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Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Feeding Behaviour (With 11 Food Items)

The Shovelnose Tiger Catfish feeding behavior is quite similar to other catfish. However, some aquarists have doubts about Shovelnose Tiger Catfish feeds. You may definitely know this amazing fish species if you are a fish lover. The Shovelnose Tiger Catfish is the most popular one of the five Pseudoplatystoma species. It is a common food fish in the South American region. Additionally, it can be found easily in local fish markets. 

As a fish lover, I deal with hundreds of fish varieties. Among them, Shovelnose Tiger Catfish take my attention due to their unique feeding behavior. So, here I share the ideal foods for your Shovelnose Tiger Catfish. Keep Reading!

tiger shovelnose catfish feeding

 What do Tiger shovelnose catfish eat?

Tiger Redtail catfish are omnivores. That means they eat both animals and plants matters. In the wild, redtail catfish eat anything they can find. In aquariums, we must provide the necessary food. Tiger Shovelnose catfish eat diverse food. Their habitat decides the type of food they eat. In the wild, this fish eats local native small fish and crustaceans. In-home aquariums, these fish eat sinking pellets and both live and frozen foods. Live foods provide the proper nutrition. The earthworms, tablets, meat scraps slices of fresh fish are some examples. Also, Tiger Shovelnose catfish love to eat shrimp, crayfish, small fish, and worms. 

What do Tiger shovelnose catfish in the Wild Feed?

Tiger shovelnose who lives in the wild has access to natural and native foods. Therefore, this fish eats local small fish and crustaceans in the wild.

What to Feed Tiger shovelnose catfish in the aquarium

Natural food in the aquarium is not enough for the fish. Therefore, we must provide feed outside. It is important to provide feed with all nutrients in sufficient amounts. Some examples are Live fish, earthworms, tablets, meat, and scraps.

How long can Tiger shovelnose catfish go without food?

There is no clear data on how long Tiger shovelnose catfish can go without food. But these fish will very rarely starve themselves to death. So, keep the aquarium clean and offer little bits of food at a time.

Best Tiger shovelnose catfish food? 

Natural foods are popular among the Tiger shovelnose catfish. Because live food mimics their natural habitats. If you add live feeds, Tiger Shovelnose catfish can go around their prey and catch them. They fully enjoy it. On other hand, live foods are rich in proteins. Thus, they help to develop your fish and improve the immune system.

So, have a healthy and happy Tiger shovelnose catfish, you can use a live feed that I mentioned below. However, do not misunderstand this; you can add formulated food to Tiger shovelnose catfish. They also enjoy them. On the other hand, if you buy quality food, you do not need to worry about nutrient balance. Normally quality foods are prepared with balanced nutrient levels. 

01. Live fish

Live fish food mainly includes small foods. Earthworms, sludge worms, water fleas, bloodworms, and feeder fish are some examples of this. Infusoria (Protozoa and other microorganisms) are good for larvae and young Tiger shovelnose catfish. Moreover, newly hatched brine shrimp and micro worms are used to feed your Tiger shovelnose catfish. These are the most preferred type of food for Tiger shovelnose catfish. But are difficult to get.

02. Earthworms

Earthworms are by-products of the waste management process or organic farming. They are very rich in protein and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Hence, they can use as potential fish feed ingredients for the nursery rearing of fish. But there is limited evidence for using earthworms’ live form in the fish diet. 

03. Insects

There are insect species to use as feed. The most promising species for industrial feed production are black soldier flies, housefly larvae, silkworms, and yellow mealworms. But grasshoppers and termites are also viable but to a lesser extent.

04. Sinking pellets or flake foods

Flake food is proprietary or artificially manufactured fish food. A wide variety of tropical and saltwater fish and invertebrates consume flake foods. It is ideally suited to top dwellers and mid-water fish. But many bottom-dwelling species consume flake food once it has settled on the bottom. Here, you can feed your Tiger shovelnose catfish using fish flakes.

05. Freeze-dried tubifex worms

Freeze-dried tubifex worms are ideal for all varieties of tropical fish. But keep it sealed when not in use. Freeze-dried tubifex worms contain ingredients like 0.3%, moisture (max.) 6%, phosphorus (min.) 0.1%. Feed the Tiger shovelnose catfish completely for three to five minutes, up to three times daily.

