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Related Catfish FAQs:  Catfishes, Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Feeding, Disease, ReproductionColumbian "sharks",


Related Articles: Sucker mouth Cats/Loricariids, Otocinclus, Callichthyids, Ictalurid CatfishesMochokids/Synodontis, Candirus (Trichomycterids, Cetopsids), Marine Catfishes: Plotosids, Ariids


/A Diversity of Aquatic Life


 Catfishes, A Super-Group of Fishes


Bob Fenner

A "Pleco" on a food hunt


Selection: Notes on Quarantine:


    All recently wild-collected catfish specimens should be kept in isolation APART from your other livestock (i.e. in quarantine) for a good two weeks plus, to 1) give them time, rest from the rigors of collection, transport, 2) train them on non-wild, likely novel foods without competition, 3) for you to observe them for signs of possible pathogenic disease, and 4) to make it easier to remove them should they falter, die, get beat up, come down with something because you didn't quarantine them!


    Such QT systems can be simple, low or no light, heated, filtered, carefully fully covered (they may look slow and dumpy, but most cats can "exit stage up" if their tank is open), tanks with a piece of pipe, rock or other structure for the cat/s to hide amongst... you can use a flashlight to observe your new charges more closely... After a few days on hand, some water from your main systems (where you intend to move these fishes to) can be introduced... to acclimate the newbies.

    Generally two weeks rest/observation time will tell if your new charges are "going to make it" or no... but "if in doubt, leave them out". No sense infecting/infesting your main systems with problems if you can see to waiting a few more days to weeks. Better safe than sorry, believe me.

To do: add families/links covered on WWM


Family Schilbeidae: a family of open water catfishes of Africa and Asia. Here is Ompok bimaculatus (Bloch 1794)

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The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Family Siluridae: 12 genera and about 100 species of Asian and European catfishes, all freshwater. Family includes the largest strictly freshwater fish, the European Wel, Siluris glanis, up to 5 meters in length, 330 kg. in weight. No spine before dorsal fin, lack an adipose, and pelvics are either small or completely absent. Nasal barbel absent as well, and have long anal fin base (41-110 rays).  

Kryptopterus bicirrhis (Valenciennes 1840), the Glass Catfish.



Notes on Treating Catfishes for Disease:

    Catfishes are all "scale-less" fishes, though for convenience sake, most writers/folks split them into either "naked" or armored, depending on whether the given group (usually family) sports obvious body body armor or not. Naked siluriiforms in particular are problematic when using many of what are offered as "medicines" in fishy pharmacies... Copper compounds and Malachite Green (not always obviously present when just reading the product name... read the ingredients label) are particularly toxic to these fishes. If you find that you must use these, do utilize just half doses, with the added benefit of elevated temperature (about ten degrees F. more depending on species involved), or better still, less toxic medicants. I particularly like "Furan" compounds (Furanace, Nitrofurazone, Furazolidone) for non-specific infectious agents ("fungusses", bacterial complaints like petecchia, blood spots, tears in the skin, "burned" whiskers and the like), and "Clear Ich" by Aquatronics for protozoan complaints (e.g. ich, velvet...).

Bibliography/Further Reading:


Catfishes on the Internet:



Planet Catfish: http://www.planetcatfish.com/core/index.htm



Burgess, Warren E. 1989. An Atlas of Freshwater and Marine Catfishes. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications. NJ, USA. pp. 786.

Nelson, Joseph S. 1994. Fishes of the World, 3d ed.. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. NY. 600pp.

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