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FAQs on Pimelodid Catfish Behavior

Related Articles: Pimelodid Catfishes

Related FAQs: Pimelodid Catfishes 1, Pimelodid Cats 2, & FAQs on: Pimelodid Identification, Pimelodid Compatibility, Pimelodid Selection, Pimelodid Systems, Pimelodid Feeding, Pimelodid Disease, Pimelodid Reproduction, & Red Tail Cats (Phractocephalus), Pictus Cats, Shovelnose Catfishes (Pseudoplatystoma, Sorubim, Sorubimichthys...), & Catfish FAQs:  Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Feeding, Disease, Reproduction


"Brown tailed" Red Tailed Catfish Hello, how is everyone. Good I hope.  <much better now that Bob has recovered from that bizarre accident that he had with a safety razor when trying to shave his belly for a finger painted living portrait to be displayed in an act of performance art> Everything's fine here (thanks to your website, you guys really are a godsend. I read over your faq's every night.) <outstanding!> I've written a couple of times with saltwater questions but tonight I've got a freshwater question. In my 120 gal. long tank I have a baby red tailed catfish.---I know, I know, way too small a tank for this guy.  <yep <G>> I'm working on an 8ft by 6ft pond in the "office" in my house.  <that will be wonderful! And not a Chihuahua to be seen for miles once it is up and running. The housecats better get hip to it too> And for now, I do a 75% water change at least twice a week to keep everyone in there happy. <look for excessive yawning by this species to indicate poor water quality and nitrogen poisoning> Mondee (as my two year old calls the sea monster) has grown from about 6 inches to a little over a foot in a month and a half. These fish grow incredibly fast!!! I'm amazed, he makes my Oscar look like a guppy!! <They get huge indeed... perhaps over six feet long> Anyway, I was wondering, when (if ever) can I expect his tail to start to turn red? It's a dirty faded brownish maroon color right now. I feed him floating cichlid pellets, frozen krill, silversides, and bloodworms, and earthworms and waxworms etc. from the bait shop. Is this diet okay?  <overall very good... but you could make your own food for color enhancing with paprika or carotenoid pigments, or feed a lot more crustacean foods with shells on (cocktail shrimp, crayfish)> Do I need to feed him something different to enhance his color or is he just not a very colorful catfish?  <no... should actually be easy to enhance its color. Hikari brand pellet foods also have super color enhancing varieties of pellets ("Bio-Gold")... do consider> The rest of his color is pretty good. Dark sooty almost black on his back and head with black spots and the white areas are well defined and a nice cream color.  <enjoy it while its small... they get muddier in color with age> Even if he never does color up, he's still my favorite fish in the world--- dirty brown tail and all. He really is an awesome fish.  <yes... they have great personalities> I just want to make sure I'm giving him the best possible care. thanks for your help once again. Kristen:) <best regards, Anthony>

Pictus Catfish Flashing  I just bought 2 pictus catfish wanted to know if it's normal for them to scrape the bottom of tank? Thanks. April  <<Dear April, no, it's not normal. Chances are good they have a parasite called Ich. You can find a medication for it at your local fish store. Tell them it is for a scaleless catfish. The meds will need to be used at half dosage, so read the directions carefully. What size is the tank? How often do you do water changes? You will need to keep your water quality good and your temperature stable if you hope to keep these fish parasite-free. Make sure your temperature is at a stable 78-80F. -Gwen>>

Big Cat Stays Small Hello me again. Thank you for the info. on my Sorubim lima but I have one more question. Why at seven years old is he only 5-6 inches long? Thank you CJ <The three most likely reason are poor water quality, poor diet, and a small tank. Could be any or all. Don>     

Pictus cat health, behavior We have 2 Pictus catfish and they both stay hidden in each of their own spots. We have several different kinds of sharks in the 55 gal. tank. I wanted to know if there is anything we can do to make them as lively as we have heard of them to be? Thank you, Chad Crawford  <Mmm, strange they aren't active... This catfish does enjoy warmer water... upper seventies, low eighties F... and your minnow-sharks should be able to tolerate this... so I would raise your temp. if it isn't tropical. What are you feeding the Pictus? They need at least twice daily meaty foods... that get down to them... Not just flakes or pellets. This will make a huge difference in their behavior, health... Lastly and least likely, what's your water chemistry? They like soft, acidic water... but will tolerate mid hardness, neutral pH... Bob Fenner> 