06. Brine shrimp

Brine shrimp are an excellent live food in saltwater aquariums. They have high nutritional level than most dry or frozen foods. Hence, it can be used to feed or train finicky fish.

07. Mysis shrimp

Mysis are an excellent food source for all freshwater and tropical marine fish. Hence, this induces an energetic feeding response in aquarium fish. Due to omnivorous behavior, the Tiger shovelnose catfish love to eat Mysis shrimp. 

08. Bloodworms

Bloodworms are one of the most common meat foods for these fish. They have become a staple in the diet of many tank inhabitants. Hence, we can see them in most pet stores in frozen or freeze-dried varieties. You can use this protein-rich food to feed your Tiger shovelnose catfish.

09. Tablets

Fish tablets are pressed flakes. Fish food in tablet form contains 2.0-8.0 vol pts. plant protein, 2.0-8.0 vol.pts. animal protein, 1.0-4.0 vol.pts. calcium lactate, and 0.5-3.0 vol.pts. Here, these fish tablets are also used to feed Tiger shovelnose catfish. 

10. Meat scraps

Scraps of meat are also ideal for fish feed. The meat waste is a protein-rich feed. Additionally, it can use as a protein supplement for Tiger Shovelnose Catfish.

11. Crustaceans

Crustaceans are most popular to use as feed fish. With that, crustaceans are very convenient for their easy preservation. Crustacean varieties like marine shrimps, salmonids, and marine finfishes are popular as fish feed.

How many times a day should I feed my Tiger shovelnose catfish?

It is no exact frequency for this. Therefore, provide adults feed every week. But reduce or increase feeding frequency based on the fish’s activity level. But these fish become sluggish after a meal. Therefore, feed them only until they become active again.

How To Feed Tiger shovelnose catfish

Feeding the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish is not difficult at all. Because they are not picky eaters. Tiger shovelnose catfish consume local native small fish and crustaceans in the wild. In the home aquarium, feed them an assortment of worms, frozen foods, Large sinking catfish pellets, and dry foods. That will provide them with the proper nutrition. A mix of frozen foods, worms, and pellets gives them a balanced diet. After that, drop a piece of fish for them as enrichment. 

How much does Tiger shovelnose catfish eat?

Tiger shovelnose catfish mostly consume smaller fish and crustaceans in the wild habitat. Mostly they are looking for meaty protein-rich foods. Therefore, it is important to have a significant amount of food in stock. Since they are large fish, they eat a lot more than the traditional smaller freshwater species. Try to give them a mix of frozen foods, worms, and pellets riches a balanced diet. Drop-in pieces of fish for them as enrichment. Always keep an eye on how much food they are eating. Overfeeding leads to health problems and a decrease in water quality. Therefore, monitor them closely while they are growing.

Will Tiger shovelnose catfish overeat or eat too much?

Yes. But never overfeed your Tiger shovelnose catfish. Because they can also be easily overfed, avoid overfeeding redtail catfish because they are prone to overeating and struggle to digest food. Do not provide the meat of mammals. Because they cannot metabolize this food properly. But fed Juveniles with high-quality flake food or pellets every day. Overfeeding your fish is also a major cause of poor water quality. If you accidentally overfeed your fish, make sure to perform a large water change as soon as possible.

What human food can they eat?

Among the food these fish eat, there are some foods consumed by humans. They are small fish, shrimps, crustaceans, live fish, and plankton plant matters.

Is Flake Fish Food Suitable for Tiger shovelnose catfish?

Yes, flake fish food is suitable for Tiger shovelnose catfish. Besides this, they eat sinking pellets or flake foods, freeze-dried tubifex worms, Brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, and bloodworms (live, freeze-dried, or frozen). In this way, we should provide a well-balanced catfish diet with flake foods.

What Kind of Mouth Do Tiger shovelnose catfish has?

The appearance of the mouth is well apparent in Tiger shovelnose catfish. As their name suggests, they have long, wide, and flat mouths.


Tiger Shovelnose Catfish feed depends on the habitat in which they live. In the wild, these fish eat local native small fish and crustaceans. But, in-home aquariums, they eat a collection of worms, frozen foods, and Large sinking catfish pellets. It is important to provide them with the necessary food with the correct formula. But do not allow Tiger Shovelnose Catfish to eat more. Because they are prone to overeating and struggle to digest food.

Credit to: Bermuda Triangle Aquatics

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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.