What is catfish

  • The name catfish refers to the long barbels, or feelers, which are present about the mouth of the fish and resemble cat whiskers. 
  • Catfish belong to the ray-finned fish group.
  • There are more than 3000 species of catfish found in the world. 
  • Catfish are found in every continent in the world, except for Antarctica.
  • Catfish is a carnivorous animal, The biggest fish that consume the insect worm frog.
  • They are found in freshwater environments, though most inhabit shallow, running water.
  • Catfish are of considerable commercial importance; many of the larger species are farmed or fished for food. 
  • According to scientists, some species of catfish are diurnal and some species are nocturnal.
  • There is a high degree of variability in the size and weight of these fish, with animals ranging from 10 cm to over 2 m in length and 10 g to over 300 kg in weight. 


 Top 10 Aquarium  species of catfish

1. Cory Catfish

Care Level: Easy
family: Callichthyidae
Temperament: Peaceful
Lifespan: 5 years
Size: 0.75–4 inches
Diet: Omnivore

  • Cory Catfish, also called Cory Cats, Cory Fish, and Corydoras Catfish, are very popular freshwater fish in pet stores.
  • Cory catfish species are distributed in South America where they can be found from the east of the Andes to the Atlantic coast, from Trinidad to the Río de la Plata drainage in northern Argentina.
  • Cory fish are bottom-dwelling and like to hide or rest during the day, but in the evening will shoal with other fish.


2. Glass Catfish

Care Level: Moderate
Color: Transparent
family: Siluridae
Temperament: Calm
Lifespan:   6 to 8 years
Size: 3-6 inches 
Diet: Omnivore 

  • The Glass Catfish has many names including Ghost Catfish or Phantom Catfish.
  • It is endemic to Thailand and found in rivers south of the Isthmus of Kra that drain into the Gulf of Thailand and river basins in the Cardamom Mountains.
  • This transparent fish is also a picky eater; it has been known not to accept flake foods with ease. 

glass catfish

3. Pictus Catfish

Care Level: Easy to Moderate
Color: Silver with black spots
family: Pimelodidae
Temperament: Peaceful 
Lifespan:   8 to 10 years
Size: 4.5 to 5 inches 
Diet: Omnivore 

  • The Pictus Catfish is a nocturnal fish native to South America. 
  • The Pictus Catfish is a popular species of aquarium catfish made famous for their long antennas and classic silver coloration.
  • Its popping colors and energetic personality all make for delightful characteristics.


4. Upside Down Catfish

Care Level: Easy 
Color: light brown, dark brown
family: Mochokidae
Temperament: Peaceful 
Lifespan:   9 to 10 years
Size: 3 to 4 inches 

  • If you’re looking for something that will really turn heads, look no further that the Upside Down Catfish. 
  • They are mostly nocturnal and inhabit heavily vegetated streams, rivers, and marshes, often residing close to the shore.
  • the Upside-Down Catfish can be housed with most of the other similar temperament species but should never be grouped with aggressive fish.

otocinclus catfish

5. Otocinclus Catfish

Care Level: Easy 
Color: Brown stripes in grey body
family: Loricariidae
Temperament: Peaceful 
Lifespan:  3 to 5 years
Size: 1.1 to 2 inches 
Diet: Herbivore

  • Otocinclus are easily one of our favorite freshwater fish. 
  • Otocinclus Catfish is a beginner’s friendly fish that offers all the features new aquarists generally look for.
  • To help keep your Otos as stress-free as possible, make sure to supply them with plenty of driftwood to use as cover. 


6.  Striped Raphael Catfish

Care Level: Moderate
Color: mostly black or dark brown in color
family: Loricariidae
Temperament: Peaceful 
Lifespan:   10 to15 years
Size: 7.8  to 7.8 inches 
Diet: Omnivorous 

  • These fish burrow in the soft river bottoms and frequently occurs on sandy bottoms
  • These are really fun fish to watch as they have a curious nature
  • The Striped Raphael Catfish is a medium to large-sized catfish that is very active.

striped rapheal

7. Bumblebee Catfish

Care Level: Easy
Color: Yellow with black or brown bands
family: Pseudopimelodidae
Temperament: Peaceful 
Lifespan:  4 to 5 years
Size: 2 to 3 inches 
Diet: Omnivorous

  • The bumblebee catfish is a fun and different freshwater critter that seems to be growing in popularity.
  • Similar to other species of catfish, this fish has skin on its body, instead of having scales.
  • A great choice for beginners and experienced keepers alike, this species has long been an aquarium favorite.

bumblebee catfish

8. Asian Stone Catfish

Care Level: Moderate
Color: brown, white, and gray
family: Erethistidae
Temperament: Peaceful 
Lifespan:  4 to 5 years
Size: 2 to 3 inches 
Diet: Omnivorous

  • Asian Stone Catfish are one of the smallest aquarium catfish species you can get. They reach lengths of only 1.3 inches.
  • Because of their needs (both dietary and environmental), we would classify the Asian Stone Cat as an intermediate to advanced fish.
  • Stone catfish hail from India, Bangladesh, and possibly other countries in South Asia. 

asian stone catfish

9. Bristlenose Pleco

Care Level: Easy to Intermediate
Color: brown, green, or gray with white or yellow spots
family: Loricariidae
Temperament: Peaceful 
Lifespan:  5 to 12 years
Size: 3 to 5 inches 
Diet: Herbivore

  • They can also be found in some other parts of South and Central America including Panama.
  • While not the biggest aquarium catfish around, they still need plenty of room to swim around.
  • They feel the most alive in highly oxygenated aquariums. 


10. Clown Pleco

Care Level: Easy 
Color: black with brighter colored bands
family: Armored catfishes
Temperament: Peaceful 
Lifespan: 10 to12 years
Size: 3 to 4 inches 
Diet: Omnivorous

  • Helming from Venezuela and Colombia, the Clown Catfish is a small species that rarely get larger than 4 inches in size.
  • They are peaceful, mellow and rather shy fish, who prefer to hide from the bright lights and activity in caves of driftwood. 
  • Clown Plecos usually grow to their full adult size within their first 5 years as long as they are kept in good conditions.

clown pleco


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