View Full Version : Will the older pictus eat younger newcomers?

09-25-2010, 03:31 PM
Hi! I adopted this big old pictus cat recently. Before he came to me he was kept for years all alone in a 10Gal tank. I bought him a 55Gal which he seems to be very happy about. Then I decided to buy him some companions because I read that they are much happier in a school. But the biggest pictus catfish I could buy were 1.5" long... I got 3 of them, they are in quarantine right now. And the big guy is about 5". Do you think he will eat them if I put them in with him?

09-25-2010, 03:52 PM
As long as the smaller ones can't fit into the big guy's mouth then you're ok.

09-25-2010, 04:17 PM
As long as the smaller ones can't fit into the big guy's mouth then you're ok.
Thanks Lab_Rat! But I'm afraid they just might fit into that mouth of his... That's some seriously big mouth...

09-25-2010, 04:33 PM
If they have a chance of fitting in his mouth, I'd keep them apart until the little ones grow more. They grow rapidly ime. If a pictus can fit something in it's mouth it will try to eat it. That is their nature.

09-25-2010, 06:40 PM
Pictus are predatory and will eat eggs/fry and smaller fish if they can. It may work, just keep a watchful eye.

09-25-2010, 07:23 PM
Thanks Crispy.
I suppose I'll keep the young ones in the quarantine tank till they get bigger, like Lab_Rat suggested. Two-three months will be enough, I hope...
And then I'll still have to spend a night or two awake to see if the big one tries to gulp them down...

10-09-2010, 07:10 PM
It so happened that I needed the quarantine tank for something else. So I tentatively put the boldest and fastest young pictus into the 55g with the big old one. And sat there watching if carnage was to follow, ready to fish the little one out at the first sign of trouble.
What I didn't expect was that in about half an hour of sniffing around the place, the young one found the cozy nook where the old one spends most of his time and swam right in there... and they sniffed each other peacefully and settled side by side!
So then I put the other two young ones in as well. They did exactly the same, decided that that particular nook is the best place in the whole huge tank. The big one doesn't mind at all, doesn't try to eat them or scare them or anything like that.
It's been a week now, and they are all a very close happy group. During the day the old one sits in the nook while the young ones frolic around the tank. When something scares them, they all rush into the nook and literally sit on top of the old one, and he doesn't mind at all. Very touching :)
Does all this mean that they recognize their own kind as non-food? Because the big old cat normally eats anything else that's the size of those little guys. And he's very fast, so he would have no problem catching the little ones unawares if he wanted to. What do you think?