Scientific Name: Phractocephalus hemiolopterus
Ease of Care: Easy
Approximate Arrival Size: 2 to 4 inches
Approximate Full Size: 30 to 40 inches long
Native Region: South America
Discovered by Bloch and Schneider in 1801 in the Amazon region of South America, the Red Tail Catfish is a true predator, this catfish will swallow anything that fits in its mouth. In the aquarium the Red Tail Catfish will often sit motionlessly on the bottom waiting to be fed. While they have a voracious appetite, you should avoid over feeding them as it can clog their digestive system. It is very demanding of good water quality, so frequent partial water changes are required and a over sized filter system should be installed. While natural conditions are fairly soft water with a neutral to acidic pH value, most are now farm raised and capable of tolerating a wide range of water chemistry. Care should be taken to treat this catfish as a smooth skin fish when using medications, especially for parasite infestations.