Spotted/Striped Raphael Questions!

All posts regarding the care and breeding of these catfishes from South America.
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Mercfh
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Spotted/Striped Raphael Questions!

Post by Mercfh »

hello! New member to the forum. I love catfishes so this is the place to be.

Anyways I purchased a spotted raphael catfish for my 55g new aquarium. I did have a few questions regarding care since information is all over the place.

1. My Water parameters are a bit on the high ph/hard side (200ppm hardness, 5degrees kh, 7.8 pH). I purchased him from my LFS who has similar water and has no issues keeping tons of fish. Are they ok typically with stable parameters but on the high/hard side?
2. Right now I keep water at 75f...is that ok?
3. Do you think he is safe with kuhli loaches? I know they will eat smaller things like tetras but I figure maybe kuhli's are too long?
4. Is a 55 gallon enough? I saw it was the "minimum" but others say 30g is fine. Is this just for 1? What about more than 1? (IE: are they territorial if they are males similar to plecos?)
5. Any particular food yall like to feed them? I've been doing hikari sinking pellets and algae wafers (rotating schedule) or are they pretty not picky?

Thanks!
OregonOutdoorsChris
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Re: Spotted/Striped Raphael Questions!

Post by OregonOutdoorsChris »

1. They prefer softer water, but they appear to be rather robust, with one of the raphaels I rescued was living ~15years in what was tantamount to brackish water (tank was heavily encrusted with salt scale), and it acclimated to my more neutral water with no hint of an issue. So your parameters are likely to be more than adequate.
2. 75F would be fantastic
3. I would anticipate that the kuhlis will become snacks at some point, they're pretty much the perfect shape and size for slurping.
4. I have four in a 72gal bow front (foot print between a 75 and 55) so 55gal should be more than fine for one. I would ensure there's plenty of open bottom space it to cruise around. For multiples, just make sure there are plenty of hides for them. Mine aren't particularly territorial, but they also aren't what I'd call particularly friendly with each other either.
5. Mine aren't too picky and get what ever sinking pellets I have on hand, Fluval Bug Bites, Northfin Bug Crisps, stuff of that nature.
Mercfh
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Re: Spotted/Striped Raphael Questions!

Post by Mercfh »

Thanks.
I was wondering if it would be possible to fit 2 in a 55g (A spotted and a striped) provided there are plenty of hiding places. I did notice they had slightly different temp ranges (68-78 and then 73-86) so i figure 76 is a good "In the middle"?

I have multiple hiding areas for them. Also if kuhli loaches aren't a good idea what are some good tank mates? Maybe Corys?

Do your catfish hurt each other? or just tussle like plecos do sometimes?
OregonOutdoorsChris
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Re: Spotted/Striped Raphael Questions!

Post by OregonOutdoorsChris »

I would think two should be fine together in a 55gal. Mine never cause any harm to each other, at most the occasional tail slap or head butt seems to be all that's needed for the bigger fish to tell the little fish to move.

I think corys are a fantastic tank mate! Since corys don't use hides, there's minimal conflict. The only thing I've seen is that corys have no sense of personal space, and again a tail slap or head butt is all that the much bigger raphael ever needs to do to resolve the issue. The caveat of course is that you have the normal sized cory variety (paleatus, aeneus, sterbia, etc..) and avoid the dwarf species (habrosus, hastatus, pygmaeus, etc...), otherwise there's the risk of the small species becoming snacks.
Mercfh
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Re: Spotted/Striped Raphael Questions!

Post by Mercfh »

Thanks. I did notice my spotted raphael is really......fat? (He came from the store that way). He's pooping and acting normal but I did read that obesity is a problem with them?

Any other good tankmate suggestions? I figure a pleco or two might be fine as long as I have hiding spots.
OregonOutdoorsChris
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Re: Spotted/Striped Raphael Questions!

Post by OregonOutdoorsChris »

Yeah, they're normally chubby and also prone to over eating. I've always got the worry in the back of my mind that this might mask the early stages of bloating, but I've been fortunate to not have to deal with that yet.

As far as other good tank makes, the list really is endless. If it doesn't fit in their mouth and either doesn't compete for hiding spots or can handle snuggling with an armored catfish, then it's likely to work.

While I haven't kept any plecos so I can't comment on that. I keep mine with redeye tetras (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae) as a dither fish, though not sure if they are doing any good as dithers, but any other medium/large tetras or rasboras should be fine. In the past I've had them with corys and pictus cats without issue as well.
Mercfh
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Re: Spotted/Striped Raphael Questions!

Post by Mercfh »

I do worry because I worried about them eating, I try to drop in a decent amount at night before I go to bed but the spotted I really never see. They are both pretty fat however so they must be eating SOMETHING
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fishguy1978
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Re: Spotted/Striped Raphael Questions!

Post by fishguy1978 »

I keep 5 striped (2f/3m) and 3 spotted (1f/2m) together in a 260g tank with multiple bamboo hides. I think they are more willing to share hides when they are small or juvenile but less so as adults. They are not fussy about water parameters as long as it's clean. Same with food, if it fits in the mouth and makes them poop they are happy. Now, they probably wouldn't mind having a side of something elegant once in a while.
I would recommend a different tank for the khooli loaches.
2 raphaels in a 55g should be fine.
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Bas Pels
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Re: Spotted/Striped Raphael Questions!

Post by Bas Pels »

It is a long while, between 1997 and 1999, but I had 3 Platydoras combined with a lot of platyfish, all males. One day all the platys were gone. Eaten. 30 or more

Platydoras can eat fish, but it can take a while before the realize it is possible. As they like to eat too much, the whole shoal can disappear in one night - so be carefull with small dithers.
cats have whiskers
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