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Red Tail Catfish

Author : Efrain Silva

WARNING - This fish gets big. The minimum tank size is 250 gallons. It also eats smaller fish.

One thing I really like about the red tail catfish — I am not going to lie — is the sole fact that it can be shy and, thus, not a bad tank mate at all. Put it by itself, to avoid other fish picking on it. Or just mix it in with others of the same name and size, other red tail catfish, of course. Just remember not to have smaller fish near it (especially really small ones) as it both can and will likely eat them up quickly, if they show no defense. So, in other words, it’s a shy fish that eats smaller, shyer fish!

Allow this fish — since it is so darn shy — to have some nice caves to hide in, made of good live plants, keeping in mind that it can eat such plants (if they are not small enough). Put your fish tank in a place in your home where you pass by often and are very active, so that your new red tail catfish can get more easily accommodated with your presence. Yes, just like a human being would, this fish actually needs time to get to know you and feel comfortable around you ; you will find that, the more that time passes, the more this fish will open up and swim around more freely in its aqua tank (hiding less often than at first).

This fish, for good reason, is mostly only seen in zoos or public aquariums, and why is this? It’s simple —- its minimum tank requirements are too much for most fish owner wallets to handle (it needs 1,000 gallons as its minimum). Yup, this fish needs one heck of a big tank to live in. Low lighting is key, as well, with this fish (it does not like to be blind - sided by those flashy bright lights, and who could blame it?). This fish also dwells at the bottom, sometimes in the middle areas, just never near the top ; it is shy, remember?

Get a 6.0 - 7.5 pH going. Just remember, by the way, that you should only get this fish if you can actually afford to put in the time (not to mention buy the tank and all the decorations for its large interior). Many people can’t make that sort of commitment, which is perfectly fine — for this reason and others, public zoos and fish aquariums exist in every major city in the U.S. And thank goodness for that!

I know the one I regularly visit, right outside downtown Denver, and it holds a massive collection of all water species, literally everything I can (and can’t) think of. This public aquarium has it all. Hopefully, Covid - 19 regulations will lift soon, and I can revisit! But until then, you will find me here, faithfully writing about my favorite fish species…be sure to check out the other blogs I’ve written on this site.