Jaguar catfish not eating and temperature


Feeder Fish
MFK Member
May 26, 2023
I've managed to purchase a jaguar catfish 4 days ago and it is in a 50 gallon blackwater tank with 2 silver dollars and some small dither fish. On the first day it swallowed and spat out a massivore pellet. In terms of condition it didn't seem overly thin when I first got it so I waited till the next day before dosing some prazi in case it was due to internal parasites. Activity wise even at night it just remains at the driftwood without moving much. I've tried force feeding it massivore but it just ends up spitting it out.

Upon searching for different care sheets online for this species, it seems that some indicate they prefer a cooler temperature of 20-24 degrees celcius. One site says that they do not eat at temperatures above this. Unfortunately I believe my water temperature is likely at the 27 or 28 degree range.

Thus my question is, has anyone had issues getting their jags to feed and is temperature a critical component is getting them to do so? Thanks
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Senior Curator
Staff member
MFK Member
Dec 31, 2009
Naples, FL, USA
Welcome to the MFK!

I'd trust this datasheet: 20-28 C is the range given.

I've never heard of them not feeding at temps above 24 C.

Why are you so sure it must already be feeding? It is not uncommon for a fish, depending on species and history, to take a week or even two to get accustomed to new water and tank, and that's given favorable (no other sources of stress) conditions. If you try force-feeding it, you are adding stress and this will work against your desires and will prolong the adjustment period, or can even sicken the fish. In any case force feeding is done with a substance that cannot be spit out, like liquid or semi-liquid / mashed. But I see with the info given no reason for such dire, last resort measures.

I'd not guess my temp, I'd measure it, along with all other basic water parameters. This is the first thing to do anytime something is off, but again, there may be nothing off, just normal period of adjustment; yet if worried, I'd measure all basics to make sure there are no red flags.

The fact that it took a pellet in the mouth the first day is a great sign. It should start feeding on its own, again, given there are no stressors.

Staying put at night for this fiercely nocturnal fish means it is not comfortable, hopefully just yet.
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Sausage Finger Spam Slayer
MFK Member
Mar 29, 2019
Manitoba, Canada
I couldn't agree more ^.

The idea of man-handling a fish to force-feed it...when you got it only 4 days virtually unbelievable. For almost any fish other than the very smallest fry, four days without food is analogous to a person skipping breakfast one morning; completely inconsequential.

I think that your fish simply needs a bit of time to settle down and get comfortable. Attempts at force-feeding or any other interference is likely to extend that required time period, not shorten it.
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Goliath Tigerfish
MFK Member
Nov 2, 2008
I keep my colony of 6 jags at 83 degrees

they are piggies 🐷 when they are feeling its dark enough they will come out, they are gluttons and will gorge themselves silly on pellets i put down for all of them. The room itself has to be dark too. I never have the hood light on in that tank unless im doing maintenance or cleaning the glass and need to see better.

drop a earthworm when it gets dark it will enjoy that as a treat
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