Striped Raphael catfish

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Phantom created the topic: Striped Raphael catfish

So I know a few people on the site have had success keeping striped raphaels and oscars together. They look really cool and full grown seem like just the right size to be tank mates for a full grown oscar. I've been thinking about getting a couple of these cats instead of another cichlid to avoid aggression issues, but I have a few questions:

My Oscar is now past the 9 inch mark and can open his mouth pretty wide so I'm thinking of just going out and buying a small 20 gallon tank to grow the 2 cats fat enough not to be eaten. This a good idea?

The substrate in my Oscar's 90g is gravel the size of peas and smaller, as well as some sand mixed in. Will the cats be ok in this or should I just switch to sand?

If I got these cats as juvies/babies, how fast do they grow on a good diet? If I have to keep the cats in the 20g for years before I can put them in the 90g I may have to rethink this whole idea :laugh:
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jnet replied the topic: Re: Striped Raphael catfish

ok rafs grow real slow and take a full year to get cosy in their tank you will need driftwood for them but sand or gravel is just fine. They like hiding so as long as you dont mind a fish you rarely see they are great fish. They grow slow so if you can get a bigger one thats great but they will tell your oscar where to go if they try and eat them. They love dead leafs aswell, and eat everything.

I would say get the smaller tank, if you want small rafs but expect to have tank setup for a year of more and then add one they are about 3 to 4 inches. You dont want to overfeed these fish however as they get fat and then die, it takes time but they are amazing creatures.

here is my spotty one he is just over a year old now I think



and my striped April old tank


and in new tank


one of my rafs is 19years and the other around 10years

I'm living my life, but not necessarily in the right order :)

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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Striped Raphael catfish

Mine have grown at about a cm a month, that's half an inch. I think this is fairly quick, for these catfish, but this is in with an oscar, I'm sure with lots of water changes they will grow even better. They aren't the fastest growers, but they go the distance, 20 years or so.

Substrate should be fine, they like to bury themselves in whatever they can find - sand works, mine buries into leaves. Have a large, dark, secluded hidey hole for each fishy, once they get to three inches they don't like to share so much anymore.

There are instances of these guys eating themselves to death, so go cautiously with food.

Also, they really do hide. I have a fairly outgoing one - Lazarus - out at every meal time. I have a more mediumly-outgoing one - Nutella - that I most nights before the tank lights are off. But I also have a shy one - The Butcher - him I only see if I'm still up at three in the morning, and happen to be watching the tank. All three are growing well, though :)

I find them immensly charming. I love their spiky bodies, and their stripeyness. I really like how they swim (like mermaids, I think. My husband thinks it's a bit more like tadpoles (or the other thing that looks like a tadpole)), and how they eat until their bellies are completely rotund, then sleep in the nearest cranny. I like playing 'find the catfish', because it's pretty amazing how well they hide. I like how they crawl all over my oscar at night, who lies perfectly still and lets them - they 'clean' off parasites (there aren't any, hence the quotation marks).
They also eat my oscar's poop :sick: This doesn't 'clean' the tank, it just recycles poop into smaller poop. But, it does mean fewer giant oscar poops lying around.

Last, but not least, here's my latest picture of one of my catfishies (this one is named Nutella):

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jnet replied the topic: Re: Striped Raphael catfish

they are cute :) I love mine to bits and would have more if I could find them :)

I'm living my life, but not necessarily in the right order :)

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Phantom replied the topic: Re: Striped Raphael catfish

Do the Raphaels need genuine driftwood or is fake okay? Do they need to rasp on it like bristlenoses? I don't really want to mess with my water since my KH is only 60-70 here.
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Striped Raphael catfish

fake is just fine, they just need to hide. Pretty much any hidey hole will do. If you build them lego houses that will work as well :)

(please build them lego houses?)

oh, and they primarily eat everything. Lol :) So some sinking food soon after lights out should do them nicely.
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Phantom replied the topic: Re: Striped Raphael catfish

Lol, I'll see what I can do Nina. I'll definately need to get some more hidey holes though, if I do get Raphaels.

I don't know 100% if I want to get these guys yet but they look really, really cool and with their lifespans they will grow old with my oscar.
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jnet replied the topic: Re: Striped Raphael catfish

yea sinking pellets are fine they just like to hide and Ive found wood and dead leaves to be best but drain pipe or tunnel will do.

they do like their homes to stay the same aswell lots of moving around in the tank seems to trouble them or atleast it annoys mine. And they are tricky to catch and the growl at you. They are pretty tough little things.

Nina have you heard them growl its funny :)

I'm living my life, but not necessarily in the right order :)

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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: Striped Raphael catfish

not yet, no, but we're moving at the end of the month, so I'm expecting to hear it then.

Another advantage of catfish is that they usually are a way of avoiding cichlid aggression issues.
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jnet replied the topic: Re: Striped Raphael catfish

when you move them dont use net lol use a jug to catch them in and have fun your going to get wet :)

you finally found somewhere to move to then thats good Im guessing quite stressful aswell?

I'm living my life, but not necessarily in the right order :)

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