View Full Version : Red Tail Catfish minimum tank size

Mike Alonzo
10-05-2007, 03:12 AM
Would a 28 gallon tank suffice when the cat will be starting out as a little small 2 incher? I know the bigger they get the bigger I gotta go. But in the begining how long would a 28 gallon tank last a 2 inch red tail? Its my new favorite fish.

Mike Alonzo
10-05-2007, 03:14 AM
never mind saw that this has been asked already. Unless someone wants to answer again ;)

10-05-2007, 03:19 AM
i guess you already know, but a fullgrown needs a 15,000g+. for a small while yes that small a tank would work, but be 110% sure you can rehome it in a larger tank.

why not get a smaller catfish like a bumble bee or upside down cat?

10-05-2007, 03:23 AM
A 28 would last a few weeks.

10-05-2007, 03:30 AM
Though you'd soon be in the market for a 12x8x4 tank.


10-05-2007, 11:29 AM
Yup, I would love to have one also but I need to get the money and get the set-up going before hand.

10-05-2007, 11:44 AM
I don't get what the big craze is over these things. Then again I am not really into keeping fish bigger than 6 inches, except for maybe an oscar. I guess it's just me.

10-05-2007, 12:02 PM
Big fish are cool.:hmm3grin2orange: I would get one in a heart beat if I had the set-up for it and the $$$$$$$$

10-05-2007, 02:40 PM
Massive indoor pond/pool would be ideal.

10-05-2007, 02:44 PM
Massive indoor pond/pool would be ideal.

For that matter an outdoor pond might work based on where you live as well. I know I wouldn't want one here in Colorado with that particular fish....

I'll grant you Redtails are gorgeous fish. However they get too large for aquaria in general.

10-05-2007, 05:43 PM
There was a guy in England who built a 2000g pond in his living room for his red tailed catfish....gorgeous fish BTW. Sad to say that the fish was outgrowing the pond...but the owner adored him and said a new bigger pond was in the works!!

And Mike - don't assume that once your catfish gets too big for you to care for that public aquariums will take the fish. They get offered tank busting fish like that all the time and rarely take any.

10-05-2007, 10:11 PM
I think a "large" catfish you could own is in a maybe 75 gallon tank. A 28 gallon tank is nice for an upside down catfish like mentioned before. There is another option(s) you could either go with, with the silvertip( i think its called but i think its a shark) reaches 12 inches, or the pictus catfish (which need more than 2-3 to have a school, and they are very very active.) When they get older and reach mature size of 8 inches the pictus cat can be kept alone, actually they have to be kept alone, they're very teritorial. (a reminder, these particular fish need more than a 28 gallon tank, so a 75 would be ideal) Red tail catfish are just not a reasonable fish to keep. You could probably buy a car or truck with all the money you're going to have to put into a tank that large. So, saving money for a nice tank that can accomodate one of the previous fish i have mentioned before, you'll be happier in the long run, Just my opinion. Also, Ive heard the red tail cats can reach 6 -7ft within a matter of 2-3 years. So i would stay away from the red tail catfish. And to answer your question minimum tank size, i wouldnt even buy a tank or make a tank, id make a pond for it, a very LARGE pond.

10-06-2007, 01:17 AM
once i saw one in a resturant pond. it was 5ft long and lived in 20000gal indoors. i thought it was great as an attraction. half the people who came just ordered something to see the red tailed monster of a fish.

10-06-2007, 02:49 PM
I would love to have one too, if they could somehow breed them for dwarf red tails everyone would want one.

10-11-2007, 06:59 PM
they really are lovely looking fish but after seeing them at the london aqaurium recently i am totally against them being for sale in fish stores. there must only be a handful of people out there with room to house them yet they sell like hot cakes... tut tut.

11-24-2007, 02:11 PM
It is unfortunate that they sell them in most pet stores. That was kind of how I got into large catfish......adn learned to do my research before buying new fish.

In my ignorance I listened to the guy at the pet LFS before doing my research. He assured me that the Tiger Shovelnose I was buying would only grow to 12" and wouldn't bother any other fish. In my ignorance, I figured he would be fine in my 50G

The first month the little guy (I got him at about 2") was in my tank, he ate his way through every fish in the tank (about 25 tetras, guppies, shrimp, dwarf frogs, etc.) and grew about another 2".

So, flash forward 2 and a half years and he is now in a 250G and about 28" long. Luckily, and I mean kuckily, I have found someone with a 1500G who can take him in.

I think this is how many people get into the big fish game. By being ignorant and assuming the LFS is not going to try to swindle you. Hopefully someone reads this before they go to Big Al's or Wal Mart or any LFS and thinks about buying that cute little guy with the whiskars.


09-07-2014, 11:12 PM
1000 gallones

09-07-2014, 11:23 PM
You might want to check the date on older threads before replying. This one is over 6 years old