When it comes to keeping freshwater fish as pets, one of the most popular choices for many people is the catfish.
Catfish come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making them a great option for anyone looking for an interesting pet fish.
In addition, they are relatively easy to care for and can be kept in a variety of different aquarium sizes.
Despite their popularity, however, there are some things to keep in mind if you are thinking about keeping catfish as pets.
First and foremost, catfish require a lot of space, especially when they are adults. So if you don’t have a lot of room in your home for an aquarium, catfish may not be the best choice for you.
Another thing to consider is that catfish can be messy eaters, and they often produce a lot of waste.
Catfish As A Pet
Which of the more than 2,000 species of catfish can be kept in an aquarium? It is advisable to pick a dish that does not grow too large, no more than a few feet (less than a meter) in length.
Catfish belonging to the genus Corydoras are perhaps the most popular pets. Corys are tiny fish. Between 1 and 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 cm) in length.
They are armor-plated freshwater fish indigenous to the rivers and streams of South America. Catfish in the wild migrate in huge schools or groups.
Therefore, you need to maintain at least four catfish in your aquarium. These fish are docile and unlikely to engage in combat with other fish in a communal aquarium. (Their defensive spines prevent other fish from attacking them)
Although catfish are scavengers, they do not consume fish feces. They will only consume food leftovers that settle to the tank’s bottom.
Catfish cannot survive on leftovers alone. (It is an excellent idea to smoothen gravel or sand since they may hurt themselves on sharp pebbles when digging for food.)
Like all other fish, they need a diet rich in essential elements. Give them food that will sink, like pellets that sink.
They will not swim to the surface to seek food. Catfish are beneficial to a community aquarium since they aid with tank maintenance.
However, the water must be changed often.
Catfish Varieties That Can Be Kept as Pets
- Cory catfish
- Otocinclus Catfish
- Glass Catfish
- Bristlenose Pleco
- Pictus Catfish
- Striped Raphael Catfish
- Upside Down Catfish
- Bumblebee Catfish
How to Choose a Catfish As A Pet?
Choose carefully while selecting a species of catfish for your aquarium. The following guides the most suitable catfish species for home aquariums. The mature size of a catfish is crucial for ensuring its happiness throughout its lifetime.
When all fish begin at the same size, it might not be easy to imagine their potential growth, and not all pet retailers give this information. Even selecting a docile plecostomus may be difficult, as some species reach a maximum length of 8 inches, while others can reach several feet in length.
And although some catfish, such as Corydoras species, are placid bottom scavengers that may be mixed with other little fish, others, such as the Redtail Catfish, are predators who will devour any fish.
That fits in their jaws! You must research beforehand to ensure that the catfish you want to bring home will fit in your aquarium depending on its size and the other species you currently have. If you cannot confirm that the species you are seeing is accurate, do not purchase it.
Things To Keep Catfish As a Pet?
Catfish are primarily bottom-dwellers. Catfishes use their barbels to look for food buried in the substrate, even though they swim in the mid-water column.
In addition, their barbels are filled with taste receptors, continually searching for delectable morsels. Keeping this in mind, your catfish will need access to the substrate. Most aquarium configurations are suitable for catfish, except for thickly planted tanks. Catfish may quickly get disoriented and entangled in dense vegetation.
The substrate type for catfish should be somewhat acceptable. Standard aquarium gravel to medium sand is a suitable substrate for most catfish.
Larger rocks may be rugged for smaller catfish, and it has been observed that more enormous catfish consume rocks.
Some species, such as plecos, prefer to chew on softer wood. When adding wood to an aquarium, ensure that it is aquarium-safe. Certain types of wood may leach harmful chemicals into the aquarium water.
Contrary to popular belief, catfish are omnivores, with some leaning more towards herbivory and others towards carnivory.
Remember that there are around 3000 species of catfish. Do not anticipate most catfish to remove algae from your aquarium. In most freshwater systems, algae must be controlled by restricting its nutrition supply.
Like all other fish species, catfish need clean water and a balanced diet for optimal health. Remember that not all catfish like algae, so constantly feed them. Most tropical fish diets are suitable for catfish in mixed-species aquariums.
If you have catfish in your aquarium, you may choose a diet from the vegetarian or carnivore spectrum. Catfish often forage throughout the day, so anticipate consuming a portion of whatever you give them. Even with catfish repairs, you must continue with your regular upkeep program.
However, certain catfish species are nocturnal feeders, so you may need to provide food to the aquarium when the lights go off at night.