Max Size: 90cm

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish (Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum)

The Tiger Shovelnose Catfish is a fascinating freshwater fish that has captured the attention of aquarists for many years. Their unique appearance has made them one of the favourite large fishes you can keep.

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish are very active species that can show aggression in certain circumstances. Due to their size and temperament, these fish are not recommended for beginners. Ideally, the people who should keep this species are those that are familiar with their needs and are experienced when it comes to much larger fish.

The most important thing to remember when choosing suitable tank mates for these fish is their size and temperament. Tiger Shovelnose Catfish are pretty large and can easily injure or eat other smaller fish. Therefore you must choose species that are large enough to defend themselves and not be considered a target.

These fish will also need tank mates that are not overly aggressive. Any fish that are highly territorial or aggressive will not be suitable. Even though this fish will possibly be able to defend itself, you never want a tank where there's constant fighting. Suitable tankmates would include Arowanas, other large Catfish such as the Redtail Catfish, Giant Gouramis, Pacus and Oscar Fish.

Since Tiger Shovelnose Catfish are relatively large, it's essential to make sure they have a large enough tank for them to be comfortable. The ideal aquarium size for these fish would be 750 litres for juveniles and 1000 litres for adults. However, if you cannot provide these fish with a tank this size, then these aren't for you.

A considerable part of Tiger Shovelnose Catfish care is making sure that these fish are comfortable and don't feel cramped; otherwise, this will cause them stress which may shorten their lifespan. Tiger Shovelnose Catfish will also require good filtration as these fish are sensitive to poor water quality. It would also be beneficial if you performed two water changes every week to reduce the stress on the water.

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish are reasonably low maintenance; however, it's essential to set up their tank in a way that keeps them happy. These fish can be prone to aggression or stress if you keep them in a bare tank. Therefore, try to include decor in their aquarium that will mimic their natural environment as much as possible. You can achieve this by adding vegetation, driftwood, and decently sized rocks or driftwood on the substrate.

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish have a long, comprehensive, and flat mouth. These fish also have rather long barbels that protrude from the front of their mouth and are angled slightly forward. These barbels will help them feel their way around the murky waters.

These fish's dorsal fins are average in size and lean backwards in a fan-like shape. These fish also have forked caudal fins that contain black spots. Their anal and pectoral fins are both on the smaller side and possess a similar pattern.

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish have dark silver bodies with prominent black stripes that run vertically from their front to their back. These fish are spotted, and you will typically see spots in different areas between the lines.

Quick Facts
Scientific NamePseudoplatystoma fasciatum
Other NamesTiger Catfish, Shovelnose Catfish
OriginsBrazil, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asLoners
Lifespan18 - 25
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH5 - 20
75 - 82℉
23.9 - 27.8℃

Photos of the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish
Tiger Shovelnose Catfish
Tiger Shovelnose Catfish
Tiger Shovelnose Catfish
Tiger Shovelnose Catfish

Natural Habitat

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish are endemic to Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, and Paraguay in the Amazon in South America. However, they can be found in several other places around the world where they have been introduced. One such example is the fact that you can now find Tiger Shovelnose Catfish in many South African waters.

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish inhabit the deepest areas of large rivers where it is shaded, and they have the room to swim freely and find food. As a result, there will often be a significant amount of vegetation present in their habitats, and it's common to see them in flooded forests for this reason also.

What to feed the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish

In the wild, these fish mainly eat smaller fish and crustaceans. This species has been known to nibble on plants occasionally; however, they spend most of their time looking for meaty protein-rich foods.

It is crucial that you have plenty of food in stock at all times as these are large fish that will eat a lot more than your usual smaller freshwater species. However, tiger Shovelnose Catfish are not fussy and will accept most things.

It would be better to provide these fish with a varied diet consisting of good quality dried food such as sinking pellets and wafers alongside live and frozen foods like worms, feeder fish and Mysis shrimp. These fish will also accept dead food such as shrimp, crab, crayfish and fish meat.

How to sex the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish

Unfortunately, it is impossible to differentiate between the male and the female Tiger Shovelnose Catfish as there is no external way to sex these fish.

How to breed the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish

Breeding Tiger Shovelnose Catfish is extremely challenging, and little is known about the breeding habits of these fish in the wild. As far as we know, there have been no reports of them being successfully bred in a home aquarium. Therefore, the likelihood of successfully producing these fish is slim to none, so, instead, you should just enjoy the beauty of these fish.

Other Catfish of interest

African Glass Catfish(Pareutropius debauwi)
Common Otocinclus(Otocinclus vittatus)
Cuckoo Catfish(Synodontis multipunctatus)
Flagtail Catfish(Dianema urostriatum)
Glass Catfish(Kryptopterus vitreolus)
Marble Sturisoma Whiptail Catfish(Sturisoma aureum)
View all Other Catfish
Date Added: 28/09/2021 13:26:48 - Updated: 22/11/2021 16:10:46