all types of fish tank

types of aquarium catfish Complete Guide 2022

Aquarium Catfish are one of the most popular freshwater fish. These fish have a tendency to grow very large, so it’s important to consider the space they will take up in your tank before purchasing them. These catfish are carnivores and need live food (such as shrimp or bloodworms) in order to thrive. If you can’t provide this for them, be prepared for these fish to become long-term aquarium residents.


catfish aquarium
catfish aquarium


So, if you have a tropical freshwater aquarium, catfish will be a great choice for your collection.
This article will guide you to the best catfish species you can have in your aquarium such as:

  1. Corydoras
  2. Synodontis
  3. Plecostomus
  4. Pictus Catfish
  5. Bumblebee Catfish
  6. Otocinclus Catfish
  7. Striped Raphael Catfish
  8. Chinese Algae Eater
  9. Twig Catfish
  10. Tiger Shovelnose Catfish


How to Choose Catfish for Your Aquarium?

There are over 2,000 different species of tropical freshwater catfish and choosing the right catfish for your aquarium can be a challenge. The best place to start is by looking at what type of water you have. If you have soft water, then you should go for a species from the Synodontis family, which are also known as upside-down catfish because they prefer to swim upwards against the current. On the other hand, if you have hard water, then your best choice is a species from the Ancistrus family or bristlenose catfish because they prefer clear waters.

The important factors you need to keep an eye on while choosing a catfish for your aquarium are:

  1. Tank Size:
    you should know how big your catfish will grow according to the commonality of its species, for sure you should pick the one that will suit the size of your tank.
  2. Other species in the aquarium:
    most of the catfish species are peaceful, However, they don’t like to contact other species. so make sure to read the profile of the catfish you will buy and what kind of other fish species it can adapt with and live in peace.
  3. behavior:
    As we mentioned above, most catfish species are peaceful and tend to live in a group at the bottom of the tank hiding in the plants or foraging through the substrate, but some of them are territorial and aggressive.
    So, you need to dig deeper and research well before choosing the right catfish for your aquarium.


what do catfish eat in a fish tank?

This is a question that many people have been asking. These fish are carnivores and they need to eat meat. They will eat anything that is small enough to fit in their mouth, but they prefer live food such as worms, crickets, and bloodworms. In the wild, catfish tend to be scavengers and will eat what they can find on land or in the water.

In aquariums, you must provide for these catfish with a varied diet. Frozen foods are not usually accepted well by this type of fish since it does not provide the freshness that they need for their diet to be complete.

So, it is important to make sure that they are getting the right nutrition.

There are many different foods that you can put in the tank with your catfish. Some of these foods include algae wafers, dry pellets, sinking pellets, shrimp pellets, and blood worms.

Now, let we take a close look on the best catfish species you can have in your freshwater aquarium.

best catfish types for aquarium

Cory catfish

Cory catfish are great for aquariums. They are easy to maintain and will not eat other fish in the tank.

They are very adaptable to different environments and can withstand being kept at temperatures between 15-38 degrees Celsius. One of the great things about Cory catfish is that they are considered omnivores which means they will not eat any other fish in an aquarium setting. This makes them a great option for people who want to have an aquarium with many different types of fish without the risk of someone being eaten by another type of fish.

They are very peaceful and can be found in North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. They come in a variety of colors including red, blue, gold, grey, and white.

They do well with their own kind but will not do well with any other types of fish. They don’t even need any artificial plants or decorations to thrive.

Cory catfish are a bit smaller than other types of catfish and they have a long slender body. They usually have a brownish coloration which makes them look slimy from afar. Sometimes they have darker patches on their skin, but this is not always the case.

Cory Catfish can often be seen poking through the substrate, and they will often send some debris into the water when doing so. As such, they do help with tank clean-up but it is important to note that they still need a little bit of help from other scavengers like shrimp and snails.

The most popular species of Cory catfish are:

  1. Bandit Cory

  2. Bronze Cory

  3. Julii Cory

  4. Panda Cory

  5. Pepper Cory

  6. Three Stripe Cory

  7. Skunk Cory


Cory Catfish
Cory Catfish



Pictus Catfish

Pictus Catfish are freshwater, bottom-dwelling fish that are native to South America. They belong to the Siluriformes order which includes catfish, pike, and piranha. Pictus Catfish are sometimes called ‘feeder’ catfish because they are raised in large amounts for the purpose of being fed to larger predatory fish.

Pictus Catfish can grow up to 24 inches in length and weigh up to four pounds. Their natural habitat is slow-moving waters with sandy or muddy bottoms with large quantities of aquatic plants or vegetation. They have a natural lifespan of 10-12 years but have been known to live up to 16 years in captivity under ideal conditions.

Pictus catfish have silver & smooth bodies, with black spots on some of them. They don’t have any external scales – just the common barbells for tasting food. Those spines on their chest can be a little sharp.

If you get a perforated hand by a catfish spine, be careful when washing it, and don’t put your hands in the tank again. Catfish spines might have bacteria in them called Fish Handler’s Disease that can be transferred into your wounds if they aren’t washed properly.

