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04 Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Tankmates For You Tank

The Tiger Shovelnose catfish is a genus of long whiskered catfish. They are native to the Amazon River basin. This fish can be found in various countries of South America, Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia. They are also popular as an aquarium fish variety. But, to nurture them as aquarium fish, you must provide them with favorable conditions.

The tank water quality conditions and fish density should be at adequate levels. Among all, ideal tankmates must be selected for tanks. Ideal tankmates will live peacefully with Tiger Shovelnose Catfish. Now you have doubts about how to select Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Tankmates. Here, I include all facts about the selection process and the characters of the tankmates. So, read the article carefully. In the end, you will be an expert in this field. 

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Tankmates

Characters For Good Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Tank Mates

When choosing suitable tank mates for Tiger Shovelnose Catfish, there are things to remember. They are the size and temperament. The reason is the Tiger shovelnose catfish are large. That means they can easily injure or eat other smaller fish. This sizeable freshwater fish needs enough space to defend itself. Meanwhile, large fish need room to stretch out. This will influence the size of the tank you need to select. Tiger Shovelnose Catfish are highly territorial and aggressive. Therefore, we must carefully select their tank mates.

Moreover, Shovelnose is likely to be able to defend itself. So, you never want a tank where there is frequent fighting. Therefore, be mindful to select fish varieties that are less aggressive and calm. Some fish that make suitable tank mates are Arowana and other large catfish like the Redtail, Giant gourami, Pacu, and even Oscar fish. Some people have recommended iridescent sharks. But they are too skittish to consider. When selecting large-size fish varieties as tank mates, it is essential to have enough room inside the tank.

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Tank Mates

Arowana is an active, large, and colorful fish variety. Many people do not realize that they prefer being kept in school. Unfortunately, they are usually sold as 2–3-inch juveniles. After that, they will eventually outgrow all but the largest aquariums. Fed correctly, fish can grow 12 inches every 2 years. They reach their full length in 5-6 Years. This is only achievable if you have a big enough tank and feed them with various meaty foods. Most people do not have room for a suitable tank. They often get rid of their fish at around 3-4 years.

Other than Tiger shovelnose catfish, large catfish, Parrotfish, Jaguar Cichlid, Pacu, and Silver Dollar Fish are best tank mates for Arowana. Not only for Tiger Shovelnose Catfish, but Arowanas are also good tank mates for Oscars. The silver Arowana, Asian Arowana, Jardine Arowana, and (less commonly) the African Arowana are some of them. They all make acceptable tank mates for the Oscar. However, Arowana grows too big and too fast. This might become a risk to Oscar. Therefore, think twice before choosing both Arowana and Oscars as tank mates for Tiger shovelnose catfish.

01. Other Large Catfish Like The Redtail

The tail of the Redtail catfish is red. Sometimes the dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins are also red. Therefore, it is easy to select red tail catfish from other catfish. The Redtail catfish can reach five feet (1.5 m) or more in length. Meanwhile, they weigh up to 180 pounds (82 kg). This makes them a favorite game fish in their native habitats. Cory catfish, develop to be about 4 inches long. They can survive in 5 to 10-gallon tanks.

More giant catfish require at least a 30-gallon tank. The aquarium catfish can keep in the aquarium near a power source in a low-traffic area. But this should be away from direct sunlight and drafts. The smallest tank size for a mature Redtail catfish is 1,500-2,000 gallons. This will provide them with enough space to swim around. Basically, to be lively without feeling restricted and unhappy. If you select Redtail catfish as tank mates for Tiger Shovelnose Catfish, use a large size thank.  

Redtail catfish are opportunistic predators. This turns them seem quite violent due to their natural predator instinct. They will attempt to consume anything small enough to fit into its mouth. They also get territorial around other Redtails. So never put more than one fish in a tank. Hence, both Tiger Shovelnose Catfish and Redtail catfish show the same characteristics in their behavior. Therefore, they are compatible as tankmates. On the other hand, Arowana is a good tankmate you can keep with Red Tail Catfish. Therefore, think of a community fish tank with Tiger Shovelnose Catfish, Red Tail Catfish, and Arowana fish.

