Tiger Sorubim (Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum): All You Need to Know

front facing predatory tiger sorubim
Dr. Mollie Newton
Published by Dr. Mollie Newton PHD| Senior Editor
Last updated: July 20, 2024
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The tiger sorubim, a prized freshwater fish, gets lots of love from aquarium fans worldwide for its *unique look* and *big size*. Its fame has skyrocketed thanks to its *cool patterns* and *bright colors*. Dive into the secrets of this amazing fish and discover the best ways to keep them happy in your home tank. Start this adventure and see why the tiger sorubim is a top pick for fish lovers everywhere.

Article Summary

  • Tiger sorubim, a popular freshwater fish in the aquarium world, is known for its unique appearance and size.
  • Scientifically known as Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum, it belongs to the Pimelodidae family and is native to the Amazon River basin in South America.
  • Tiger sorubims can grow up to 48 inches and weigh over 60 pounds, making them fascinating for anglers and fish enthusiasts.

Species Overview

The tiger sorubim, scientifically known as Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum, belongs to the family Pimelodidae. Native to South America, specifically found in the Amazon River basin, these fish are highly sought after due to their unique coloration and predatory nature.

Size, Growth Rate, and Lifespan

Tiger sorubims can grow quite large, reaching lengths of up to 48 inches and weighing over 60 pounds. These impressive sizes make them a fascinating species for anglers and fish enthusiasts alike.

In terms of growth rate, tiger shovelnose sorubims or tiger shovelnose catfish exhibit relatively fast growth during their early years. However, as they mature, their growth rate slows down significantly. It’s important to note that factors such as diet and environmental conditions can influence their growth potential.

Tiger sorubims have been known to live for several decades in captivity when provided with proper care. In the wild, their lifespan may vary depending on various factors such as predation and habitat conditions.

Understanding the size, growth rate, and lifespan of tiger sorubims is crucial for those interested in keeping them as pets or studying them in an educational setting. By providing suitable living conditions and a balanced diet, individuals can help ensure the well-being and longevity of these magnificent creatures.

Habitat and Tank Conditions

Tiger sorubim, also known as a pseudoplatystoma species, are typically found in large rivers, lakes, and flooded areas with slow-moving or stagnant water. These impressive fish require a spacious aquarium of at least 200 gallons (757 liters) to accommodate their growth potential.

Amazon River
The Amazon River is home to the giant tiger sorubim.

Tank Set Up and Decor

To create an optimal environment for tiger sorubim, it is important to provide specific tank conditions. They thrive in soft acidic water with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5 and a temperature between 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C). Maintaining these parameters helps mimic their natural habitat and promotes their overall well-being.

In addition to water quality, providing ample hiding spots is essential for tiger sorubim. They enjoy having caves or driftwood where they can retreat and feel secure. These hiding spots not only serve as shelter but also stimulate natural behaviors.

When setting up the aquarium for tiger sorubim, consider incorporating live plants that can tolerate the preferred water conditions. This not only adds visual appeal but also aids in maintaining water quality by absorbing excess nutrients.

It is worth noting that tiger sorubim are predatory fish and may prey on smaller tankmates. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose suitable tank mates that won’t become a meal for these voracious hunters.

Creating an environment that closely resembles their natural habitat will help ensure the health and happiness of your tiger sorubim.

Tankmates and Temperament

Tiger sorubim, known for their aggressive nature, require ample space in the tank. They can become hostile towards smaller fish, even attacking and devouring those of similar size.

To ensure a harmonious tank environment, it is crucial to select suitable tankmates that can withstand their predatory behavior.

Compatible Tank Mates

When considering tankmates for tiger sorubim, it is advisable to opt for larger cichlids or catfish or other species that can coexist peacefully with them. Some compatible options include:

Redtail catfish: These large catfish are robust enough to hold their ground against the aggressive nature of tiger sorubim.

Oscars: Known for their territorial behavior, oscars can cohabitate well with tiger sorubim due to their similar size.

profile of tiger sorubim

Tank Mates to Avoid

It is essential to avoid keeping smaller fish as tankmates for tiger catfish, as they may end up becoming prey. Smaller fish are no match for the hunting instincts of these powerful predators. Therefore, it’s best to steer clear of introducing species such as tetras or guppies into the same catfish tank.

