights at all.

Most of the larger objects in the tank are no match to his nightly search and eat missions. The filter tube is always off the glass, the plastic plants are never in the same spot and our little diver is lucky to be standing up. Tank is RARELY maintained and he doesn't seem to mind. Very hardy dude.

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Freddie Picciano - 2008-12-21
I've had my spotted for about 4 years and this guy is a real soldier. Only thing I don't like about him is the only time I see him is when I syphon gravel and have to remove the fake hollow rock he hides in. One time when I moved I took the decor out and left it at the old house forgeting he was in their, well about 6 hours later I went back to the old house to grab the rest of my stuff and heard him croaking and wiggling around in the decoration. Brought him to the new house and put him back in the tank, he swam around as if nothing ever happened. No ick, nothing, and that was about 2 years ago.

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bernard - 2008-01-16
I have had my Striped for about 8 or 9 months. I found the best way for them to come out is to use a black light. I will usually turn it on as soon as the sun goes down. About an hour or two later he will start swimming around the tank.

I just bought a Spotted (my second one) and I can seem to keep them alive longer than a month.

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Dan - 2008-01-04
I've kept both spotted and striped varieties of raphaels for years. They are a hardy fish, can tolerate a lot of abuse and poor water conditions. I'll add, that they are a generally peaceful community fish, but they are opportunistic and will eat small fish like neons and guppy feeders.

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Tracy - 2007-12-23
I have had my spotted for 12 years...his nickname is the warrior because he has lasted through 4 different aquariums and outlasted dozens of fish. He has had most of his fins and tail pecked off but he still keeps on kicking. My spotted likes to hang out by the filter tube in this new tank. I didn't see him for years because he hid in a fake cave prior to that. Over the years I have suspected him of eating my fish but I can't prove it. VERY hearty fish. Be prepared for a long term commitment.

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K. Kowal (Kama Lethar) - 2007-08-24
The spotted raphael is quite nocturnal and likes to be left alone. He greatly voices this if you pick him up or net him for transport by raking armor plating along his underarm along the side of his body. Be careful when handling a raphael as they don't like the company quite the same as a banjo catfish. If they thrash in your hand they can hurt you via the points on their body armor or with use of the long...really long spike under each arm. The raphael can cram its body into seemingly impossibly small spaces. Once they're in place they puff up their large round belly to fill up the voids in the cavity. All a predator sees is a spotted black wall of spikes. This can also make it difficult to get them moved into a new tank. They will remain wedged in their spot even when pulled from the water so be careful when cleaning your tanks/caves/plastic-decor. Other than that...just about the coolest looking fish out there. I'll be investing in a moonlight fixture so I can see him more often. Finally, since the group move from a few 10 ga.s and a 20 ga. into a 55 ga. I've lost two fish to mysterious attack. A marthae marbled hatchet (belly ripped out) and a rummynose (decapitated). These appear to be ambush attacks. I'm still working on the appropriate volume of food for this new 55 ga. so whomsoever (probably Raph) killed them did so out of hunger. Just keep them well fed and make sure they get their own food by feeding a little extra after the lights go out.

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kerry B - 2007-07-08
I have 2 spotted Raphael catfish. Ive had them for about 4 years, but didnt see much of them! I have just recently bought a spotlight, that simulates moonlight and can now watch them both swimming around the tank on the night time! They both have their own hiding places during the day, I assumed they didnt enjoy each others company! But, they actually swim together quite happily during the night! I think they are really beautiful fishies! I love their fat little bellies! AWWW!

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