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Tankmates

02. Giant Gourami

Giant guramis are much larger than most guramis. They grow to a maximum standard length of 70 cm (28 in). But the most common size is only around 45 cm (18 in). The Giant gourami is a solitary creature in the wild and is large. Therefore, it is not practical for many hobbyists to keep more than one specimen in a tank. These fish could live together. But they should have plenty of space in the tank. The Corydoras, a catfish variety, make for an excellent choice for dwarf guramis companions. They are peaceful shoaling fish.

Additionally, they like to live in groups of 5 or more. They would match perfectly well together with dwarf guramis and other friendly fish in the tank. As a rule, Giant gourami is kept together with large cichlids or catfishes. As for the tank mates, Giant gourami is more tolerable to other large species than others of their kind. Therefore, Giant gourami is a good choice for Tiger Shovelnose Catfish tanks to choose them as tankmates. 

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Tankmates

03. Pacu

As juveniles, Pacu is schooling fish and should be kept in groups. However, as they mature, many types of Pacu become lonelier. Because of that, they no longer need same-species companies. The red belly Pacu will grow rather vastly and may reach 12 – 24 inches (30 – 61 cm). You will require an enormous tank to keep one at home to achieve potential adult size. This may reach at least 250 gallons (940 liters). Despite their kinship with piranhas, Pacus primarily eat plants. They are considered mostly harmless to people. But they do occasionally consume other fish.

Hence, they can potentially outcompete native species or spread parasites or diseases. Therefore, you will also require an extremely effective aquarium condition. A good filtration system can penetrate tank water. Red-bellied Pacus are not aggressive fish. Hence, they prefer to be kept with others of their species. Other than Tiger Shovelnose Catfish, they can be controlled by other fish. Large friendly varieties like Datnoids, Oscars and Arowana make ideal tank mates for the Red-bellied.  Pacu fish are some of them. Therefore, choosing Oscars, Arowana, and Pacus in the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish tank is something to investigate.

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Tankmates

04. Oscar Fish

Oscars are one of the most widespread Cichlids sold to aquariums. This is due to their high intelligence and activeness in the tank. Although these fish are popular, they require live food to live healthy lives. This means adding other fish into the tank, creating a “community tank.” It consists of many species and is not an easy task to maintain. However, a community tank is possible with good tank preparation. There are the best Oscar fish varieties to select as tank mates. They are Convict Cichlid, Jewel Cichlid, Jack Dempsey, Green Terror Cichlid, and more. Oscar fish are often sold as 1–3-inch juvenile fish. 

But they will vastly grow within the first year. They can increase their size up to an inch per year. The maximum length reaches almost a foot in length. Full-grown Oscars in captivity are usually 11-12 inches in length. However, some Oscars will develop up to 16 inches and weigh well over 3 lbs. The bottom feeders like Pictus catfish and Clown loach are compatible with Oscars. This is because they stay on the bottom of a tank. Hence, Oscars remain in the middle and top of the tank due to their larger size.

Oscar fish is a good selection for Tiger Shovelnose Catfish tanks. But keeping Oscar fish with goldfish is not good. This is because the two need entirely different water temperatures to thrive. Also, Oscars will try to consume anything they can fit in their mouth. Meanwhile, the goldfish will be no exception. Therefore, keep it in your mind not to keep Oscar fish together with goldfish as a community in a Tiger shovelnose catfish tank.

How To Stop Oscar Aggression

Are Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Aggressive?

Yes. Tiger Shovelnose catfish pick on other fish that cannot stand up for themselves. They get territorial, especially if there is not enough tank space. Therefore, Tiger Shovelnose catfish are more inclined to the aggressive side of things. Hence, it is necessary to be concerned before purchasing and choosing their tank mates.


Tiger Shovelnose Catfish species are an excellent pet for your home aquarium. Therefore, you must get a suitably sized aquarium first. Then select compatible tank mates. After that, purchase any fish of Tiger Shovelnose Catfish species. You need to follow the above steps because this fish is aggressive and territorial.

Credit to : Brian’s Pet’s
Read Next : What Is Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Max Size?

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.