African Catfish, Best 10 Information

African catfish is very suitable for commercial and small-scale farming. This species is hardy and can thrive in poor conditions making it an ideal choice for aquaculture. There are many locally produced by-products, such as fishmeal, from which catfish are cooked. African catfish is also used to make “bait” that gets people hooked on fishing.

There has been a tremendous rise in demand for food as people’s lifestyles and diets change, but it is difficult to predict the amount of fish required going forward because of the difficulty in predicting future food demand and population growth rates.


Physical Characteristics

The African catfish has a compressed, high, and narrow body. It has a large head as compared to its body size, with a prominent upper jaw and very large eyes. Above the pectoral fin, there is a small hump that provides for lateral line operation. The dorsal fin is set far back on the back, almost reaching the middle of the caudal fin.

The mouth of the African catfish is small and inclined upwards. The adipose fin is small and set far back on the tail. The African catfish can come in a variety of colors, depending on what they have been fed.

Their natural color is grey, brown, or a mixture of both. Depending on their range they are also known to have darker markings, ranging from red to blue to yellow. They have vertical stripes that are difficult to see with the naked eye but are very easy to see on nights. The stripes fade toward the tail.

Site selection

An African catfish pond should be located where water quality is good and the soil fertile. The pond should have a large area with plenty of natural covers, such as grass or bushes, to provide refuge for the fish. Areas without suitable cover should be planted with trees and shrubs.

Pond preparation

Select a site for the fish pond that will allow for good aeration. The soil should be acid, pH: pH – 5.5 to 6.2 with 3 to 4% dissolved solids (DS). The area should be well-drained, with an average rainfall of 350–550 mm per year and a pH between 6.0 and 7.0, without any chemical fertilizer amendments being used in the soil or surrounding area.

As aquarium fish

African catfish is a popular fish in home aquariums. In the wild, African catfish can be fed on smaller fish, insects, and other live foods. The African catfish are very territorial and aggressive and need large aquariums that are heavily planted with filaments or other hiding places to avoid fights. It is necessary to provide them with plenty of swimming space since they grow quite large.


African catfish are omnivorous. It eats aquatic plants, usually the bottom-most ones, insects, and other fish. It will also sometimes eat other animals it finds in the water such as land snails and small birds, either dead or alive. They also eat supplementary feed.

Supplementary feed containing 40% blood of the animal, wheat chaff 20%, rich dust 20%, and mustard cake 20%. For successful commercial catfish farming, it requires 30-40% animal protein.


This catfish species generally don’t affect by any diseases. Their disease resistance power is very high. But if the quality of water gets damaged then they may suffer from many diseases.


In the breeding season, the male fish attract the female fish with various kinds of signals. Then the male starts to follow her and put his milt into her mouth. After fertilization, the fish lay their eggs on the bottom of the ponds or any other smooth surface, where they stick together.

The female catfish will lay their eggs after every 20 days or so, with an average temperature, of not less than 25 °C and a day length of over 12 hours.

Difference between Clarias and hybrid catfish

The main difference between Clarias catfish and hybrid catfish is in the shape of the body, head, and fins. Clarias is a more rounded and longer head than hybrid catfish. The body of hybrid catfish is bulkier and short-bodied, with a strongly developed dorsal fin. The head and fins are similar to Clarias catfish, but hybrid catfish lack dark eyes.


African catfish can be grown in ponds of any size; however, ponds should be large enough to allow for expansion of the population and minimize the risk of disease spreading quickly.

African Catfish for marketing
African Catfish for marketing

Pond size should be based on expected seasonal changes and the number of fish per hectare required. However, review the full profile of the African catfish in the following table.

Best 10 information

NameAfrican catfish.
Others nameMuschi fish , muschi catfish , C. gariepinus.
Scientific NameClarias Gariepinus.
Life cycleEgg-larvae-adult.


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