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Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1

    Default Spotted Raphael in distress

    0 Not allowed!
    Hi all -

    I just found my spotted Raphael catfish in a bad way. I've had him for about a year, and like all Raphs he hides all the time so I rarely see him and it is very hard to check on him. He's always seemed to do just fine, when I do see him his belly looks full and he looks good. I haven't seen him for a few weeks - life has been busy and I haven't had time to just hang out and spy on my fish much. I just found him in an open cormer of the tank, on the bottom, breathing quickly. His fins are all tattered and he looks really skinny. I'm guessing he has been struggling for a while but I haven't seen him to know that - I'm really sad, he's one of my favs and I don't think he's going to make it.

    He is in a 92gallon bowfront with sump filtration, live plants and plant substrate. Water changes of 50% every 1-2 weeks. Current conditions as of today: pH=6.8-7, ammonia=0, nitrites=0, nitrates=20. Due for water changing the past I have struggled with the nitrates in this tank but for the past 6 weeks they've been staying at 20 or lower, I've also struggled a bit with the pH, it's been running low at around 6.4 and I have gradually added crushed coral every couple weeks to gradually get it up closer to 7.

    He lives with a group of blackskirt tetras (14) and some congo tetras (currently 4 - building school), a herd of sterbae cories (12), a cuckoo catfish and a bristlenose pleco. There's a few others in there as well - 2 swordtails, a young angelfish, 2 Siamese algae eaters and a small group of dwarf neon rainbows. He shares his cave with the pleco and the cuckoo cat, both of whom have been in with him for about 3 months. All other fish in the tank are doing fine, no tattered fins, plump, active.

    Any thoughts as to what has happened to him? Any ideas on if there is anything I can do for him? My understanding is these fish can live up to 20 years....I was planning on him being a long term resident so I am really sad.


  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    Is there a possibility that another fish was fighting with the Raphael catfish?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    methuen ma usa

    Awards Showcase

    Merry Christmas! - Lab_Rat thank you for the birthday wishes - mommy1 Happy One Year AC Anniversary! - Rue For being understanding, thank you - Cliff (closest I could find to a catfish) Thanks for the nomination! - sheamurai 
    Thank you for the MOTM nomination - mommy1 I think you deserve a random gift. Yes, I think you do. - PhillipOrigami For being a fellow MA native! - Lolita Happy Birthday to you. - jeffs99dime Merry Christmas - Cliff 
    World Trade Center Victims and Heroes - Fireworks Safety - genocidex 


    0 Not allowed!
    Qt him with a clear plastic tube with dimm lights so you can see him during the day.

    The sae.... Can you posts a pic or 2. Some of them can be very aggressive.

    The other cat might fight with it but im not sure.

    When you re introduce him, move everything around in the tank to break territories.

    Try treating the qt tank with some melafix for the fins and post a pic of hin so we can see. He might have a rot or fungal infection
    I wonder if i plant one of my tiger barbs would the demon seed grow to a full tree?
    gotta love them bunnies!
    I.R.S.: We've got what it takes to take what you've got!

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi - thanks for the replies. Unfortunately I can't quarantine him, he is back stuck up in his log and I can't get him out without hurting him. And I don't have a big enough tank to put the whole log into. But, I will definitely try treating the whole tank with the Melafix - it seems to be pretty harmless stuff so I don't think it would harm any of the other fish.

    As far as I know, the other catfish doesn't bother him. Both of them are very quiet and shy, I have never seen any aggression. Of course they are nocturnal so it's possible there could be some issues at night.

    Here is a pic of my SAE. I know they are not usually true SAE - I've read the sticky and done my research - but I think they are the closest we get. I get them from the Wet Spot, and they are for sure NOT Chinese algae eaters, flying foxes, etc.


    Thanks everyone. I hope he recovers....

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    Update on my spotted Raphael. I'm not sure if anyone is actually following this thread, but here's where we're at.
    My spotted Raph is hanging in there. I have been treating the tank with Melafix every day. Believe it or not, I think the culprit is my BN plecostomus. He has a history of picking on and beating up other smaller catfish and other plecos.... He has lived in peace with my spotted Raph before, but he's older, bigger, and more mature now.
    I've been spying on them - if I put shrimp meat down into the cave where the catfish hangs out, he tries to grab a bite but as soon as the BN shows up he jumps back into his cave and won't come out.
    So, this is my plan: move the BN into my 29gal long, where he will be the only fish on the bottom.
    Move a small synodintis lucipinnis from the 29 to the 92, to make room for the BN.
    Monitor the 92gal, which will now have two synodontis cats, the spotted Raph, and a herd of corydoras on the bottom.
    If all goes well, maybe consider getting another spotted Raphael as a buddy for the one I have?
    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated if anyone is following this.

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