Albino arowana eaten

Highback

Member
Just thought I’d post a great tragedy I have a red tail cat fish and an albino arowana. The catfish being about 3-5 inches and the arowana about the same came home after work today to find my 350$ albino arowana in the belly of my red tail cat fish. I will say I learned a very valuable lesson from this. Larger tank and all fish must be larger than red tail mouth In diameter.
 

goldface

Member
And even then there are no guarantees. I realize size can be relative, but I don't think arowana are big fish at all, and should never be kept with a Red Tail Catfish and other monster-sized fish.
 
  • Thread Starter

Highback

Member
Silver and albino arowana are monster fish themselves. reaching about 4 feet long they are more then capable of holding there own. considering the cat fish is a bottom dweller and the arowana a top they should of never even of met in the tank. I tried target feeding the other fish to slow the growth of the red tail but he must of gotten hungry
 

kallililly1973

Member
I’ve read stories about red tails wiping out entire Cichlid tanks literally overnight... also on a side note I wouldn’t try to feed less to slow the growth for obvious reasons... sorry lost your arowana
 

goldface

Member
Highback said:
Silver and albino arowana are monster fish themselves. reaching about 4 feet long they are more then capable of holding there own. considering the cat fish is a bottom dweller and the arowana a top they should of never even of met in the tank. I tried target feeding the other fish to slow the growth of the red tail but he must of gotten hungry
This is where your view is flawed. Your perspective is from that of a fishkeeper. A 3ft long arowana, from my experience as a big fish angler, doesn't even quite reach 20lbs (Yes, I consider that small). How big--heavy can a typical Red Tail get? You also say as long as the fish is wider than the width of the catfish's mouth it should be safe. You're mistaken again. Your idea of bottom dwelling and top dwelling fish is also skewed. Even large home aquariums don't have the proper height. I consider 4ft shallow. It's like people asking for a bottom, mid, and top dwelling species for a 20 gallon tank. It doesn't make much sense.
 

jjohnwm

Member
If I were to design a fish with the express purpose of making it easy for predators to swallow, odds are that it would look pretty much like an Arowana; long, narrow, tapering from the head all the way back to the tail. Grab it by the head, flip it on its side, and it will just slide right down.

Going strictly by length is irrelevant. I would wager that a 5inch Redtail Cat has a body mass 3 or 4 times greater than a 5inch Arowana. Would you also expect a 5inch catfish to be unable to swallow a 5inch earthworm?

Before telling us we are wrong...consider the idea that if your logic were correct, you'd still have your Arowana.

Edit: scarface beat me to it...
 
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Highback

Member
Lol Ye very true the 350$ does sting And was not trying to say anybody was wrong I apologize if it came off that way as I am sure you are more experienced then myself to the hobby I figured a 220g would of bin sufficient to keep them at there different levels of the aquarium until I could build a bigger one. As for the arowana being easy to swallow I never looked at it that way that is something that has definitely changed my view
 

Feohw

Member
Welcome to Fishlore, and sorry about your fish. I would have expected something like this to happen if you were purposely feeding him enough to ensure slow growth. They are fast growers and eat lots. I wouldn't ever try to keep one, the tank would have to be really big, especially for tank mates. How big is your tank out of interest?
 
  • Thread Starter

Highback

Member
The tank is 220g and it is just strange because I have smaller fish in tank that have not even bin bothered
 

jinjerJOSH22

Member
Highback said:
The tank is 220g and it is just strange because I have smaller fish in tank that have not even bin bothered
I think the Cat just has good taste

Seriously sucks though, an expensive lesson.
 

86 ssinit

Member
They have not been bothered YET!! Also that arowana just floating on top of the tank all day made a very easy target. The other fish are moving around your decor so they were not the easiest target. But yes they are on the menu. Red tail catfish should not even be sold. Did you buy both fish at the same place?
 
