Animal Stories - Spotted Raphael Catfish


Animal-World Information about: Spotted Raphael Catfish

The Spotted Raphael Catfish makes a croaking or clicking noise when you take it out of the aquarium!
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Jeff McKee - 2015-08-20
Bought a 1.75' Platydoras armatulus that was a contaminant in a shipment of regular spotted rafael cats back in 1991. As of today , it is now 8' and still going strong.

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Simone Konieczny - 2013-02-16
My Spotted Raphael Catfish are, as of October 2012, 27 years old. The next one is 24 and the youngest one is now 19 years old. I find most web sites say 'your lucky if they live past 7 years'. Apparently that cannot be normal except if the fish aren't well looked after. I got all 3 fish from different sources at less than one inch in size so it cannot just be a fluke that mine are the ages they are. If anyone else has the same breed and older than 20 years (the fish), I'd love to hear about them. Thanks. Simone­čÉč

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-02-16
    Wow, those are really long-lived fish! I don't have any personal experience keeping them, but I would like to hear if anyone else has had a similar experience.
  • Riley Krout - 2013-09-02
    I have one in my 5 Gallon Grow out tank, it`s like 1.9-2 inchs. He wont leave the rocks... I`ve only seen him out once one night. I have a question though, can someone tell me how to get it active?
  • Clarice Brough - 2013-09-02
    Those are some long lived catfish Simone. We have an upside down cat that has been living with a peacock eel for about 17 years, so it must be if they're well kept, they live long. And Riley, these guys are nocturnal, so nighttime activity is what they mostly do. Maybe get a red bulb (from the reptile section of a pet store) to watch your tank at night.
  • Geoff - 2013-09-12
    I purschased my spotted catfish in 1994 - and he is still going strong!
  • Gary Wolz - 2013-12-15
    My husband has a spotted cat that is 23 years old. He moved across town with us in the aquarium in about an inch of water 22 years ago. Cloaking the whole time. He is now as round as he is long. He has outgrown his hiding place several times over the years and my husband has to rearrange the rocks to fit him. People don't believe us when we tell them he is older than our daughter.
  • Jade Rose - 2013-12-23
    Hello, we have a catfish, spotted Raphael, she's around 34 years old, my dad has had her since he was a young teen, she hardly comes out of her log, unless its for food,  she's around 5-6 inches long and around 2inches or so wide
  • Tony - 2014-06-29
    My Spotted Raphael Catfish is almost 19 years old now. His name is Clod because of the way he bubbles around. Just like everyone else has said, he really comes out of his cave. That is till today. I bought a few new fish to replace one's that live past their normal expectancy. One of those fish is a small pleco. Clod didn't seem happy when his cave was invaded and swam out to settle on top. To my amazement the pleco started cleaning Clod. When he was done and swam away Clod scurried right back into his cave.
  • Knife Fish Lover - 2014-10-24
    Riley,These are not active fish.But you might be able to by feeding him in the day.Hope this helps ;). Knife Fish Lover-
  • James King - 2015-01-16
    My white spotted Raphael is now 25 years old and is going strong. Still nocturnal except when feeding and then hides quickly. I am very glad to hear so many have them for more than 10 years. I thought it strange mine had done so well for so long til I found here that they live a long long time. When mine dies...if I live long enough I will update here. LOL One of these fish last a long time with decent food and water and hiding places.
  • Brent - 2015-01-17
    Our Raphael was one of our first catfish when we became interested in aquariums. It has survived electrocution, cold water hot water when all the other inhabitants didn't She is 25 years old and still going
  • aew - 2015-02-03
    I purchased a Spotted Raphael in October 1987. He/she is about 6' by 1.5' doing well. Always under cover, so viewing is rare. BTW. my AV program bells went off, this site has a problem !
  • Clarice Brough - 2015-02-03
    Sounds like a nice fish, and cool that yours has gotten so big. They generally only get to 5.9 inches, so its nice to hear it reported when someone has a fish that sets a new size record. (It could be that your anti-virus is catching something from an ad server, as the site itself is secure, but I'll let the webmaster know, thanks)
  • Dan Mickelson - 2015-04-08
    I just reposted on my original comment and noticed yours. My spotted Raphael is now 27 years old as well. My first post was 9 years ago, when he was 18 years old. Amazing fish! He's outlived more than 50 fish in my tanks over the years.
  • Oliver - 2015-04-20
    I don't know an exact age for my Spotted Raphael but I think he's about 30 and still going strong.
  • Jeff McKee - 2015-08-20
    When I was working PT at a pet store , in a shipment of striped rafael cats (Platydoras costatus) were 2 that looked different. They were all of 1.75' at the time. Bought one and found out it was Platydoras armThat was in 1991. Still alive and doing just fine , now close to 8'.
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Anonymous - 2015-01-16
Mine is 25 years old and going strong.

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Knife Fish Lover - 2014-10-24
Hey guys,Knife Fish Lover here ;).So,can u guys give me info on these catfish (i would really like to add them to my 55).

