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excal88 03-31-2012 02:07 PM

Any tips on Raphael Catfish?
 
Hey guys, I was looking into getting a raphael catfish, and after reading the fish profile and websites, I was wondering if anyone could give personal experience on this cool looking catfish. My planned tank is my old 26 gallon long, which I am in the process of cleaning it out. Substrate is a fine white sand, filter wise a eheim 2017 canister filter. Planning to have lots of aquatic plants attached to driftwood, and going to attempt to make caves and what not out of pieces of shale and what not.

I was wondering on what would be good tank mates for the catfish, and if I could have more than 1 in the tank. I know the general rule is nothing small enough to fit in its mouth. I was wondering if a group of 3 angels would be good tank mates for the raphael, as both have similar water preferences, and water temperatures as well. Also, the angels would stay near the top, while the catfish would roam around the bottom. At least, that's what I think.

Anyways, that's the idea, so any tips and advice would be awesome! Thanks in advance guys :D

Philnominal 03-31-2012 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by excal88 (Post 1031195)
Hey guys, I was looking into getting a raphael catfish, and after reading the fish profile and websites, I was wondering if anyone could give personal experience on this cool looking catfish. My planned tank is my old 26 gallon long, which I am in the process of cleaning it out. Substrate is a fine white sand, filter wise a eheim 2017 canister filter. Planning to have lots of aquatic plants attached to driftwood, and going to attempt to make caves and what not out of pieces of shale and what not.

I was wondering on what would be good tank mates for the catfish, and if I could have more than 1 in the tank. I know the general rule is nothing small enough to fit in its mouth. I was wondering if a group of 3 angels would be good tank mates for the raphael, as both have similar water preferences, and water temperatures as well. Also, the angels would stay near the top, while the catfish would roam around the bottom. At least, that's what I think.

Anyways, that's the idea, so any tips and advice would be awesome! Thanks in advance guys :D

What are the dimensions of the tank? There are two types of common raphael catfish to my knowledge. One being the spotted the other being the striped. Striped absolutely get to big for a 26 gallon tank. They can get 10 inches long if i remember right. I myself have a 5-6 inch spotted in my 29 gallon and i question if it is big enough for him as it is. It is about the bare minimum. In order for a 26 gallon to have the length and width needed for a raphael it would not have the height needed for the angels and visa versa. Also 3 angels tends to be a bad idea. 1, a breeding pair or a school seems to be the general idea when it comes to these guys. a school would be 6+ and a minimum of a 55 gallon tank.

Raohaels if properly housed you will probably never see them. They like to hide from the light and only come out at pitch black. I got lucky (since my tank has super dim lighting atm) my raphael has picked the over hang of a peice of slate that backs up to the glass so i can readily see him anytime i go to my room (where the tank is). I would say a deff no on multiple raphaels. They are built like tanks and need room accordingly.

excal88 03-31-2012 11:17 PM

My 26 gallon is 36" long, 13" deep, and 18" or so tall. As of now I have 3 juvenile angel fish, so I have no idea if they are male/female, and thus can't tell if there will be any breeding pair just yet. I do have a 45 gallon tank, but don't have a stand for it *plus parents won't let me set something that big in my room, 2nd story* and its kind of tricky as it has a compartment to be hooked up to a sump, so normal stands are kind of a tough fit.

Regarding the raphael catfish, I've only seen striped raphael catfish in my area, and from what I read they average 5-6 inches, so that's why I was thinking of a striped one. I'll do more reading to see if they really do get 10" or longer. If they do then the 26 gallon is out of the picture for sure. How do you like your catfish? Does he have much of a personality, or spends most of his time hiding?

Philnominal 03-31-2012 11:51 PM

The dimensions would be perfect for a spotted raphael. You might want to hold off on stripped. Also these guys are extremely long lifed for fish. Mine is at least 12 years old. Probably closer to 15. (Girlfriends grandma gave him to me as she wanted to have guppys in the tank he was in.) I used to never see him, but I redid my tank and got rid of a fake log cave he was always in. (added more then enough hiding spots to make up for it) and he decided to chill under a peice of slate next to some glass. Never see him moving, well almost never very rarely at night or if i remove his hide away while changing the tank around or something.

IME unless you do moon lighting and watch your tank at 2-3 am these guys are probably not a good fish to plan your tank around. Some people have better success with getting theirs out and about but thats when they feel extremely comfortable in their tank and a rarity.

Here are some pics of my bruiser.
http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/...l/2816b8de.jpg
http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/...l/70439700.jpg
http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/...l/7d10b0b9.jpg

I need a new light for my tank atm. (The only thing holding me back from planting it) and he still doesnt come out during the day.

http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/...l/737fb32d.jpg

excal88 04-01-2012 04:02 AM

Wow he looks pretty awesome! Are spotted raphaels hard to find? Or are they pretty common?

Philnominal 04-01-2012 07:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by excal88 (Post 1032009)
Wow he looks pretty awesome! Are spotted raphaels hard to find? Or are they pretty common?

I am not entirely sure. mine was given to me from someone who got him at least 12 years ago. Yes they do but you will rarely see them unless you are extremely lucky.

excal88 04-03-2012 12:48 AM

Well, some good news. One of my LFS has a few in stock, so I'll probably be heading on over to pick one up. One question, from what I've been reading on spotted raphaels, they're saying that you should keep a group of them together for a more natural environment for them. Is this true? I've even read that some people kept 3-4 in a 30 gallon tank; granted they were not full size yet, but that surprised me a bit. 1 should be enough, right?

Philnominal 04-03-2012 11:00 AM

That I am not sure about. Mine was already 12 years old when I got him and been living alone all his life. You might see it more if it is in a group though I am not sure if your tank would support a group. Considering it is a 36 inch tank assuming you have enough hides it probably would be enough for like 3 assuming you have nothing else on the bottom.

excal88 04-03-2012 10:04 PM

Well, I bought 3 spotted raphael catfish today at my LFS! I got 3 really small ones, they're a little over 1.5" on average. I don't know why, but as soon as I put them in they've been swimming around and being very active in general. I did make some caves/covered areas out of slate and driftwood, but it seems that they're more content with exploring their new home right now. I'll probably toss in 2 pieces of large diameter PVC piping for them as well, just in case as soon as I buy some. Right now they're just swimming up and down, so it's pretty cool. They have a beautiful spotted underbelly, and they look pretty awesome! I'll be putting in my canister filter in a few days when I have more time, but I'll be adding in y-dividers to lessen the flow-rate so it'll still be relatively calm. I have a mature sponge filter in there already, so that'll be their source of O2 and provide some extra biological filter. Uploading a video atm!

I also got a moonlight fluorescent bulb; the people at my LFS said any blue color would be fine. Is this true?

excal88 04-03-2012 10:33 PM

Here's 2 videos, one in normal daylight and the other is with my moonlight on. Sorry in advance if its kind of disorientating. I was doing my best to keep the lil buggers on camera, but they were moving around quite a bit.





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