Tandanus Catfish

Tandanus Catfish
Tandanus Catfish
Tandanus Catfish
Tandanus Catfish

Tandanus Catfish occur throughout lakes and streams in south east Australia. They make an interesting aquarium or pond subject and are tollerant of a wide variety of water conditions.

Common Name(s) : Tandanus Catfish, Eel Tailed Catfish
Family : Plotosidae
Genus: Tandanus
Species : Tandanus Tandanus
Origin : SE Australia
PH : 6.5 – 7.5
Hardness : Soft to Hard
Temperature : 15 – 28°C / 59–82°F
Maximum Size : 80cm
Lifespan : 8 years
Aggression Level : Low (2/10)
Recommended Tank Size : 130 Litres +
Strata : Bottom


Tandanus Catfish feature a downturned mouth with fleshy lips surrounded by a number of barbels assist them with feeding. The eel-tail catfish has 4 pairs of barbels surrounding the mouth, and sharp serrated dorsal- and pectoral-fin spines which are venomous and can cause a very painful wound.

Tandanus Catfish are a solid, almost cylindrical, elongated fish, with the posterior half of their body tapering into a pointed eel-like tail. A continuous fin margin surrounds this tapering posterior half of the body. Their eyes are small.
Tandanus Catfish can grow to about 80cm in length and a weight of more than 7 kg!

Tandanus Catfish Nest - Image: Ben Diggles
Tandanus Catfish Nest – Image: Ben Diggles


Provide rocks, large pieces of driftwood, live or fake plants etc for lots of cover


  • Perch & Cod
  • Larger Tropical Fish
  • Most Goldfish
  • Dwarf Cichlids


Carnivores – frozen bloodworm or brine shrimp works best.


The only way to know if you have a male or female Tandanus is to flip the fish over and look at the papilla. If your fish is a male, the papilla will be long and cylindrical. The female’s papilla will be triangular in shape. There aren’t any known physical differences apart from this.

This species grows relatively fast. Tandanus Catfish become sexually mature at around 3 years old.

Tandanus Catfish spawn during spring and summer when water temperatures rise to between 20 and 24°C. During spawning male and female catfish pair up. One to two weeks before spawning the male builds a circular nest up to two metres in diameter on a gravel or rocky bottom.

The nest usually contains a central depression into which females can lay up to 20,000 large eggs. Usually the male, but sometimes both parents, attend the nest and aerate and protect the eggs until after hatching, which occurs in around seven days at 20°C.

More than one spawning may occur during each spawning season. Tandanus tandanus are thought to live to a maximum age of at least 8-10 years, and can grow to a maximum size of around 90 cm, though adult fish are more commonly encountered between 40 and 50 cm long.

( Read more at http://www.fishingworld.com.au/news/fish-facts-eel-tailed-catfish#Pg8sbB1EljS4ruyx.99 )


As these catfish are a scaleless fish, care should be taken when treating for any illness. Treating with copper will harm these fish.