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Highback

Member
yes both from same place and yes very expensive lesson
 

coralbandit

Member
A good LFS would not have sold both to you ..I would watch your stocking if you can't get better advice ..
Sounds like you lost money and they made money on their bad advice ? 220 is no place for a red tail or arrow IMO ..
Sorry you are learning the hard way ..Who else share the tank with the RTC?
Welcome ..
Research ,research, research ….
 

jmarcf

Member
Highback said:
The tank is 220g
Take the redtail back, 220g is WAAAAY to small for a redtail. For a fish that can get over 6 foot and grows fast. Maybe if you had a 3000g
 

FinalFins

Member
Yup. If you had a tank that is at least 20ft long i'd say that is ok.
 

jmarcf

Member
I almost made that mistake, I live in Australia so get different types of fish. I was looking for a brackish fish and had seen a bumblebee grouper for sale. I was about to buy one before checking its maximum size..... 8ft and 1000lbs lol just a small little guyead:

I don't think fish like redtails, groupers etc should be allowed for sale unless you prove that you have a 20ft tank etc
 
  • Thread Starter

Highback

Member
Thank you for all advice I definitely have some thinking to do I would hate to have to take red tail back but may be my only option now. The maximum size tank I could have in my home would be around 4-500 gallons
 

coralbandit

Member
Who else is in the 220 or your future planned tank ??
The RTC probably does not fit but that does not mean others won't work out if you help them out some ..
 

MissNoodle

Member
Highback said:
Thank you for all advice I definitely have some thinking to do I would hate to have to take red tail back but may be my only option now. The maximum size tank I could have in my home would be around 4-500 gallons
Yeah taking him back may be the best option for him
There's a lot of smaller catfish that could work way better in your tank out there
 
  • Thread Starter

Highback

Member
All fish are being moved around to different tanks tho after they grow a bit
 

coralbandit

Member
RTC will eat all but gouramI and pleco depending on size and how long he gets to size them up IMO...
He should go ..As mentioned there other interesting fish ..You have south american cichlids with a true monster fish ?? Thinking of a future for them is optimistic IMO with him in the same tank ..
 
  • Thread Starter

Highback

Member
I have made the decision to keep the red tail he is separated for now in his own 75gl and will be moving him to larger tanks as he grows I Was not planning on anything bigger then about 500 gallons in my home. But I guess It gives me and excuse to build a monster now woooohooo!!! Lol a large indoor pond or aquarium. I do not have the heart to return him and I did make the decision to purchase him. Will be looking for input on design and build I will post in its own thread once I get it going.
 

jmarcf

Member
Highback said:
I have made the decision to keep the red tail he is separated for now in his own 75gl and will be moving him to larger tanks as he grows I Was not planning on anything bigger then about 500 gallons in my home. But I guess It gives me and excuse to build a monster now woooohooo!!! Lol a large indoor pond or aquarium. I do not have the heart to return him and I did make the decision to purchase him. Will be looking for input on design and build I will post in its own thread once I get it going.
While I understand you like the little guy, I got taught a lesson when I did the same thing. I had some very small cichlids in a 3 ft tank thinking that I'll grow them out and get a bigger tank in the next couple of months. One month in, I fell off a ladder when helping someone out and destroyed my knee plus broke my leg. It took over a year before I got surgery and had to pay people and sometimes asked friends to do water changes.
 

Guy25

Member
Real sorry about this. Yea after I watched the King Of DIY's experience keeping his red tail, I settled to never get one...they just get way to big. If I recall correctly he eventually had a pond built for it or released it in a friends pond as their size is hard to adequately meet in a home aquarium.
 

coralbandit

Member
Highback said:
I have made the decision to keep the red tail he is separated for now in his own 75gl and will be moving him to larger tanks as he grows I Was not planning on anything bigger then about 500 gallons in my home. But I guess It gives me and excuse to build a monster now woooohooo!!! Lol a large indoor pond or aquarium. I do not have the heart to return him and I did make the decision to purchase him. Will be looking for input on design and build I will post in its own thread once I get it going.
So you build a way larger then planned tank for the red tail ..All that for one fish ??
We don't really think they get more friendly towards other fish when 3 feet long do we ??
1 huge tank for 1 mean fish ?? Not exactly how I enjoy my 1,000g plus of fish tanks but as long as you understand it is your choice to make ..
Understand the longer you keep it the harder and I mean harder it will be to re home ..
 
