How to Breed Catfish Indoors

Explore America's Campgrounds

Catfish are common fish that got their name because of their cat-like whiskers. These whiskers are actually barbels, or projections, that contain the fish's taste buds. Catfish use these barbels to feed in murky waters or on the bottom of rivers and ponds. You can raise catfish outdoors or in an aquarium. Let us take a look at how to breed catfish indoors.

Items you will need

  • Catfish

  • Aquarium

  • Gravel

  • Gravel Filter

  • Stone (Preferably Slate)

To breed catfish indoors you will need an aquarium. Cover the bottom of your fish tank with fine gravel. You should use an undergravel filter. Because catfish like murky water, this will keep the water from being disturbed too often. Catfish are also nocturnal. They need places to hide during the day. They also require hiding places to breed. Set up some little caves in your tank. Build them out of stone. Slate is a good stone to use.

Keep a number of catfish together in the tank. The more catfish the greater the chance they will breed. Be sure to feed them regularly. Though catfish are commonly scavengers they do not always get enough to eat simply from scrounging. Make sure the pH of your water stays below 7. This means the catfish require water that is somewhat acidic. The temperature should also be kept below 78 degrees.

Make sure your water is clean. Catfish like murky water. They do not thrive in dirty water. A diet of black worms will keep your tank suitably cloudy for breeding. But be careful not to overuse the black worms. Black worms encourage catfish breeding. Too many of them actually dirty the water. Add fresh water regularly. The new water should be cooler in temperature than the water already in the tank.

Never crowd your catfish. They will not breed if they do not have room. The young, or fry, require space as well. Once hatched, the fry will live in the gravel. The fry require their own miniature food. Feed them very small worms or tiny shrimp. There is not much you can to do to force the catfish to breed. Provide the right conditions and hope for the best.


  • Adjust the size of your aquarium to the size of your catfish. If you keep them with other fish, make sure the different species can coexist peaceably.
Gone Outdoors