Red Tailed Catfish aka Phractocephalus hemioliopterus – Profile and Photos

Check out this Monster Red Tailed Catfish in a massive Amazon display at Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Don’t miss the man hole cover sized Pacu sitting in the left bottom corner. This is why fish like these should not be purchased by anyone, you’ve gotta be devoted to care for giants like these.

Scientific name : Phractocephalus hemioliopterus

Common Names : RTC, Red Tailed Catfish, Cajaro, Pirarara

Maximum Size : 60-66″ maximum length weighing up too 100+ lbs.

Diet : Carnivore with a voracious appetite. It will eat smaller fish, invertebrates, and pretty much anything it can fit inside it’s mouth.

Home: Native to the Amazon, Orinoco, and Essequibo river basins of South America.

Tank Terrors Notes : The Red Tailed Catfish is extremely popular despite it’s massive size potential. Please be aware you need a small swimming pool to hold one of these giants at their adult size. They eat a ton and poop just as much. They are often used in cross breeding to make man made hybrid fish sold in the Aquarium Hobby. A common cross is between the Red Tailed Catfish and the Tiger Shovel Nose Catfish.

Click for the full size version of the Red Tailed Catfish Growth Rate Chart, it’s amazing how fast these Monsters grow.

Keep reading for more pics.


This is the same Red Tailed Catfish from the growth photos above but I didn’t have the exact date. I assume October sometime.

If only they stayed this cute small size.

Overhead shot of the amazing Red Tailed Catfish.



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