So you want to keep a RTC (Red Tailed Catfish)?

thebiggerthebetter

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Got a juvie (3 1/2-4") RTC a few days ago, so far he hasn't been picky. Fed him a nightcrawler the first day, nothing the next day as I've seen every other day to be the popular opinion for juries, and then a cube of bloodworms today(there is also a iridescent in there with him aprx the same size). As he grows larger I'm looking for more meats to vary his diet, would the frozen smelt that our grocery stores sell be appropriate? Also I catch a lot of salmon out of the great lakes here in Michigan, could i feed him wild caught salmon chunks?
https://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/threads/is-it-alright-to-feed-salmon-to-rtc.693548/
 

Hate RTC

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I feed my rtc with arapaima XDD... i really hate my rtc, every fish that is near in front of him, he would eat it, no matter how big it is. "I moved my arapaima to a bigger tank 150 x 50 x 70, that tank is full of predator fish (community fish tank), my arapaima was 12 cm long, because i was thinking that it would be better if i moved him to that tank (friends you know?), then I leave it for a hour, when i came back, I was looking for the arapaima, and i was asking where is he???, and when I look up to the RTC's stomach... –_– THEN I WAS LIKE RAMPAGING, AND RAPE THAT RTC AND HIT IT WITH A HAMMER, IM NOT GONNA STOP UNTIL HE THROW OUT THE ARAPAIMA FROM THE RTC'S STOMACH, I REALLY HATE IT, AND I NAMED THE RTC, DEVIL CATFISH. I REALLY LOVED THAT ARAPAIMA, I raised the arapaima when he was just a little fry, I cried dude.
 

thebiggerthebetter

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It matters how big RTC tank mate is. If it doesn't fit in its mouth neither from the front, nor from the back end, it is generally safe. For instance, adult niger catfish, pacu, barramundi, distichodus sexfasciatum, TSN, jau catfish, arapaima have so far been safe with my 10 RTC, the biggest of which are 3'-3.5'.

Silver arowana at 2.5' - not so much. When they hit their head during mating season fights and become discombobulated, the RTCs try to swallow them. Although they have never succeeded yet, they produce enough stress and strip enough scales from the tail end that the arowana need a rehab. Sometimes they don't make it from the rehab. So I don't keep aros with RTC any longer.
 

Man vs fish

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thebiggerthebetter thebiggerthebetter would you say it would be possible to keep Malapterurus electricus with an RTC? mainly wondering if the defensive shock would be enough to deter the RTC from trying to eat it, and on the other hand would that shock be dangerous to the RTC?
 

thebiggerthebetter

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thebiggerthebetter thebiggerthebetter would you say it would be possible to keep Malapterurus electricus with an RTC? mainly wondering if the defensive shock would be enough to deter the RTC from trying to eat it, and on the other hand would that shock be dangerous to the RTC?
It'd be a gamble. TBH, a cruel gamble to both fish, IMHO. Sizes matter, as e-cat's max voltage is a function of the body size, which is a battery. The bigger the body, the bigger the battery, the higher the voltage discharge. IIRC, only the biggest 3-footers can produce 350 Volt.

Perhaps crudely, we may extrapolate and say that 1-footer is able to produce only 100 V, 2-footer 200 V, etc.

The only consistent reports I have seen of e-cat's tank mates being safe are with synodontis catfish of various species.
 

Loco Lucas

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Now that I have had several RTC for over 2 years, I am hooked. I really do find them to be fascinating.
What I find to be interesting is that when they are young, they are quite territorial. Once they become bigger, after the first year, they mellow out a bit.
I do keep mine with larger fish. All of the extras in the tank are disposable. Oscars, plecos, what ever is in there... they are also sized so they can be food if need be. I am not upset anymore when one of my RTC eats a tank mate. It is quite odd though when they do decide to have a snack who they chose. Usually not the smallest.
One of the things I have found fascinating is how my largest RTC has picked up a "friend" I had been given a black shark as a feeder. For nearly 2 years the black shark and "Bad Cat" have been buddies. Even sleeping together. Black sharks usually hate all catfish and will harass or even kill smaller catfish. These 2 seem to like the company. IMG_20180522_220100_465.jpg
Others are not so lucky...
Bad Cat, when only 7 inches in length killed and ate my 13 inch silver Asian Arowana... that and after several other tank mates becoming food... gave Bad Cat is name.
After that, I stopped caring.
IMG_20180428_121840_920.jpg
Typical result of actually bothering Bad Cat inside the tank... Bad Cat having lunch.
I do not feed them every day, usually food is every 3 to 5 days. And not a huge meal, enough to see the lump. This keeps them happy and active.
For me, 30 percent water changes once a week and triple the "recommend" filtration on each one of their tanks seems to be doing the trick quite nicely.
 
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thebiggerthebetter

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Naples, FL, USA
Now that I have had several RTC for over 2 years, I am hooked. I really do find them to be fascinating.
What I find to be interesting is that when they are young, they are quite territorial. Once they become bigger, after the first year, they mellow out a bit.
I do keep mine with larger fish. All of the extras in the tank are disposable. Oscars, plecos, what ever is in there... they are also sized so they can be food if need be. I am not upset anymore when one of my RTC eats a tank mate. It is quite odd though when they do decide to have a snack who they chose. Usually not the smallest.
One of the things I have found fascinating is how my largest RTC has picked up a "friend" I had been given a black shark as a feeder. For nearly 2 years the black shark and "Bad Cat" have been buddies. Even sleeping together. Black sharks usually hate all catfish and will harass or even kill smaller catfish. These 2 seem to like the company. View attachment 1349478
Others are not so lucky...
Bad Cat, when only 7 inches in length killed and ate my 13 inch silver Asian Arowana... that and after several other tank mates becoming food... gave Bad Cat is name.
After that, I stopped caring.
View attachment 1349479
Typical result of actually bothering Bad Cat inside the tank... Bad Cat having lunch.
I do not feed them every day, usually food is every 3 to 5 days. And not a huge meal, enough to see the lump. This keeps them happy and active.
For me, 30 percent water changes once a week and triple the "recommend" filtration on each one of their tanks seems to be doing the trick quite nicely.
As stated, I look forward to seeing all this in its own thread. Needless to say, you can copy and paste for starters since you already have much typed up.
 
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