Pangasius catfish... odd behavior
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Old 03-08-2005, 01:43 AM   #1
Cheeseybacon
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Pangasius catfish... odd behavior


Who here is familair with the behavior of the Pangasius catfish (Pangasius sutchi)? I bought one about 2 weeks ago and I think it's been acting really weird. It is VERY lethargic and just lays on the bottom in the same position for hours and hours at a time. What worries me most is the fact that as it lays there, it's kinda laying somewhat crooked, like it's dying and on it's way out. The only time it will move is if another fish comes along and pokes at it; then it will immediately comes to life for a moment or two, zipping all over the tank like a bat out of hell. It hasn't eaten at all since I got it either. I have been told it is a schooling fish and is happiest in groups, but would that explain it's odd behavior? It started this behavior immediately after I bought it, and I figured it wouldn't make it, but it's been almost two weeks now and the thing is still going, so I dunno. What do you guys think? Is this behavior typical for a Pangasius? Didn't seem like it was when I bought it from the fish store.
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:40 AM   #2
Gill Man
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Your small Pangasius hypopthalymus, as it is now called, is probably preying on small fishes which is why it may not appear hungry and lethargic. See:

http://fish.mongabay.com/species/Pan...opthalmus.html

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Older Shark Catfish lose their teeth and thus will not harm even small tank mates. An albino variation has been developed in Bangkok and is now widely distributed.
Young fish are hardy and live foods on a regular basis. Adults become very large and must be kept in a large tank. They are vegetarians.
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gill Man
Your small Pangasius hypopthalymus, as it is now called, is probably preying on small fishes which is why it may not appear hungry and lethargic. See:

http://fish.mongabay.com/species/Pan...opthalmus.html
Huh? It is preying on fish and so it doesn't appear lethargic or hungry? I thought he said it WAS lethargic.
In my opinion there has to be something wrong with it, be it water conditions or disease. The pangasius catfish that I have had are fairly active schooling fish and at the slightest surprise will SHOOT into the glass of the tank and knock themselves in the head. It is for that reason I stopped keeping them, even before I realized that they grow to 3' long!
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Old 03-14-2005, 05:16 AM   #4
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Okay, I'm really beginning to hate this fish and I regret getting it. This evening when I came in I immediately noticed an irratic, yet quite audiable clicking/tapping noise coming from my tank. I looked the tank, only to find my Pangasius trapped in my C02 difuser. The stupid thing must have spazzed out and in it's panic decided to fly head on into the side of the C02 ladder and lodge itself. The clicking noises was the repeated smacking of it's head against the glass and the ladder. Now it's head is all bashed up.

I really wish I knew what the deal is with this fish. It has acted like it was dying from the moment I got it, but it proves very much alive when provoked, and has surivived almost a month now. It's really annoying have a fish that bounces around like it's dying, but won't actually die.
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Old 03-15-2005, 05:01 PM   #5
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I loved the look of the pangassius catfish and was hoping to keep a small school of them. Unfortunately, even if they didn't get huge, their behavior is more than slightly annoying. The slightest abrupt movement, including walking to or away from the fish tank, will provoke a high speed headbut into the glass by most every p. catfish in the tank.
There is an african river catfish which looks very similar to the p. catfish, but which stays small and most likely isn't as nuts. I can't remember the exact name off the top of my head, but you might want to look into that as a possible replacement for that annoying ass fish you have.
I have had p. catfish skip off the glass on top of the tank and knock themselves out with nothing more than me getting up to walk away from the tank. I won't buy another one.
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Old 04-06-2005, 03:29 PM   #6
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Wow, I need to watch my tank more often after the lights go out. I was thinking of giving my pangassius the axe a while ago when it was acting like it was dying, but man oh man, I never had any idea how crazy active this thing is when the lights go off. I believe Gill man was dead on correct... it's actually killing some of my smaller neons now! It's crazy! I actually watched it swim into a group of neons, bite a neon right in the dorsal fin and proceed to rip around the tank with the neon in tow. Needless to say I really need to get my 55-gallon up and running ASAP.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:54 PM   #7
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I know this is a very old thread, but had to sign up just to reply on this.

You can *not* keep less than 3 pangasius catfish in a tank. You must have at the very *least* a 29 gallon to keep the young ones in. Optimally a 75 gallon would be best. Since they are so jumpy I would recommend putting the lights on a timer. Put a small watt one up top next to the larger one and time it to turn on 5-10min before the main light. A smaller light is like having a nightlight to get used to until you get blasted with the full wattage. This way they wont freak out when the main light comes on.

They are predators so keeping them with equal temperment fish is best. Angels, gouramis, etc.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:33 AM   #8
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um...whoah.

http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.u...m.php?news=661

they get large indeed - a whopping 9 feet
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:01 AM   #9
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That's a related species, though these still get very large. Anyone who's serious about keeping either of these species, I suggest freeing up some room in your basement, and putting in an above ground pool. They can be found for cheap at Wal-Mart, etc. especially after the summer season...and at 12-16 feet across, provides plenty of space for them, and perhaps some other large fish, if you feel so inclined. Angels and gouramis are fine for a while, but as adults, should be kept with larger fish, like oscars, clown knives, giant gouramis, and other large catfish.

A filter for this setup can be made pond-style out of a pump, and a garbage can elevated on some cinder blocks, full of bio-balls with a top coating of filter foam.

And if anyone's curious, that small, African Pangasius look-alike is the Debauwi catfish, Pareutropius debauwi.
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:21 PM   #10
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The actual Pangasius that you find in the pet stores and such only gets 10-12(or is it 18 inches? It's been a while since I've been in the hobby) inches long. As they get bigger then tend to constantly bonk their heads against the side of the aquarium causing their eyes to become larger. It's absolute cruelty.

dravenxavier is correct they're best kept in large pools. There's a guy here in Indiana who has two large pools in his small basement. They're awesome and well kept. He uses pond liners, cinder blocks, and wood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by requiem View Post
um...whoah.

http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.u...m.php?news=661

they get large indeed - a whopping 9 feet
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:18 PM   #11
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I'd say at least 18". I've had a few come to me at nearly 24", and I'm sure they'd have been larger if they'd been housed in larger accommodations.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:48 AM   #12
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You guys are way undershooting.

The species commonly available in the trade get a minimum of four feet.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:47 AM   #13
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Yep, you got it.
http://www.planetcatfish.com/catelog...species_id=172
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:22 PM   #14
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In my opinion the fish that is the most tortured in the aquarium trade. Forget goldfish, this thing gets 2-3x the size and is hyperactive to boot. Fortunatly they tend to smash themselves to death shortly before/after stunting.
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