When you think of catfish, you probably picture the big river fish you fry up and serve with a side of cornbread. When it comes to aquarium catfish, however, there are many different species. In fact, catfish can be found in almost every ecological niche around the world (except Antarctica). Some catfish live in oceans but, of the more than 2,400 varieties, most of them are freshwater fish.
If you’re looking for a bottom-dwelling species to add to your tank, catfish might be a good option. Keep in mind that because there are so many species, they come in different sizes and have different preferences for tank parameters.
Keep reading to learn about the most popular species of freshwater catfish and how to care for them.
What Makes Catfish Such a Popular Choice?
There are many reasons to love catfish in the freshwater aquarium. For one thing, they are an extremely diverse group of fishes with many unique colors and patterns. Catfish also tend to be very hardy and, for the most part, easy to keep in the home aquarium. There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but most of the popular species are peaceful fish that get along well in community tanks.
Catfish belong to the order Siluriformes which is a varied group of ray-finned fish. Most catfish have barbels on their faces which look similar to a cat’s whiskers. Because catfish have very small eyes, they rely on these barbels to navigate and to find food – they also...read more