Questions about Rita sp.

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Xeno
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Questions about Rita sp.

Post by Xeno »

Hey,
currently there are quite a bunch of imports of Rita catfish to Germany.
They all are labelled as Rita rita.
From the info I gathered identifying juvenile specimen is not the easiest plus there's confusion about what size they actually do reach in home aquariums.
A peer of mine has one that didn't grow past 16in, he now got three more from Aquarium Glaser hoping they'd grow past 2ft.
This is a specimen from Aquarium Dietzenbach another wholesaler in Germany:
VideoCapture_20240108-015136.jpg
Any info and especially experience with keeping these fish longterm would be highly appreciated!
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Shovelnose
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Re: Questions about Rita sp.

Post by Shovelnose »

This is , I got a few at this size (2 - 2.5 inches) last year to try and grow them out. They eat anything, grow slow, hide most of the time and are a little aggressive to each other. These days, I see them only occasionally (feeding time) and sometimes don't seen them for long periods of time. Size wise, the largest I have personally seen was a pair of 10 inch specimens from north east India, looked MASSIVE! However, seeing how large can get, I think R. rita will grow a lot larger than what is seen/known currently.

They do have a bad rep for attacking and/or eating tankmates irrespective of size. I have only kept them in species only tanks so I cant' really comment on this. I had a larger one (6-7 inches) one a few years ago that was a little mad. It was in a bare bottom tank with a large piece of PVC pipe for it to hide and the fish used to attack and throw around the pipe all the time.
Balaji

Vicar: It's about this letter you sent me regarding my insurance claim.
Devious: Oh, yeah, well, you see, it's just that we're not, as yet, totally satisfied with the grounds of your claim.
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Xeno
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Re: Questions about Rita sp.

Post by Xeno »

Hey,
Thanks for your reply!
How come we don't see any large specimen in the hobby?
Are they rarely exported from Asia?
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Shovelnose
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Re: Questions about Rita sp.

Post by Shovelnose »

These are currently exported out of the state of West Bengal in India. I think demand plays a key role in the collection of larger specimens in addition to difficulties in maintaining these fish at the collector's/trader's end until they are shipped. A collector I spoke to was hesitant to collect larger specimens for the same reasons. There is also more demand for the albino variant of this species than the regular ones.
Balaji

Vicar: It's about this letter you sent me regarding my insurance claim.
Devious: Oh, yeah, well, you see, it's just that we're not, as yet, totally satisfied with the grounds of your claim.
Vicar: But it says something about filling my mouth in with cement.
Devious: Oh well, that's just insurance jargon, you know.
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Silurus
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Re: Questions about Rita sp.

Post by Silurus »

Given the length and thickness of the fin spines in large individuals, I would imagine these would be a nightmare to ship.
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Shovelnose
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Re: Questions about Rita sp.

Post by Shovelnose »

Absolutely true HH, I had a rather unpleasant experience carrying the first R.gogra I kept. I was on a train on the way back from a trip with a large sized, triple bagged R.gogra that proceeded to go through all three bags and practically flood my train compartment. That one experience dealing with less than amused co-passengers and the guard led me to start using plastic jars to transport these fish thereafter.
Balaji

Vicar: It's about this letter you sent me regarding my insurance claim.
Devious: Oh, yeah, well, you see, it's just that we're not, as yet, totally satisfied with the grounds of your claim.
Vicar: But it says something about filling my mouth in with cement.
Devious: Oh well, that's just insurance jargon, you know.
Viktor Jarikov
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Re: Questions about Rita sp.

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Glad to see you followed through, Xeno. I am learning here too. 16" is the biggest rita in captivity I've heard of. As Balaji, I've never seen one in captivity break a foot but then they are very, very exceedingly seldom kept and moreover almost never kept long term.

BTW lovely signature, Balaji! :)

On transporting spiny catfish, yes, hardwall vessels are the best, and I have seen them arrive (sent by professional shippers) with soft (airline-like?) tubing snug fit over their 3 spines to prevent bag puncture. The fins of course were torn away from the leading spine over the end 1-2 inches but it may be counted as a minor injury that should heal fast, justified by big savings on the shipping charge. IIRC it was a sizeable 1.5ft stormii catfish.
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Shovelnose
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Re: Questions about Rita sp.

Post by Shovelnose »

Viktor Jarikov wrote: 19 Jan 2024, 22:11 As Balaji, I've never seen one in captivity break a foot but then they are very, very exceedingly seldom kept and moreover almost never kept long term.
Hey Viktor, these were actually freshly collected and offered for sale, not aquarium specimens. I am not sure where they ended up, though. I don't recall seeing an aquarium specimen as big but like you said, this species (and genus) is hardly popular locally and there are very few keepers.
Viktor Jarikov wrote: 19 Jan 2024, 22:11 BTW lovely signature, Balaji! :)
:d
Balaji

Vicar: It's about this letter you sent me regarding my insurance claim.
Devious: Oh, yeah, well, you see, it's just that we're not, as yet, totally satisfied with the grounds of your claim.
Vicar: But it says something about filling my mouth in with cement.
Devious: Oh well, that's just insurance jargon, you know.
User avatar
Shovelnose
Posts: 1240
Joined: 03 Sep 2008, 09:49
My articles: 5
My images: 116
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My cats species list: 60 (i:0, k:0)
Spotted: 44
Location 1: Mumbai
Location 2: India

Re: Questions about Rita sp.

Post by Shovelnose »

WhatsApp Image 2024-05-08 at 15.15.57.jpeg
A few were collected recently (pic from collector) at this size and available for sale. This is among the largest R.rita I have seen.
Balaji

Vicar: It's about this letter you sent me regarding my insurance claim.
Devious: Oh, yeah, well, you see, it's just that we're not, as yet, totally satisfied with the grounds of your claim.
Vicar: But it says something about filling my mouth in with cement.
Devious: Oh well, that's just insurance jargon, you know.
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