Striped Catfish: Characteristics, habitat, care and more……..

The Striped Catfish is a species of Cat Shark native to the rivers of Southeast Asia whose scientific name is Pangasius hypophthalmus. Don’t miss this chance to learn everything about it.

Also known as «Pangasius Sutchi», this is an omnivorous species. They come from the rivers of Southeast Asia and can reach 120 cm in aquariums and even more in their natural habitat. They usually grow a lot the first year, and eat every fish that fits in their mouth.


Animalia Kingdom  Phylum: Chordata  Class: Actinopterygii  Order: Siluriformes  Family: Pangasiidae. (Pangasius

Local Names

“Cá Tra” y “Cá Tra yêu”, (Vietnan); “Pa sooai”, “Pa sooai khaeo” y “Pa souay kheo” (Laos); “Pla sawai” (Tailand); “Pra” y “Trey pra” (Camboya)

The Striped Catfish’  Habitat and Distribution

Striped Catfish inhabit in rice fields and the basins of large rivers, such as Mekong and Chao Phraya.  In addition, they have also been introduced in other river systems for aquaculture. Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand. Malay Peninsula are the locations where they are distributed.

Striped Catfish: Thailand Inspiration

The Striped Catfish’ Main  Characteristics

The stripped catfish have a body similar to that of a shark, with a large oval horizontal mouth. The juveniles can live in a community aquarium, but should not be with fish that fit through their mouth.

Body Color

Stripped catfish have a back of dark blue or ash gray color, with a white belly (the white color of the belly reaches the height of the fins). Their fins have a blue tone slightly darker than that of the back and a white dot crown their head (between the eyes).

They also have a white line in the middle of their body that goes from the tail to the gills. The juveniles have a longitudinal line along the entire side. There are albino and semi-albino species.


When they are in their natural habitat or in large (public) aquariums, the Stripped catfish exceed one meter in length. In small aquariums their growth diminish a little bit  and they even die before reaching their adult size, since they are too big fish for aquariums of medium size and even large. We invite you to read our article the anatomy of fish to learn more about such a topic

Sexual differences

Sex differences in this species are not very large, although sometimes the male has a darker coloration than the female.

here they are

Aquarium Conditions

The aquarium’s measure may vary depending on the specimen’s size.  A 250 liters aquarium will be enough for juvenile specimens.


From 25 to 30ºC.


PH: from 6.5 to 7.5.  Stripped catfish don’t tolerate a pH lower than 6.2. Hardness: water slightly soft to medium hard (up to 20ºdGH).

Feeding Stripped Catfish

These are omnivore and very voracious fish.  They accept food in flakes, although  which must be alternated with fresh and / or live food, such as prawns, pieces of fish and crustaceans, or fish that fit through their mouth.


It has not been achieved naturally in aquariums and hormone treatments have been necessary for such purpose.


Juveniles can live in a community aquarium, but should not be with fish that fit in their mouths, as they could swallow them. Moreover, they are active fish, which require space to swim. It’s good to point out that these are very nervous fish that get scared with ease, and live stressed most of their time.


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