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Also known as Chocolate Doradid, Thorny Catfish, and Talking Catfish, the Striped Raphael Catfish is an active catfish with a distinct stripped look. Found in the Amazon River Basin, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Peru. They adapt to a wide range of conditions but require clean water conditions to thrive.

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Features of Striped Raphael Catfish:

  • Large and wide head with a torpedo shaped body
  • Dark brown to black bodies with white to yellow horizontal stripes the length of body
  • Barbels at the mouth
  • Spins on ray fins that are used when threatened
  • Care level: Intermediate
  • Grows to 15cm


The Best Aquarium Size for Striped Raphael Catfish:

Striped Raphael Catfish do well in a tank of 150L or larger. If keeping a community aquarium consider a larger aquarium. 

After an Aquarium for your fish? Browse Aquarium Tank Selection here.

Tank Mate Compatibility:

Striped Raphael Catfish are a peaceful catfish that can be kept with other larger peaceful species, and in the right conditions can tolerate semi-aggressive species as they can protect themselves and most semi-aggressive species leave them alone. 

Great tank mates include:

  • Birchir
  • Congo tetra
  • Pictus Catfish
  • Bristlenose Catfish 
  • Black Widow Tetra


Striped Raphael Catfish are omnivores and are not fussy eaters. They spend most of their time searching for food on the aquarium floor and will eat anything it finds. Feed a daily diet of sinking pellets and catfish wafers. Their diet can be supplemented with live, frozen or freeze dried bloodworms, blackworms, and brine shrimp. 

Check out our extensive range of aquarium fish foods.

Striped Raphael Catfish Tank Setup:

Aquarium Filtration for Striped Raphael Catfish

Striped Raphael Catfish enjoy clean, well oxygenated water. Ensure your filter has an adequate flow rate for your aquarium size to effective remove waste and debris while offering good movement. For extra oxygenation, add an air pump.

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Plants for Striped Raphael Catfish

Striped Raphael Catfish are known to dig and uproot aquarium plants. This species can be housed in a plant free fish tank. If keeping plants, use floating plants that provide shade.

Interested in live plants for your aquariums? Browse live plants here.

Decorations for Striped Raphael Catfish

Driftwood is excellent for Striped Raphael Catfish catfish as this provides lots of structure for the fish to hide in. Other decorations include caves and ornaments the fish can swim and hide in. Stack rocks and create the perfect hideaways. 

After more nice quality decorations? Check our Aquarium Ornaments.

Aquarium Lighting for Striped Raphael Catfish

These fish enjoy lower light levels with lots of shade and dark spaces to hide. Dimmable LED lighting offers the ability to change to moonlight modes and encourage more activity. 

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Aquarium Substrate for Striped Raphael Catfish

Aquarium sand is perfect for this species. As it is a bottom dweller it will spend its time on the aquarium floor searching through the substrate for food.

A variety of Substrates are available at Coburg Aquarium. 

Additional Information

Fish Keeping Snapshot :

Preferred Water Parameters :