Phractocephalus: Greek, phraktos = fence + Greek, kephale = head
There is an ethical consideration to think about before purchasing one of these fish as a very young juvenile at around 3" long, and that is. What happens when the fish grows?
Feed on fish, large inverts, and vegetable matter. Very small individuals will probably accept dried food such as flake or pellets but as the fish grows these items will no longer sustain it.
An aggressive and territorial species which won't get along with others of its own species but other fish which are to large to eat i.e. bigger than the red-tailed catfish itself will probably be ignored. Ideally Phractocephalus hemioliopterus should be housed alone or with larger fish.
Not really known, from the one reported spawning the female was larger and more brightly coloured than the male.
There is just one spawning reported from an hobbyist but the eggs failed to hatch. The eggs were quite large at 6mm and were copper coloured. The fish has been bred commercially through the use of hormones for use as food fish.
Red-tailed catfish have not been evaluated by the IUCN Redlist, it isn't even on their list. But it has been introduced in to several locations beyond its natural range and as mentioned it is bred commercially as a food fish so any local threats are unlikely to have much effect on the population overall.
Red-tailed catfish are scaleless and like other scaleless fish they will react badly to most aquarium remedies and the use of these remedies may even prove fatal to them.
pH: 5.5 - 6.8
dGH: 4 - 12
Temperature: 22 - 28°C (72 - 82°F)
Size: 134cm (53.5in)
Min tank size: Public aquaria.
Difficulty level: Do not keep.
Aquarium type: Species
Swimming level: Bottom
Origin: S America, Amazon and Orinoco River basins
Habitat: Fresh water only. Rapids to flooded forest, usually in deep pools.
Species: P. hemioliopterus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Other common names: