Tiger sorubim Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: October 25, 2022

The Tiger Sorubim is a beautiful freshwater fish that is perfect for the beginner aquarium. They are hardy and can withstand a wide range of water conditions, making them ideal for those just starting out in the hobby.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about Tiger Sorubim care. You’ll learn about their diet, size, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

The tiger sorubim (scientific name: Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum) is a freshwater fish that’s native to the Amazon basin. It’s found in countries like Brazil, Peru, and Colombia.

This fish prefers slow-moving waters with a lot of plants and vegetation. This is something that’s common to many fish that live in the Amazon basin.

The tiger sorubim is a predator and its diet consists mostly of smaller fish. In the wild, they’ve been known to grow up to four feet long!

In the aquarium trade, these fish are quite popular due to their unique appearance. They are silver in color with black stripes running down their body.


Tiger sorubim

The first thing you’ll notice about this freshwater fish is their extremely long fins. In fact, their pectoral fins are longer than their entire bodies!

This gives them a very unique appearance and makes them stand out in any freshwater aquarium.

The rest of their body is long and slender with a torpedo-like shape. Their dorsal and anal fins are both fairly large and begin about halfway back on their bodies.

Their caudal fin is forked and their ventral fins are very small in comparison to the rest of their fins.

Tiger sorubim are covered in large black spots that are surrounded by a lighter halo. These spots are more pronounced on their dorsal half and get lighter as they go down their body.

The fins on this fish are black with white tips. The pectoral fins have a few spots near the base, but they’re mostly white.


The tiger sorubim is a long-lived fish, with a maximum lifespan in the wild of around 20 years. In captivity, they can live even longer, with some individuals living to over 30 years of age.


The average size of a Tiger Sorubim is between 24 and 36 inches, with some reports of them reaching up to 48 inches in length. Females are typically larger than males, but both sexes can reach the same maximum size.


Tank Size

The minimum tank size for a tiger sorubim is 125 gallons. If you’re looking for a freshwater fish that can fit in an average-sized tank, this is not the fish for you.

Tiger sorubim are best kept in pairs or small groups. If you’re looking to keep more than one fish, you’ll need to add at least another 125 gallons to that minimum number.

Another reason why you need to provide enough space is for the sake of enrichment and comfort. These fish like to roam and will often run gentle but steady laps around your tank. Giving them a little bit of extra space can go a long way in making sure they can comfortably turn around in the tank.

Water Parameters

The tiger sorubim is a freshwater fish that is native to South America. It is found in the Amazon Basin, as well as in rivers in Peru, Colombia, and Brazil.

The tiger sorubim prefers slow-moving waters with a sandy substrate. The water should be warm, with a temperature between 24 and 29 degrees Celsius.

The pH of the water should be between 6.0 and 7.5, and the water should be soft to medium hard.

  • Water Temperature: 24-29 degrees Celsius
  • pH Levels: 6.0-7.5
  • Water Hardness: Soft to medium hard
  • Alkalinity Levels: Not specified

What To Put In Their Tank

Setting up the aquarium for a Tiger Sorubim is a pretty straightforward process. These fish don’t have any special needs when it comes to their habitat.

A sand or gravel substrate is perfectly fine for them. As for plants, you can go with whatever you want. They won’t bother live plants and might even help keep them healthy by eating algae off of them.

When it comes to decorations, it’s really up to you. These fish don’t need anything specific, but feel free to add whatever you think looks nice. Driftwood, rocks, and caves are all good choices.

One thing we will say is that you should avoid using anything that’s too small. These fish grow to be pretty big and they can easily knock over or destroy anything that’s not properly secured.

Common Diseases

Tiger sorubim are a hardy species of fish, but they can still fall ill from time to time. The most common diseases that affect this species are parasites, bacterial infections, and viruses.

The most common symptom of disease in these fish is a loss of appetite. If your fish suddenly stops eating, it’s a good idea to check for other signs of illness.

Other symptoms include lethargy, cloudy eyes, and white spots on the body. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take action immediately.

The best way to prevent disease is to maintain clean and stable water conditions in the tank. A well-maintained tank will go a long way in keeping your fish healthy and disease-free.

Behavior & Temperament

The tiger sorubim is a peaceful and shy fish that spends most of its time hiding. When it feels threatened, it will often try to flee rather than fight.

This fish is a nocturnal creature, so it’s most active at night. During the day, it will often stay hidden in the shadows. When it does come out, it will usually stay close to the bottom of the tank.

The tiger sorubim is a schooling fish, so it does best when it’s kept with others of its own kind. If you have just one, it may be shy and reclusive. But in a group, they’re much more active and social.

This fish is not aggressive and gets along well with other peaceful tank mates. It’s important to note that the tiger sorubim is a predator. It will eat smaller fish, so it’s not a good idea to keep it with anything that it can fit in its mouth.

Tank Mates

The tiger sorubim is a shy, nocturnal fish that does best when kept in pairs or small groups. It is important to provide plenty of hiding places in the aquarium for these fish to feel secure.

The tiger sorubim is not an aggressive fish, but it may eat smaller tank mates. Choose tank mates that are too large to be eaten and that can tolerate the sorubim’s nocturnal activity.

Some compatible tank mates for the tiger sorubim include:

  • Larger plecos
  • Other nocturnal fish
  • Catfish
  • Tetras
  • Gouramis
  • Other peaceful fish


The tiger sorubim is a beautiful and popular freshwater fish that is native to the Amazon basin. It is a member of the catfish family and is also known as the tiger catfish, striped catfish, or zebra catfish.

The tiger sorubim is a hardy fish that is relatively easy to care for. It is a peaceful fish that can be kept with other community fish. It is not known to eat other fish but may eat smaller fish if it is hungry.

The tiger sorubim reaches a length of about 24 inches (61 cm) and a weight of up to 8 pounds (3.6 kg). It is a silver-colored fish with black stripes running vertically down its body.

The tiger sorubim is not an easy fish to breed in captivity. It is difficult to sex and the fry are very delicate.

The best way to sex tiger sorubims is by looking at the ventral (underneath) side of the fish. Males have a long, tube-like structure called a modified ray that extends from the vent. Females do not have this structure.

If you want to breed tiger sorubims, it is best to set up a separate breeding tank. The tank should be at least 50 gallons (190 L) in size. The water should be clean and well-filtered. A good quality canister filter is recommended.

The water should be slightly acidic with a pH of 6.5-7.0. The temperature should be between 77-86°F (25-30°C).

To induce spawning, the male and female should be conditioned with live foods such as earthworms, bloodworms, and brine shrimp. The female will lay up to 2000 eggs which will be fertilized by the male.

The eggs will hatch in 3-5 days. The fry are very delicate and need to be fed live foods such as microworms, baby brine shrimp, and daphnia.

The fry grow quickly and will reach adulthood in 6-8 months.


The tiger sorubim is a beautiful and unique freshwater fish that is perfect for the dedicated aquarist.

While they may be a bit more challenging to care for than some other fish, their unique appearance and personality make them well worth the effort.

If you’re looking for a fish that will stand out in your tank and provide you with hours of enjoyment, the tiger sorubim is the perfect choice!