Re: Pictus cat health, behavior... Uhhh, did you read the last response? We keep the temperature at about 75-76 degrees. We feed them shrimp pellets. <Could be warmer... and as stated before, they need more than pelleted food...> I'm not sure what the water chemistry is, I know it's hard water. <And what type of water do these fish prefer?> When we first got them we loved them <<no my friend, you "loved" only what they did for you>> because they swam around everywhere and were really fun to watch, but now all they do is hide in the two caves we have in the tank, guarding their area. We're wondering if maybe we should get a couple more of the Pictus Catfish and maybe they would be more active altogether. The other fish we have in the tank are 3 tiger barbs, 1 black finned shark, 1 silver tipped shark, 1 rainbow shark and 2 red tailed sharks. -Thanks! <Could add more... but your tank is already going to be overcrowded with growth of what you have... You need to alter the diet, perhaps change your water quality here. Bob Fenner> 

Pinkish Pictus - 10/20/2005 Dear Wet Web Media <Good morning, Charlotte.> I am hoping you can help me, we have two pictus catfish which we have had for just over a year.  They seem to be fine, but the larger one of the two has developed a pink hue to the tail and fins.  Is this normal <Unlikely.> or could it have joint problems as these are the jointed parts of the body? <Mm, actually, likelier that this is some sort of irritation....  likely due to environmental conditions.  With no information on your system, this really can't be diagnosed.> They live in a community planted aquarium and get on very well with our four yoyo loaches.  They are fed frozen blood worm and cat pellets in the main as have never shown an interest in other varieties of live and frozen food we have tried.  I did search your site for a similar question but couldn't see anything there.  Thank you so much for your time and consideration. <Test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate; maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm with water changes....  and go on from there.> Charlotte <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> But what does it taste like? Big Catfish.  12/24/05 Hello, <Hi.> I was just wandering if you could tell me roughly how big a Pseudomonas niger catfish grows? <It's a biggun, roughly at 3 feet (36").> Thanks. <Welcome.> Miss K. Towler <Adam J.>  

Colour change, Pimelodelids  1/27/08 Hello Neale, <Neervana,> My pictus catfishes have changed colour. <They do this periodically, and as they age. Provided the fins and skin otherwise look good, don't worry too much.> I feed them a variety of food everyday, slowly I can see that they are starting to turn a metallic green - it does not look like an infection or poisoning, but I was wondering why they are changing colour. <Most fish can adjust their colours to blend in better with their environment, or at least not look so obvious to predators.> Both of them seem healthy, nothing wrong - but why the colour change? <Because they can.> Also I did a water change today and it got a little cloudy. Is it because this is a new tank? <Yes; likely silt left in the gravel. Harmless to the fish, especially if you notice it settles down after a day or so. New tanks can also get bacterial blooms. These look similar (milky/cloudy) but don't go away, however much you wait/change water. Generally settle down after a few weeks.> I did let it cycle...but maybe it hasn't fully cycled yet? <Possibly, but the only way to check is the old nitrite test kit. Everything else is guesswork.> Thanks, Neervana. <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Colour change 1/27/08 Hello Neale, <Hello,> I have only put an extremely thin lining of gravel in my tank, which I took from my old tank (200 gallon) does this matter? <If you don't have an undergravel filter, then the only substrate you *need* is just enough to cover the glass to stop reflections freaking out the fish. Whether the gravel is used or new shouldn't make a huge difference, but obviously gravel from an old tank can carry snails and potentially parasites like Whitespot into the new tank. Before you get too worried about the parasites thing: most parasites don't last for long outside the fish. So if you had Whitespot a year ago, treated it, and then everything was fine, then no, there aren't any hidden Whitespot parasites lurking in the gravel waiting to jump out.> The lady in the pet shop said it didn't matter whether I put gravel in or not, the bacteria can grow in the water itself. <Virtually no bacteria either in the water itself or plain gravel. Bacteria in the filter media outnumber the bacteria everywhere else in the aquarium by literally a billion to one. They need [a] flowing water and [b] lots of oxygen. For this reason, gravel that just sits there (as opposed to gravel in an undergravel filter) isn't a place filter bacteria likes to be.> If there is only a little gravel in there, does this mean not much bacteria will grow? <Correct; but assuming you have external canister filters, this couldn't matter less.> The cloudiness is still here, even after a few hours of cleaning, does this mean it is a bacteria bloom? <Maybe. Don't worry about it. Normally settles down in a few days. If the fish are otherwise healthy, just do your water changes to dilute the problem and check the nitrite level every day or two to make sure the filter is happy.> Although, I have to admit I did forget to rinse out the sponge thing in the filter - maybe this was the cause for cloudiness? <Certainly possible. When I get cloudy water, I find changing the filter wool (the "pre-filter") in the filter helps a lot. Water changes are good, too.> Thanks, Neervana. <Cheers, Neale.>

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