South American Red Tail Catfish - Phractocephalus hemioliopterus - Small

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SKU: 217356
Manufacturer: That Fish Place
MPN: L90 0022 1395

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The South American Red Tail Catfish is a brown fish with a wide white or beige horizontal band running along both sides of the body. The tail and dorsal fin become orange-pink to red in color as they mature. The other fins are dark and tipped with white or beige.

This is a popular fish due to its large size and attractive appearance, but it is poorly suited for captivity, and should only be kept if an appropriate habitat can be provided.

Red tail cats should not be kept in aquariums smaller than 250 to 300 gallons, at the very least, and even tanks of this size will not provide enough swimming space for a large specimen. Preferably, if kept in an aquarium, they should be housed in a long and wide tank no smaller than 700 to 800 gallons.

Other characteristics that make it difficult to keep Red Tail Cats are diet and disposition. Red tail cats are omnivorous, and feed on fruits, crustaceans, and fish in their native habitat. In the aquarium, they will eat just about anything that will fit into their cavernous mouths, including tankmates. Choose only tankmates that are very large and robust such as Pacu's and very large cichlids.

Their enthusiastic response to food makes them easy to be overfeed, and so they should be fed with care. Their diet leaves a lot of waste, so water changes and heavy filtration are a must, and should not be neglected. Also be sure to provide a large hiding place for daytime resting.

Though this catfish is capable of reaching a length of four feet, it rarely exceeds a length of two feet in the home aquarium largely because of the lack of adequate space and appropriate care. If kept carefully and with attention to its needs, Red Tail Cats can live to be over 20 years old.


L90 0022 1395
That Fish Place
Common NameSouth American Red Tail Catfish - Small
Scientific NamePhractocephalus hemioliopterus
OriginSouth America (Amazon basin)
Max Size (in inches)48
Community SafeNo
pH Range6.5-7.5
Min Tank Size (in gallons)300
Temperature Range70-78
Internal Id

State Restrictions
Armed Forces Americas
Armed Forces Europe
Armed Forces Pacific
Puerto Rico


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