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Clarias batrachus
Clarias (Walking) Catfish

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Walking Catfish - Clarias batrachus

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clarias1.jpg (29kb)
Photo Credit: Munish Jauhar

Name: Clarias batrachus
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: India to Malaysia
50 cm 400 L 7.0 23C


The Walking Catfish was my first catfish. I had two, but one walked away and dried up. So don't forget to put a good, strong cover over your aquarium! Everyone in my house says it is horrible, but I think it's cute, even though its huge (20cm) and eats everything. I would recommend this fish to anyone who lives in a country where you are allowed to keep one, has a large tank, and has a lot of love and care for a nice fish.

Contributed by Toh Sze Chong

I have a 35 cm Walking Catfish and he eats ANYTHING. They can breathe atmospheric air, so that enables them to live in water that has low oxygen levels. In the wild, if they don't like the water they are in, they just get up and leave. So make sure your water quality is good and that you have a tight lid on the top of your tank. Mine is in a 1100 liter tank with 14 other large fish (mostly American Cichlids). The only fish he attacked and couldn't be kept in with him was an 18 cm Sleeper/Marbled Goby and a 30 cm African ANNECTONS Lungfish. For some reason he didn't like these slow moving bottom dwellers at all. I wouldn't recommend putting any slow moving bottom dwellers with him including the Polypterus species. If you want a fish that is very hardy and will eat anything, then this is the fish for you. :-)

Contributed by Erik

There are different colour variations of these airbreathing catfish. I have a piebald one and one albino with red eyes. I keep them in a 200 L aquarium and at their current size (15-17 cm) they seem happy in it. Their tankmates are a group of Anostomus anostomus. Most of the day they just rest on the bottom, but when it's feeding time or at night they become active predators. Someone told me they are great escapers - when the water conditions aren't sufficient enough for them, they will just "walk out" your aquarium.

Contributed by Jan De Wolf

I had one of these amazing critters for a couple of years, and they do eat anything everything. The water conditions must have been good, because he never tried to escape my 350 liter home for him. Before he moved on though, he grew to almost 70 cm and weighed 1.2 kg. He didn't like any decorations of any kind and rooted up everything, but I still thought he was the coolest cat in town.

Contributed by J. & G. Becker

I have two walking catfish in my 2.4 meter tank. They are monsters and when people say they eat anything it is true. My largest is 23 cm long and the other 16 cm long. I did have a Synodontis multipunctatus in the tank (11 cm) the largest of my clarias ate him whole. I work in an aquarium shop and to be honest would not recommend this fish to anyone who wants other bottom dwellers in the tank as well. These fish are also very powerful and can easily push the lid up on an aquarium. Don't get me wrong, these fish are superb fish to keep, but also one of the most powerful, so only keep with fish with a considerably taller body. They eat tins of cat food, no problem. So if you can afford to feed them and keep them in a big enough tank then I would strongly recommend buying them. Superb character!

Contributed by Michelle Fenniche

I have a piebald Clarias cat and though he is very beautiful, I don't like him. He is in with my two Oscars and a striped Raphael cat. He has bitten my smallest Oscar and given him fin rot. I am trying to find him a new home, but no one wants this terminator fish. He will eat anything and everything, whether it can fit into his mouth or not. He is not all bad I guess, because he is good at cleaning up after the Oscars' messy eating habits. I find him very interesting to watch. He is very active during day and night. I would recommend keeping the Clarias cat alone if at all, in a tightly covered aquarium.

Contributed by Sarah

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