Vulture cat 6-pack, 14"-20", 2 year old, in 4500 gal

thebiggerthebetter

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Viktor dumb question but how do you know it was the vartf ? Are they the only ones that could have caused this type of damage ?
I think so. The bites are very clean. There is no evidence of tearing off, yanking or shredding or shaking side to side or death-rolling but with each bite a mouthful of flesh is removed cleanly. They just keep coming back to take new bites out of where they started because it is the easiest as the hide is the hardest to penetrate and partition. On the right side they kept doing that until the backbone stopped them. They bit all the way to uncover several inches of the backbone. The vulture was in deep shock but still alive when I pulled it out.

The VATF had done it before to other fish I believe, which included sun catfish, bala shark, tinfoil barb, and wels.

What is generally believed about the ATF that they don't go after fish too large to be considered on their menu even in captivity, is not so true in my experience. If they get hungry even a little bit, they don't hesitate to attack fish of equal or a bit greater size. So far. If a tank mate is smaller and not armored like a pleco or as fast as a dorado or as aggressive as a large cichlid, I think it'll have no chance.
 

jaws7777

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I think so. The bites are very clean. There is no evidence of tearing off, yanking or shredding or shaking side to side or death-rolling but with each bite a mouthful of flesh is removed cleanly. They just keep coming back to take new bites out of where they started because it is the easiest as the hide is the hardest to penetrate and partition. On the right side they kept doing that until the backbone stopped them. They bit all the way to uncover several inches of the backbone. The vulture was in deep shock but still alive when I pulled it out.

The VATF had done it before to other fish I believe, which included sun catfish, bala shark, tinfoil barb, and wels.

What is generally believed about the ATF that they don't go after fish too large to be considered on their menu even in captivity, is not so true in my experience. If they get hungry even a little bit, they don't hesitate to attack fish of equal or a bit greater size. So far. If a tank mate is smaller and not armored like a pleco or as fast as a dorado or as aggressive as a large cichlid, I think it'll have no chance.
That interesting to know. And again sorry for the loss that was a beautiful cat
 
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moe214

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I think so. The bites are very clean. There is no evidence of tearing off, yanking or shredding or shaking side to side or death-rolling but with each bite a mouthful of flesh is removed cleanly. They just keep coming back to take new bites out of where they started because it is the easiest as the hide is the hardest to penetrate and partition. On the right side they kept doing that until the backbone stopped them. They bit all the way to uncover several inches of the backbone. The vulture was in deep shock but still alive when I pulled it out.

The VATF had done it before to other fish I believe, which included sun catfish, bala shark, tinfoil barb, and wels.

What is generally believed about the ATF that they don't go after fish too large to be considered on their menu even in captivity, is not so true in my experience. If they get hungry even a little bit, they don't hesitate to attack fish of equal or a bit greater size. So far. If a tank mate is smaller and not armored like a pleco or as fast as a dorado or as aggressive as a large cichlid, I think it'll have no chance.
Well it's fair to say not many keep them as large as you or in the size tank or with the tankmates you do. Not report as long as you do or as much. Now there is one species reported to actively attack larger fish for food especially their tail end. So it wouldn't surprise me if another species had the same habit. I'd say armor and speed is the best defense armor being second. Aggressiveness won't beat hunger in a tank as large as yours imo.
 
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thebiggerthebetter

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A bit of update.

The remaining 5-pack has been doing well in their 4500 gal. But these rascals have a taste not only for the black ears but apparently in general for Pangasiidae in distress!

So I have had this albino IDS runt in a 240 gal for 3 years that grew from 3" to only 15"-16", and even the last 6" it put on only in the last 6 months. It has always been exceedingly skittish and would dart and hit everything on its way. Having had enough of that for 3 years and since it got some size, I decided to rehome it into the 4500 gal, the one with the smaller fish, of course.

As expected, the IDS threw a nuclear temper while still being caught in the 240 gal, bruised its snout bad, and continued on in the 4500 gal swimming wildly and a bit discombobulated, which IMMEDIATELY drew vultures' attention. One or two of them would follow it and test-taste it, first incessantly, then every once in a while when they could catch on to the IDS. It continued more or less all day.

Long story short, the IDS survived the first night having gotten a few scratches and having lost a bit of the lower tail lobe but it was, under the circumstances, a resounding success and great luck.

It's been calm since then, a complete change from the 240 gal and the vultures don't bother it anymore. The IDS feeds exceptionally well, so there is actually hope that it will reach at least a couple feet.
 

thebiggerthebetter

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More of the same. While I have not caught the vultures participating in the killing of our 27" capapretum (via stressful biting and chasing), the bite marks may match theirs. Post #33 https://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/...stoma-capapretum-10-in-4500-gal.680760/page-4


Capapretum is an even more skittish fish than IDS, on par with black ear shark catfish and always takes any rehoming and any tankmate aggression extremely hard.

I tentatively posit that most or perhaps all fish in distress evoke an interest and an appetite in vultures.
 

thebiggerthebetter

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At present, I think vultures only attack fish in some kind of distress or dead. Moreover, they need something to hook onto and usually anus is it. To bite through intact skin they apparently cannot. I have witnessed them going for the anus of sick fish and starting to rip out pieces. I think most or maybe all the fish I posted the photos of where their stomach and ventral side was removed have been attacked by vultures, either dead or alive but in distress.

ATF too can take clean bites out of any part but tentatively I think they favor the dorsal side, particularly by the tail to remove / damage the tail and immobilize their prey.
 
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thebiggerthebetter

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Video update on the 5 remaining vultures. Not much to add in words, except the post above.

 

thebiggerthebetter

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After years of finding tank mates half eaten from the ventral side, I came to realize it was but the work of vultures. They do it mostly or only (not sure yet which) post mortum though. Don't get alarmed. The amount of damage depends on when I interfere / find the corpse.

Graphic images not the faint of the heart:

100_8425-1.JPG 100_8440.JPG 100_8440-1.JPG Aluminum catfish, mangled rescue dead.JPG Aluminum, ornatus, last 2.JPG Cichlid, pike dead.JPG Silurus, Wels, dead 3.JPG Suncat, 2nd dead, 2.JPG
 

Fishman Dave

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My vulture does not wait until a fish is dead or dying. A year or so ago I was also growing on koi in the pond and would regularly ( once a month) find one with a clean bite mark, usually out of the top or side of the fish around or behind of the dorsal fin. The vulture did for both my Pegasus and the high fin, but to be fair both were stressed at the time. Since then he has become a model citizen but I think that is the fact that there is a large Wykii occupying his thoughts during darkness, and he is well fed. There are plenty of fish he could have a go at, from bale shark, giant gourami, other cats, severum, jaguar vicious or any number of synodontis. Maybe he has just got to a calm period!
 
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