Redtail Catfish (Diet, Tank Setup, and Intriguing Facts)

Redtail Catfish

Redtail Catfish is a type of catfish with long whiskers.

It’s known as “Cajaro” in Venezuela and “Pirarara” in Brazil, with the name coming from the Tupi language.

This fish is the only living species in the Phractocephalus genus. Redtail catfish are often seen in aquariums.

But they need a big space to live comfortably as these fish grow very large.

These fish like to feed on other fish, crustaceans (like crabs), and fruits that fall into the water.

The IUCN has not evaluated this species. This catfish has been introduced in Florida, but it hasn’t become a permanent part of the ecosystem there.

Redtail Catfish Interesting Facts

  • Redtail catfish is also known as Cajaro in Venezuela and Pirarara in Brazil.
  • These fish are the only species of the Phractocephalus genus.
  • While these fish are commonly sold as aquarium fish, their large size makes them suitable only for very large tanks.
  • In addition to eating fish and crustaceans, they also eat fallen fruits.

Redtail Catfish Habitat

Redtail catfish are found in South America, mainly in the Amazon and Orinoco River basins.

They live in freshwater environments close to the bottom of rivers and can travel within the river system.

These fish prefer water with a pH level between 5.5 to 6.8 and a hardness (dH) up to 10.

The ideal water temperature for redtail catfish is between 70°F to 79°F (21°C to 26°C), which is considered tropical.

Water Temperature:70°F to 79°F (21°C to 26°C)
Water pH:5.5 to 6.8 pH
Water Hardness:Up to 10 dH

Redtail Catfish Physical Characteristics

Size: 23.6 inches (60.0 centimeters)

Redtail catfish reaches maturity at an unknown length, but it could be somewhere around 85 cm (33.5 inches).

The maximum recorded length for this fish is 135 cm (53 inches) total length. But it’s commonly found to be around 60 cm (23.6 inches) long.

The heaviest redtail catfish on record weighed 44.2 kg (97.4 pounds).

Redtail Catfish Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Phractocephalus hemioliopterus
Also Known As:Redtail Catfish
Conservation Status:Unknown

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