Wels catfish, albino, ~10"

thebiggerthebetter

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I was lucky to get two wels catfish from Wes this summer 2016 at ~4"-5". Ju-u-ust before they got banned this Fall.

I wanted natural colored but albino was all that was available. Easy cats to feed. The two have been together for the first month+, alone, then the bigger one (pictured below in the video) that was ~5" started tattering fins of the smaller one at ~4", just as Wes had warned me that they don't get along... but I needed to see for myself.

The smaller one went into a different 240 gal and grew to 8" quickly - there was a lot of well-feeding fish in there. The bigger one stayed in the original 240 gal with a few not-so-well-feeding tank mates and, consequently, didn't grow as vigorously and has been notably shyer than the smaller one in the other tank.

The originally-smaller one then graduated into another 240 gal, also stocked with a vigorously feeding gang. It tried bossing others around in there, including 5 closely related Amur catfish. In 1-2 weeks, the wels got its tail damaged (not sure by who, I'm guessing the Amurs) and went back into the prior 240 gal that was safe. The tail pretty much fell off, then grew back but in a V-shape :(

Anyhow, the originally-smaller wels is now around 1' and is in a 4500 gal, its 4th tank, doing well so far. Has been there about 3 weeks now. The originally-bigger-now-smaller-but-intact one is ~10" and is still in the same first 240 gal they both had been in. Its mates are a 2'+ Indian swamp eel and a 2' West African lungfish.

Both my wels profoundly prefer pellets to fish!

This is the 10" one now. If God is willing, will shoot the 1', V-tailed one later.

 
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thebiggerthebetter

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I'll be lucky to raise them to some kind of size. I never thought about it but can look into it then. We have a pool of about half a dozen of them here owned by active MFK-ers in the USA. It's a long shot but can be thought of.

At least gender appears rather easy to determine.

http://www.planetcatfish.com/common/species.php?species_id=338

Sexing Males are more slender and have strong serrations on the posterior edge of the pectoral spine (females lack these serrations).
 
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Deadliestviper7

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I'll be lucky to raise them to some kind of size. I never thought about it but can look into it then. We have a pool of about half a dozen of them here owned by active MFK-ers in the USA. It's a long shot but can be thought of.

At least gender appears rather easy to determine.

http://www.planetcatfish.com/common/species.php?species_id=338

Sexing Males are more slender and have strong serrations on the posterior edge of the pectoral spine (females lack these serrations).
I would highly recommend a breeding program,as it is the only way people are going to be able to get these cats,as far as housing adults a large above ground pool can help,especially if it's the long oval type.
 

rodger

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I would highly recommend a breeding program,as it is the only way people are going to be able to get these cats,as far as housing adults a large above ground pool can help,especially if it's the long oval type.
Keep in mind, they would need to stay in FL. It would be illegal to transport across state lines.
 

thebiggerthebetter

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Interesting wels hunting video, nice slow-motion detail: https://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/threads/for-your-wels-lovers-and-dreamers.682189/#post-7676553

******************************************

Anyhow, back to my wels. The one in 4500 gal surprised me and not in a desirable way. It grew very well reaching about 18", eating very well too. There was never a split fin, or a nick or a scratch or any damage on it for as long as it was in that 4500 gal. Neither have I seen any fish display any sort of aggression toward the wels.

You can see the fish in a video below.

Then after one night in early January 2017 when it had eaten really well stuffing itself on catfish farm pellets, the next morning it was wrapped around my drain screen. I examined it. The pics below may be graphic. It's tummy cavity was removed cleanly and an area before the tail was missing some flesh but the rest of the body was not damaged, no signs of bites or scratches or anything. Any damage is highly visible on an albino catfish. Hence, I think it didn't die as a result of an attack or a fight and its parts went missing post mortum as it often happens... likely the work of my vulture catfish 6-pack.

IDK why it would die like that. It did eat exceptionally well the night before but it wasn't the first time and intestinal clogs or indigestion take many days / weeks to result in death. Maybe it had a parasite that's capable of killing a fish swiftly but that's pretty hard to imagine, a shot in complete darkness, or I am merely ignorant as to what parasites are out there and what they can and cannot do.

It wasn't suffocated and then spit out by another fish. It wasn't ill, didn't appear stressed. There were no hungry tank mates at all that night - everyone was full. It's as if it just dropped dead out of the blue while doing fabulously. I am clueless.

Oh well. The other one in the same original 240 gal has been and is doing well, having reached 18" now too. Eats very well too. But I am scared to place it in that 4500 gal now because I've no idea what happened to the first one in there. IDK what I am going to do. It can't be stuck in 240 gal for that much longer. If things continue the same way, it will be over 2' by the summer time.

A video of the V-tailed wels and post mortum pics:



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moe214

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That is weird... it almost looks like clean bite marks I'd say...
 

Chub_by

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That is weird... it almost looks like clean bite marks I'd say...
I agree. Looks to me almost as if the Wels was just resting up somewhere and something big just took a go. The question is, does Viktor have fish that big in there. Judging by the measuring tape that's like a 6"x4" chunk, and while many catfish do have huge mouths many of them aren't toothy enough to bite so cleanly.
 

moe214

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I agree. Looks to me almost as if the Wels was just resting up somewhere and something big just took a go. The question is, does Viktor have fish that big in there. Judging by the measuring tape that's like a 6"x4" chunk, and while many catfish do have huge mouths many of them aren't toothy enough to bite so cleanly.
I don't think it was one bite if I can add. Look at the skin, each piece has different rounded indentations. Only thing I can think of is the vatf. They have narrow mouths that look like the rounded parts imo. Maybe the vultures went on a feeding frenzy. Don't think we can be sure. But make sure the next one is as big as can be before introducing. May need to put it in the other 4500g eventually too as you know.
 

suckerfish

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I'm thinking the temperature could be playing a role, and he stuffed himself too much at too high a temp? Just a thought
 
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