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  • tiger oscar - 2014-11-10
    look at the info at Pet Information: Spotted Raphael Catfish if you need info. : )
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K. Kowal (Kama Lethar) - 2007-08-24
The spotted raphael is quite nocturnal and likes to be left alone. He greatly voices this if you pick him up or net him for transport by raking armor plating along his underarm along the side of his body. Be careful when handling a raphael as they don't like the company quite the same as a banjo catfish. If they thrash in your hand they can hurt you via the points on their body armor or with use of the long...really long spike under each arm. The raphael can cram its body into seemingly impossibly small spaces. Once they're in place they puff up their large round belly to fill up the voids in the cavity. All a predator sees is a spotted black wall of spikes. This can also make it difficult to get them moved into a new tank. They will remain wedged in their spot even when pulled from the water so be careful when cleaning your tanks/caves/plastic-decor. Other than that...just about the coolest looking fish out there. I'll be investing in a moonlight fixture so I can see him more often. Finally, since the group move from a few 10 ga.s and a 20 ga. into a 55 ga. I've lost two fish to mysterious attack. A marthae marbled hatchet (belly ripped out) and a rummynose (decapitated). These appear to be ambush attacks. I'm still working on the appropriate volume of food for this new 55 ga. so whomsoever (probably Raph) killed them did so out of hunger. Just keep them well fed and make sure they get their own food by feeding a little extra after the lights go out.

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  • Knife Fish Lover - 2014-10-24
    Yes these fish can be predatory ( my spotted raphael is going to be the smallest fish in my 55 gallon long with 6 dojo loaches,1 pleco and 2 african brown knife fish).And about the spine thing... I will have to be careful of that (my favorite method of catching fish is to stick my hand into the bag and picking them up)Oh and about my banjo cat... he LOVES to be picked up and interacted with.Overall the Raphael cats are a LOT like banjo cats. Knife Fish Lover-
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Candy - 2009-06-05
I had a similar experience as Freddie - My husband and I were moving and I cleaned out the fish tank and put all of my fish into a huge tote to transport them to our new house. I had a pyramid in my tank at the time and I forgot about my spotted (I never saw him eat EVER and I would only see him if i had the tank light off - he would come out of hiding.) I put all of my decorations into a garbage bag and my grandparents drve everything to my new house in their van. I started setting up the tank and had it filled aobut half way and I was cleaning off the plants a bit. I moved my plants and in the bottom of the bag was my spotted! I panicked a little bit but he had enough water in the bottom of the bag he survived and is at his 3rd home now! (I moved across the country and had to leave my fish with my parents) LOL! It was a crazy story I had to share!

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  • Anonymous - 2014-02-05
    That's awesome
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Don - 2003-11-09
The Spotted Raphael is one of the heartiest fish I have ever owned next to my cichlids ( jack dempseys).. in the sense of survival.. other than that very friendly... gets along fine with two fiddler crabs they mind one anothers business... and not picky when it comes to finding food... good strong fish for a community... ( bit of a cave dweller )

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  • Kathy Keegan - 2013-11-13
    I had raphaels for years. I can remember having a real monster tank, 5 oscars, an armatus spiny eel, at least 2 feet long, a clown knife, about 14 inches, an 18 inch black ghost, 2 6 inch striped raphaels, 2 5 inch spotted raphaels, a 12 inch tiger shovelnose catfish, a couple of 10 inch plecos, 5 spotted silver dollars, and, for some reason, 1 5 inch swordtail female that managed to survive by being so mean nothing went near her. She was supposed to be a feeder, but even the shovelnose was scared of her, and that is saying something. Everything in a 110 gallon with rockwork for everything to dodge around when the occasional argument broke out. The raphaels came out at night and at feeding time. I fed feeders, algae tablets, meat tablets and scalded spinach. I grew the oscars from 1 inch size to 2 breeder 10 inch pairs and a 12 inch single. I actually found that armatus eel at a Woolworth store. He was about 5 inches at the time, really just a baby. He would come up and rub against a finger by the time he got big.
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Brittany - 2013-03-06
I have had my Rapheal catfish for two years now and I am still bewildered to why he likes to swim the tank upside down and not right side up. Can anyone tell me why he prefers to swim upside down?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-03-06
    That is pretty common for them to do.  Many swim sideways, upside down and of course right side up.
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tom - 2012-08-05
i just bought my spotted catfish and for two weeks hes been hiding. ive read that is normal...i would just like to see what i paid for. thanks for all the imfo from everyone it really helps!

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  • Anonymous - 2012-08-05
    I've had a similar experience with an upside-down catfish, he always hides under a log during the day but comes out at night. Night lights, like moon lights for reef aquariums work well to see him but you have to do it after the regular lights are out.
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Key Monroe - 2012-06-19
Does any body know where I can get a good sorce of live food for my Raphael?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-06-20
    Pet shop normally, but make sure to quaranteen any feeder fish for atleast 7 days.
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