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Catfish

catfish

Catfish are schooling fish and lives with 37 different families. More than 2000 species of these species is known to the human being for their barbell shaped whiskers, which they have around their mouth. These fish can be found in the waters of all over the world.

Physical Description
These fishes are silvery blue or light olive and have black spots on their body. They have a flat head and a forked shaped tail. The whiskers, which they have on their face, are most recognizable feature of this catfish. This species have been given their name as catfish because of their cat-like appearance of the face and their whiskers. The catfish grow up to a size of about (12 to 24) inches and weighs about (2 to 7) pounds. This species have a life span of around 25 years. A catfish caught in Carolina weighed about 38 pounds, which is world record. These species may differ in their body shape and size. They may have variety of shapes but most of them have cylindrical body with a flattened ventrum, which allows for the benthic feeding. Most of these species have a mouth, which they can expand to a large size, and as they do not have incisiform teeth, they swallow or gulp their prey directly. They do not have scales on their body like the other fish. These species posses a spine-like ray on their pectoral and dorsal fins, which can cause severe wounds when attacked.

Habitat
These fishes prefer deep water with moderate current, where the water is cool and clean. They can be seen in the sandy or rocky bottom. These species are found in the rivers, swamps, lakes, streams and reservoirs. These can be found in the inland or coastal waters in the continent all over the world, except Antarctica.

Diet
These fishes can feed on anything that comes their way. These are mostly known to feed on crayfish, clams, snails, larvae, worms, seed and small marine fish. They feed mostly at night and they use their whiskers to scavenge their food.

catfish Breeding / Reproduction
These fishes make a nest for laying their eggs. They make a nest at the bottom of the river. The nesting season in these species is late spring to early summer. The females lay eggs in a huge quantity, which may be around 4000 eggs per year. Unlike many of the other sea animals, the male guards the nest and keeps the eggs safe from the other predators. It takes around (5 to 10) days for the eggs to hatch. The juvenile of these species have large heads, posterior median fins and eyes as compared to the adult of these species.

Catfish and Aquarium
These species have a diverse nature and are not suitable for the aquariums. These species of fish are hard to keep in an aquarium not because of their size but because of their hard requirements in the captivity, which would be very difficult to fulfill.