Beginner Care Guide of Catfish

Date Posted: 2023-02-02 11:37:27

Common Name: Catfish

Scientific Name: Varies with breeds

Average size: Corydoras ( 5-7cm), other species (up to 30cm)

PH: 6.0 - 8.0

Lifespan: Up to 5 years with proper care, some species may live even longer

Water Hardness: 2 - 25dH

Temperature: 24°C - 28°C



Catfish are omnivore. They eat plants, vegetables and animals matter including small live foods. However, there are certain types of catfish like Plecos are herbivores.

Swimming Behavior:

Most of the catfish are bottom-dwellers. They inhabit the bottom region of an aquarium. Certain species of catfish like Plecos able to hang at the side of aquarium.


Corydoras present active if kept in a group of six or more. Larger species should be housed individually.


Aquarium placement:

Keep away the aquarium from direct sunlight and electronic goods.

Aquarium size:

A minimum of 70 Liters for cory cats, 113 Liters of aquarium tank for larger species will keep them live healthy.


A fine gravel substrate on the bottom of the aquarium with plants like Elodea and Cabomba, driftwoods and rocks to create hiding places will be appreciated.


6-8 hours of lighting is recommended. Avoid extended exposure of lighting to prevent the growth of algae.

Water change:

Advised weekly change of 10% of your aquarium water by using cleaning tools, at least 30% of aquarium water monthly.

General compatibility:

Angelfish, Barbs, Minnows, Discus, Guppies, Gouramis, Loaches, Mollies, Platies, Rainbow fish, Rasboras, Swordtails, Tetra, Catfish and Danios.


Staple diet:

Offered sinking pellets or food tablets like Tetra Monster XL Pellets, Sanyu Sinking Pellets according to catfish eating habits and size.


Bloodworms, artemia and tubifex worms are a good choice to be given occasionally.


Feed small amounts 1-2 times daily. Take off any uneaten fish food after 2-3 minutes with Nirox fish net.


Sign of healthy:

- Clear eyes

- Smooth and clean in appearance

- Healthy appetite

- Calm and steady gill movement

- Bright and even body coloration

Sign of illness:

- Loss of body coloration or appetite

- Lying on the bottom of aquarium

- Poor growth or weight loss

- Fins clamped to sides

- Scraping body on rocks

If you notice any illness sign (s), please to test water quality and improve it if necessary.


  • Avoid fish tank from being overcrowded as it may cause stress to fish and a higher chance for them to get sick.
  • Regular water change and an appropriate filtration is needed to maintain a good water quality.
  • Check water quality by using JBL Test Kit at least once a week.
  • Do not simple apply fish medications and salt to them as they may sensitive to it.
  • Wash hand with soap after each time handling your aquarium.