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Maximum size : 90 cm

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish - Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Tiger Shovelnose Catfish (Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum) is a mesmerizing freshwater creature that has long enchanted aquarists far and wide. With its unique and striking appearance, this remarkable species has emerged as one of the most sought-after large fish in the aquarium hobby. Energetic and dynamic in nature, the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish possesses a powerful presence that demands respect. However, due to its size and temperament, it is recommended that only experienced enthusiasts venture into the realm of caring for this magnificent species.

When selecting tank mates for the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish, careful consideration must be given to their size and behaviour. Being formidable creatures, smaller fish are at risk of injury or predation in the presence of these majestic giants. Therefore, it is crucial to choose companions that are of sufficient size and possess the ability to defend themselves against potential aggression. Furthermore, a harmonious tank environment can be achieved by avoiding highly territorial or aggressive species, as constant conflict can disrupt the tranquillity of the aquatic habitat. Suitable tankmates may include Arowanas, Redtail Catfish, Giant Gouramis, Pacus, and Oscar Fish.

Given its impressive size, it is imperative to provide the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish with an adequate living space. An aquarium of at least 750 litres is recommended for juvenile individuals, while adults require a spacious environment of around 1000 litres. This generous expanse allows these magnificent creatures to roam freely, ensuring their physical and mental well-being. Additionally, meticulous attention must be given to water quality, as Tiger Shovelnose Catfish are sensitive to poor conditions. Therefore, regular water changes and efficient filtration are essential to maintain pristine water conditions and minimize stress.

To create a nurturing and stimulating environment for the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish, it is advisable to design their aquarium to resemble their natural habitat. Incorporating vegetation, driftwood, and sizeable rocks or driftwood will not only provide them with hiding places but also evoke a sense of familiarity and security. In addition, these fascinating creatures possess distinct physical features, including their elongated mouths and barbels, which aid in navigation within murky waters. With its dark silver body adorned by prominent vertical black stripes and spots, the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish stands as an aquatic marvel, embodying the irresistible allure of the underwater realm.

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between the male and female Tiger Shovelnose Catfish proves to be an insurmountable challenge, as there are no discernible external characteristics that allow for accurate sex determination in these fish.

Quick Facts

Scientific NamePseudoplatystoma fasciatum
Year Described1766
Other NamesTiger Catfish, Shovelnose Catfish
OriginsParaguay Venezuela Peru Brazil
Max Size90 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asLoners
LifespanUp to 20 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH5 - 20
75 - 82
23 - 27

Natural habitat

The captivating Tiger Shovelnose Catfish hails from the diverse waters of Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, and Paraguay, thriving in the Amazon Basin of South America. But, remarkably, these majestic fish have also found their way to various corners of the world through introductions. For instance, their presence can now be appreciated in the vibrant waters of South Africa. In their natural habitat, Tiger Shovelnose Catfish prefer the deep reaches of expansive rivers, seeking out shaded areas that afford them ample space to navigate and forage for sustenance gracefully. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that their preferred habitats are often adorned with lush vegetation, including flooded forests, providing an environment rich in both beauty and resources.

How to breed the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish

Breeding Tiger Shovelnose Catfish poses significant challenges, and our understanding of their reproductive behaviour in the wild remains limited. To date, there have been no documented instances of successful breeding in a home aquarium. As such, the prospects of achieving successful reproduction are exceedingly low. It is advisable, therefore, to appreciate the sheer beauty of these fish and focus on providing them with a stimulating and enriching environment in the aquarium.

Diet & feeding

In their natural habitat, Tiger Shovelnose Catfish primarily consume smaller fish and crustaceans, showcasing their carnivorous nature. While they may occasionally nibble on plants, their focus remains on seeking protein-rich, meaty sustenance. Given their larger size and hearty appetites, it is imperative to maintain an ample food supply to meet their nutritional needs. Fortunately, Tiger Shovelnose Catfish are not overly selective eaters and will readily accept a diverse range of sustenance. A well-rounded diet for these fish includes high-quality dried foods such as sinking pellets and wafers, complemented by live and frozen offerings like worms, feeder fish, and Mysis shrimp. Additionally, incorporating deceased fares such as shrimp, crab, crayfish, and fish meat can be well-received by these voracious feeders.

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