The Pictus Catfish can be kept with many different breeds, as long as they’re not too aggressive during the day and while it’s hiding. You’ll need to keep in mind that this breed takes up a large amount of space, so you will need a large tank if you wish to keep more than one. They come from Africa and were first classified as their own.

When it comes to selecting the perfect fish tank mates for your aquarium, you will need to consider whether or not they are compatible with water parameters like pH, kH, and temperature.


Pictus catfish
Pictus catfish




aquarium bristlenose pleco catfish

Bristlenose catfish are a great option for any freshwater aquarium. They are relatively peaceful beginner fish and can grow to about 5 inches in length. They generally have a lifespan of around 10 years.

The Bristlenose Pleco is one of the smallest catfish, They are brown, green, or gray with white or yellow spots; some have uneven coloring, with lighter and darker splotches on various parts of their bodies.

Bristlenose Pleco fish are herbivores and should be fed 2-3 times a day with algae or spirulina wafers. You can also pave the way for variety by feeding them granules, flakes, or bloodworms every now and then. Keep in mind that this is just generally speaking as some Bristlenose Plecos may not like certain types.

Feed them enough so that they reach their appropriate weight and watch for good coloration that indicates when they are feeling fed.

One of the features that all catfish have is their habit of foraging through the substrate for food. This Bristlenose Pleco, for instance, will eat algae and other detritus in your tank. This is great as it leaves your tank cleaner.

Bristlenose Pleco
Bristlenose Pleco Catfish

Redtail catfish

RedTail Catfish are often found in rivers and creeks. They are found throughout the world in North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia.

The red tail catfish has a long life span meaning it can live up to 30 years! They can grow up to 15-20 pounds which makes them one of the largest species of catfish. The average lifespan for this species is 10-15 years.

The red tail catfish is considered an excellent game fish because it is easy to catch! The best way to catch these fish is using the fishing rod that you have on hand!

Although the Redtail catfish is a freshwater fish and difficult to keep, not all aquarium hobbyists agree. Many think that they’re manageable and easier to keep than other fish.

The redtail catfish has a very classic “catfish” look to it. It has very long whiskers (called barbels) which stick out from the face, and can’t be missed no matter what speed it is swimming at.

These creatures’ main color is dark grey and they also have tiny dots located on this area of their bodies.

Redtail catfish
Redtail catfish


suckermouth catfish

The suckermouth catfish is a fish native to parts of South America. The catfish is usually found in the wild in shallow waters and rivers, but due to its popularity as a pet among aquarium hobbyists, it has been introduced to other parts of the world. The fish can grow up to 10 inches in length and live up to 10 years.

Suckermouth catfish have a hard outer layer that looks like armor. These scales may have an extra ridge which causes the fish to look spiky. The suckermouth catfish is brown in coloration with dark spots and/or stripes.

Some fish have tan or yellow patterns, which is good for them as it helps them to blend into the color of their surroundings. This is important for those living in a heavily planted tank.

The suckermouth catfish is known for its specially designed mouthparts that allow it to eat plants and breathe while sticking to a flat surface.

suckermouth catfish
suckermouth catfish

Otocinclus catfish

The otocinclus catfish is an aquarium fish species that can be found in freshwater and brackish water habitats. They get their name from the bristles on their head which resemble a cat’s whiskers.

The otocinclus catfish may not be the most attractive aquarium pet, but it is one of the most useful. The bristles around its mouth filter and clean debris and particles from the water, making for a cleaner environment for other tank inhabitants to live in.

These fish, which are also known as “algae eaters“, are very easy to care for and will live comfortably in any environment provided. They are known for their ability to eat algae quickly and easily without any need for extra food. These fish are also less demanding than other types of fish, so they’re better for people who don’t have much experience taking care of them. They can be put into just about any type of freshwater aquarium.

Otocinclus catfish
Otocinclus catfish


Glass Catfish

The glass catfish is an interesting species to keep in a home aquarium. We all know they are a popular choice for beginners, but they also make a great showpiece for any aquarium.

Glass Catfish are usually found in the drainages of the Orinoco and Amazon River basins in Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. They don’t grow as large as other Catfishes but can still reach lengths of about 24 inches long. They have been known to live up to 15 years when cared for properly.

Glass Catfish are omnivores that will eat anything from snails and shrimp pellets to small fish as well as plants and algae from the tank substrate. Despite being carnivorous by nature, they don’t do well with aggressive tankmates so you’ll want to avoid

Glass catfish
Glass catfish


In Conclusion

In the end, we really hope you enjoyed the article. We tried to share and give you all information we have and we hope it could be helpful.

in this article, we talked about catfish aquariums. so if you looking for some information in order to have a catfish in your tank, this article will help you, how to select the perfect catfish species that suit your tank and what are the most common species.




Pictus Catfish

Bumblebee Catfish

Otocinclus Catfish

Striped Raphael Catfish

Chinese Algae Eater

Twig Catfish

  1. Tiger Shovelnose Catfish

Besides some other species explained in detail.

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