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Highback

Member
Yes it is not how I like my 1000g tanks either but there is no really other option if I return to store it is destined for death It was my first time at the store it will also be my last and nobody I know can accommodate such a fish. Also he is growing on me a bit even tho he ate my 350$ albino arowana which was my own fault.
 
  • Thread Starter

Highback

Member
I’m expecting about 1-2 feet in about 8 months to a year how far off am I ?
 

jjohnwm

Member
Realistically, whether or not you return it to the store the fish is destined for death; its fate was sealed the moment it became caught in the net in its native river. You state that you don't know anyone who can accommodate it...but neither can you. It's all well and good to plan on building a monster tank for it, but how big can you go? 500 gallons? 1000 gallons? A fish like this will be too large for even 1000 gallons within a couple or a few years. The normal progression is for a huge aquarium fish to live and grow well for awhile; as it gains size it overloads its environment with ammonia and other toxins which will cause a decline in its growth (stunting) and eventually stress and compromise its immune system sufficiently for some infection or other disease to finally kill it.

The old adage about a fish only growing as big as the tank allows is absolutely true...but that's because the fish simply dies an early death. The aquarist labours to change water in large quantities and can stave off this outcome for awhile, but eventually laziness or disillusionment or simply the impossibility of such water changes causes a glitch; the time between changes stretches out, the water quality deteriorates at an astronomical rate with such a massive bioload, and even water changes become stressful for the fish because of the constant abrupt seesawing of water parameters, from good to bad over and over again. A magnificent creature that should have a natural lifespan of dozens of years ends up dead within a small fraction of that time.

Please don't even suggest that you will create some high-tech filtration system which will alleviate these problems. Creating this for a tank with a normal bioload is probably doable; but a tank housing a single massive fish with a prodigious appetite, a mass measured in tens of pounds and a bioload to match? Forget it.

I'm not singling you out for special abuse here; I went through the "Monster Fish Mania" myself many years ago, and followed along as many friends and acquaintances did also. Merely big fish, like cichlids? Child's play! But Redtails or Arapaimas or Sturgeons or the other true monsters that continue to be irresponsibly sold (and, sadly, purchased) in the trade? A recipe for inevitable disaster.
 

jmarcf

Member
Highback said:
I’m expecting about 1-2 feet in about 8 months to a year how far off am I ?
Please don't think we are picking on you but just trying to give you some advise and warnings. Try contacting the fish rescue guy that you have in the States. I know you will lose the money but you will either way because the fish will die, the amount of work keeping up with maintenance will be crazy and imagine feeding something that size, would be expensive

Honestly I would contact that guy and get something like a puffer. Great personality and unique fish

Also a lot of people I know keep arowana and stingrays together.

At least you don't live in Australia. Arowana starts at $2500 ead:
 
  • Thread Starter

Highback

Member
no I don’t think any body picking on me I appreciate all advice everyone has given and you are 100% right about the expense and maintenance. I was going for an arowana and stingray tank to begin with but got side tracked by this monster.
 
  • Thread Starter

Highback

Member
I’ll try and post pictures during the weekend of the RTC and my other fish And if I have the time I’ll be setting up a 120G so I’ll post pics of that as well
 

chromedome52

Member
The large tank at the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C., had Red Tail Cats, Arapaima, and several Pacus. The aquarium at the Milwaukee Zoo had RTC, many Oscars, Amazonian Turtles, 3+ ft. Pacus, and regular Arowanas. I believe they were 15-20 thousand gallons each. The one in Milwaukee was deeper than most swimming pools.

I did see a person who kept a large Tiretrack Eel with his RTC. He said the cat tried to eat it once, spit it out and never even touched it again. Mastacembalids apparently have a very bad taste.
 

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