How to Build a Catfish Tank

Depending on their environment, some catfish grow quite large.
Depending on their environment, some catfish grow quite large. (Image: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A catfish can be a starting fish to help enthusiasts learn how to build environments and take care of fish. If put in the correct setup and environment, various catfish species can help them understand catfish habits and activities. An aquarium also is a decorative addition to a living room . Regardless of the goal, building a catfish tank is a fairly simple process that entails a bit of planning and hard work.

Things You'll Need

  • 20-gallon fish tank
  • Algae scrub pad
  • Fish tank gravel
  • Aquarium decorations
  • Bucket
  • Airlift filter
  • Container

Rinse a 20-gallon fish tank with warm water while scrubbing it firmly with an algae scrub pad. Do not use cleaning agents, such as soap, because they kill catfish. Submerge fish tank gravel and aquarium decorations you will use in a bucket filled with boiling water for 30 minutes to eliminate harmful elements that can endanger catfish.

Cleaning the tank and materials is essential.
Cleaning the tank and materials is essential. (Image: Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images)

Fill the tank with pond or lake water or tap water. If you use tap water, fill the tank and let it sit outside for one week, which allows chlorine to erode and natural algae to create a living microsystem. If you use pond or lake water, simply fill the tank with the water and proceed with the tank's setup.

Prepare the tank's water correctly.
Prepare the tank's water correctly. (Image: Images)

Disperse the aquarium gravel onto the tank's bottom to create a flat plane. Place an airlift filter into the gravel in one of the tank's corners by running its filter line on the side of the tank's wall. While catfish excel at surviving in oxygen-depleted and stagnate waters, they need oxygen, and your airlift filter should supply enough oxygen for a 20-gallon tank. Examine the airlift filter's box information for the maximum tank size the filter supports.

Placing the gravel and filter on the tank's bottom evens oxygen flow.
Placing the gravel and filter on the tank's bottom evens oxygen flow. (Image: Images)

Purchase your catfish pup. Both channel and bull-headed catfish thrive in a tank, but choose one under 6 inches long so it fits optimally in a 20-gallon tank. If you wish to keep the catfish for a long time, start with a larger tank, depending on the catfish's species, or continually increase tank size to house your growing catfish.

Place the catfish in a container, and submerge the container in the tank. That method helps the catfish adjust to the tank's water temperature and prevents the catfish from going into shock. Use any container for the task. After 15 minutes, release the catfish from the container and into the aquarium.

Tips & Warnings

  • Identifying your catfish's species can help you understand its potential size.
  • Catfish are community fish, which means you may easily house them with other non-aggressive pond fish.
  • Catfish are bottom-feeder fish and can eat almost anything.
  • Do not use cleaning agents when cleaning your fish tank.

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