Max Size: 90cm

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish (Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum)

A fascinating freshwater fish, the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish,Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum, has captured the attention of aquarists for many years. However, because of their unique appearance, they have become one of the most popular large fish to keep.

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish are very active species that can act aggressively under certain circumstances. They are not recommended for beginners because of their size and temperament. In order to keep this species successfully, you should be familiar with its needs and have experience with fish of a much larger size.

It is crucial to consider the size and temperament of these fish when choosing tank mates. Smaller fish can easily be injured or eaten by Tiger Shovelnose Catfish since they are pretty large. You must therefore select species that are large enough to defend themselves and not be seen as targets.

Additionally, these fish will need tank mates who are not too aggressive. It is not recommended to keep any fish that is highly territorial or aggressive. Although this fish might be able to defend itself, you don't want a tank where constant fighting occurs. Arowanas, Redtail Catfish, Giant Gouramis, Pacus, and Oscar Fish, would be suitable tankmates.

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish are relatively large, so it's essential to ensure their tank is large enough to accommodate them. 750 litres is the ideal aquarium size for juveniles and 1000 litres for adults for these fish. If you do not have a tank this size, then you are not going to be able to keep these fish.

To ensure Tiger Shovelnose Catfish are comfortable and don't feel cramped is a significant part of their care; otherwise, they will suffer stress and may die sooner. In addition, as Tiger Shovelnose Catfish are sensitive to poor water quality, good filtration is also necessary. In order to reduce the stress on the water, you should perform two water changes every week.

Despite the fact that Tiger Shovelnose Catfish require relatively little maintenance, it's essential to keep their tank set up in a way that they'll enjoy. If kept in a bare tank, these fish can become aggressive or stressed. As a result, try to create an aquarium that closely resembles their natural environment. By adding vegetation, driftwood, and decent-sized rocks or driftwood, you can accomplish this.

Long, comprehensive, and flat mouths are characteristic of Tiger Shovelnose Catfish. Furthermore, these fish have long, angled barbels that protrude from the front of their mouths. In murky waters, these barbels will aid them in navigating.

The dorsal fins of these fish are average in size and lean backwards in a fan-shaped pattern. Additionally, these fish have black spots on their forked caudal fins. Pectoral and anal fins are both small and have similar patterns.

A Tiger Shovelnose Catfish has a dark silver body with prominent vertical black stripes. These fish are spotted, and you typically see spots between the lines in different areas.


Tiger Shovelnose Catfish
Tiger Shovelnose Catfish
Tiger Shovelnose Catfish
Tiger Shovelnose Catfish
Tiger Shovelnose Catfish
Quick Facts
Scientific NamePseudoplatystoma fasciatum
Year Described1766
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℃


In the home aquarium, the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

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.

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: 06/09/2022 16:55:53