Yes they are a real hybrid, a cross between a Tiger Shovelnose Catfish and a Redtail Catfish. I have had mine about a year and he/she is doing well on beef heart and hot dogs, the chicken turkey kind. I also have two 30” Tiger Shovelnose Catfish and three Redtail Catfish, the largest is 34”. They all live together with 13 Pacu in my 2400 gallon outdoor aquarium. The Tiger Redtail hybrid does not appear to grow as fast as the parents and may not attain the large size the original fish are capable of. In my opinion this makes the Tiger Redtail cross an excellent fish for the aquarium fish hobbyist. They will not outgrow your aquarium as soon as say a Redtail Catfish which can easily reach 24” in a year. Be sure to keep them with large fish as they will attempt to swallow fish up to 1/2 their size.