In addition to small fish, it’s also important to avoid keeping any non-fish species with the Tiger Sorubim. This includes creatures like shrimp, snails, or frogs, as they may also be seen as prey and could potentially be harmed or eaten by the Tiger Sorubim.

When it comes to tank mates for the Tiger Sorubim, it’s important to consider compatibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all the fish in the tank. The Tiger Sorubim is a predatory species, and as such, it may mistake smaller fish as prey.

Therefore, it is best to avoid keeping small fish, such as neon tetras or guppies, with the Tiger Sorubim as they are likely to be seen as potential meals.

By carefully considering the temperament and needs of your tiger sorubim when choosing tankmates, you can create a balanced and peaceful aquatic community within your aquarium.

Tiger Sorubim Care

To ensure the well-being of your Tiger catfish, there are a few key aspects of care that you need to keep in mind. This section will cover care recommendations, food and diet, as well as common diseases and prevention.

Care Recommendations

Regular water changes are vital for maintaining good water quality and preventing stress-related health issues. It is recommended to perform partial water changes on a regular basis to remove any accumulated waste or toxins from the tank. This helps to create a clean and healthy environment for your Tiger Sorubim.

Food and Diet

Tiger Sorubim are carnivorous creatures that mainly feed on other fish, crustaceans, and insects. To ensure they receive proper nutrition, it is important to offer them a varied diet consisting of live or frozen meaty foods. Some suitable options include shrimp, fish fillets, and earthworms.

Common Diseases and Prevention

While Tiger catfish are generally hardy and disease-resistant, poor water conditions can make them susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections. To prevent such issues:

  • Maintain optimal water parameters by regularly testing the tank’s pH levels, ammonia levels, temperature, etc.
  • Ensure proper filtration in the tank to keep the water clean.
  • Avoid overcrowding the tank as it can lead to increased stress levels among the fish.
  • Quarantine new additions before introducing them into the main tank to avoid potential disease transmission.

By following these care recommendations regarding water changes, providing a suitable diet rich in protein sources like shrimp or fish fillets while being mindful of their susceptibility to bacterial/fungal infections due to poor water conditions; you’ll be able to provide a nurturing environment for your Tiger Sorubim.

Breeding the Tiger Sorubim

Breeding the elusive Tiger Sorubim in captivity can be quite challenging due to their specific requirements and behaviors. While it is a rare occurrence, there are some insights into their breeding habits. These magnificent fish are believed to spawn during the rainy season in large rivers of South America.

Recommended Tank Set Up

To successfully breed Tiger Sorubim, it is crucial to provide separate tanks for breeding pairs. These tanks should have appropriate spawning conditions, including soft acidic water and suitable spawning sites. Creating an environment that mimics their natural habitat in South America is essential for successful reproduction.

Planted Aquascape
You will need a large aquarium to breed the Tiger Sorubim

Breeding Process

Once the female Tiger catfish lays her eggs, the male takes on the responsibility of guarding them until they hatch. This behavior is fascinating and showcases the dedication these fish have towards their offspring. The male ensures that no harm comes to the eggs and provides protection until they are ready to swim freely.

While breeding Tiger catfish in captivity remains a challenge, dedicated fishmongers and experts continue to explore ways to improve success rates. By studying specimens in their natural habitat, behavior patterns, and environmental conditions, researchers can gain valuable insights into enhancing captive breeding programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size tank do I need for a Tiger Sorubim?

To house a Tiger Sorubim comfortably, you will need a large aquarium of at least 150 gallons or more. These catfish can grow quite large and require ample swimming space.

Are Tiger Sorubims aggressive towards other fish?

While they are generally peaceful towards other species of fish of similar size or larger, smaller tankmates may be seen as potential prey. It’s best to avoid keeping small fish with tiger shovelnose catfish to prevent any issues.

How often should I feed my Tiger Sorubim?

Tiger shovelnose are carnivorous predators that require regular feeding. Offer them high-quality pellets or frozen foods once or twice daily, adjusting the portion sizes based on their appetite.

Can I keep multiple Tiger Sorubims together?

Keeping multiple Tiger catfish together is possible in very large tanks with plenty of hiding spots and territories for each individual fish. However, aggression may still occur during breeding season.

Do Tiger Sorubims require any special water parameters?

Maintaining good water quality is crucial for the health of your Tiger catfish. Aim for a temperature range of 75-82°F (24-28°C), pH around 6.5-7.5, and ensure proper filtration to keep ammonia and nitrate levels in check.

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