The Most Popular Catfish For Freshwater Tanks

popular catfish for fesh water tank

Let’s say that you’ve done your research and gotten yourself a freshwater fish tank for your home, office or restaurant. But that’s just half the job.

You would still need to figure out what some of the good choices are and then, choose which ones you want to keep in your fresh water fish tank.

Let’s get the obvious fact out of the way; yes, catfishes and their babies are one of the best and most popular options to keep in your fresh water tank.

However, even if you have made up your mind that you will only be keeping catfishes, you’ll still have to think about which ones you want among the thousands of different catfishes available in the market.

Let’s make the whole decision making process a bit easier for you with this list of 5 most popular catfish species that you can consider to place in your fish tank.

Catfish For Freshwater Tank

1. Glass Catfish

The glass catfish is one of the most popular species of catfish in the world, if not the most popular catfish species in the world. These are as beautiful as they are popular and their notability is mostly attributed to the fact that much like glass, they have transparent bodies.

Due to their beautiful transparent bodies, they are also often referred to as “Ghost Catfish” and they are sure to give your aquarium or fish tank a beautiful and unique look.

Glass Catfish

However, you have to bear in mind that if you choose to have them, they require escape from direct light (mostly sunlight) so you have to decorate the tank in such a way that they can get away from direct light if they want to.

Also, you have to consider that these species of catfish are also what they call a schooling species, meaning they need to be kept in a group. 

Don’t just put one or two in there; make sure you have room to put at least 6-8 of them in your fresh water fish tank.

2. Upside Down Catfish

If even the beauty of the glass fish isn’t enough for you, and you really want to hammer home the point that you are really cool and unique, then you should definitely go for the upside-down catfish.

Trust me when I say this to you that these little catfish species will definitely turn some heads. They are beautiful, and like their name suggests, you can spot them in the bottom of the tank, roaming around upside down.

Upside Down Catfish

Though, the younger ones of the species are often seen feeding and swimming right side up instead of being completely upside down.

They are relatively easy to take care of, though they prefer to stay in a group of at least 4-6 individuals and they prefer to stay in tanks that have a lot of plants in it. Upside down catfish enhances the beauty of fish tank as well as its uniqueness.


3. Cory Catfish

These specific species of catfish are quite popular, and after reading this section, you will easily realize why. These catfishes are tremendously cute. They are actually almost as cute as they are tiny.

Because these “Cordoras Catfish” species don’t usually grow any larger than two to three inches, they are a great choice for fish tanks of all shapes and sizes.

Cory Catfish

Also, another huge selling point for this species of catfish is that, they are relatively easy to take care of and they don’t have too many specific needs.

So, even beginner level fish owners can buy these fishes without worrying too much about the mortality rate.

However, they do have rather vulnerable and soft underbellies, so it’s better to be safe and use a sand substrate for your tank if you decide to keep the Cory Catfish in your fish tank. Also, these species are schooling spices as well, so try to keep them in groups in the tank too.

4. Pictus Catfish

Pictus catfish have become popular over the years among fishes that are kept in the aquarium or fish tanks, mostly because of their oddly long antennas and classic silver color.

Like most other catfish species, these are pretty peaceful. Yet, it is not recommended to keep them with fishes so small that they can make a feast off of them. So small fishes like Neon Tetras shouldn’t be kept in the same tank as these bad boys. 

Pictus Catfish

Also, if you are actually considering keeping these species of catfish in your fresh water fish tank, keep in mind that they aren’t suitable for living in small tanks.

The tank should be able to contain at least 70 to 80 gallon of water, despite the popular opinion that they can live in 30-gallon tanks. So, if you have a small tank, maybe you could reconsider buying this type of catfish.

5. Striped Raphael Catfish

These Striped Raphael Catfishes are unlike any other catfishes in my list up until this point, simply because they are quite larger than the rest of the catfish species in this list.

They tend to grow up to 7-10 inches and hence, you will only be able to consider keeping these if your fish tank holds over 60 gallons. However, don’t let their size mislead or scare you, as despite being a giant compared to the other types of catfish in the list, they are very friendly.

Striped Raphael Catfish

I would recommend keeping these guys in any community tanks with much smaller fish, though they can also hold their own in tanks filled with aggressive predators.

Like all the other categories listed here, this species of catfish is also omnivorous and thrives when given the proper mix of plant and meat based foods.

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These have, of course, been five of the most popular catfish for fresh water tank. Don’t think for a second that your tank is going to look too ordinary to outsiders.

Because I can assure you that each of the these five different species of catfish are beautiful and unique in their own ways and will definitely turn some heads when people actually come and take a look at them.

Last Updated on January 4th, 2021

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