Sunday, 4 December 2011

Catfish are the bottom-feeders


Walking Catfish (Clarias batrachus) 

There are very many fish known as catfish in the world and most of these have whisker-like barbels that have earned them the name. Lots of the species found in the tropics are popular with tropical fish enthusiasts who like to keep them in their aquariums as pets. There are some really weird species of catfish such as the Walking Catfish and the Glass Catfish, and yes, the former travels over the ground and the latter you can see through!

I know that when I was younger and had a whole lot ot tropical fish tanks that I had a growing collection of various types of catfish. They fascinated me because of their unusual appearances and behaviour. I never saw any types of catfish as ugly though I am sure many people might view them that way.  On the contrary I find their whiskery faces rather cute.  I also really enjoy watching catfish rummaging around looking for food, food that other fish have missed out on.

Many people think that catfish will keep a tank clean and that they live on the dirt that accumulates but this is not true. Catfish need proper food just like other species of tropical fish. It is just that many types of catfish are adapted to search in the bottom substrate for food that may have escaped into it. This is where their barbels come in handy. Some types of catfish have sucker mouths that are used for grazing on the algae that grows on rocks, plants and the glass sides of an aquarium. 

Catfish are the bottom-feeders

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