A large catfish is shown here. There are many types of catfish for aquariums.

Is there any wet pet more intriguing than a catfish? Not only are there hundreds of types of catfish for aquariums, but they have fascinating appearances and can help keep your fish tank cleaner. Their characteristics are fun to watch, and they’re relatively peaceful.

One of the most common and popular bottom feeders, catfish can help keep your fish tank cleaner when you start with RODI water and properly functioning filters.

12 of the Best Types of Catfish for Aquariums

1. Pictus Catfish

With long barbels – whiskers, if you will – this freshwater fish is typically spotted and gray or blue. For hobbyists who are looking for an iconic whisker look, this is a great option. It’s also easy to care for, so even beginners can get on board with this one.

2. Upside-Down Catfish

It’s not all about keeping your fish tank clean. It’s also about adding intriguing pets into your environment, and the upside-down catfish will help you do just that. It’s known for literally commonly swimming upside-down, making it especially fun to watch.

3. Cory Catfish

There are more than 165 species of cory catfish, with bandit, panda, bronze, and three-stripe catfish being among the best for aquariums.

There are more than 165 species of cory catfish, many of which are excellent tank cleaners, as shown here.
There are more than 165 species of cory catfish, many of which are excellent tank cleaners, as shown here.

4. Plecostomus (Suckermouth)

If you’re looking for something fun and funny to watch, the suckermouth is the wet pet that can enhance your environment. With its suction cup-like mouth, the plecostomus is like the star of the catfish world. This is one of the divas you’ve most likely seen sucking on the inside of tank glass in photographs.

5. Bristlenose Pleco

This aptly named catfish is especially popular for aquariums due to its rather funny appearance. With a bristle nose, there’s no need to wonder how these fish are so good at sweeping up the excess debris and algae in your tank.

Several species of plecos can help keep your aquarium cleaner.
Several species of plecos can help keep your aquarium cleaner.

6. Striped Raphael Catfish

The appearance and personality of the striped Raphael makes it a favorite among both beginners and experienced hobbyists alike. Also known as chocolate doradid, thorny, and talking catfish, it’s more social and playful than some other types of aquarium catfish.

7. Dwarf Suckers

Also known as otos, the more formal name for this catfish is otocinclus. These peaceful freshwater fish are some of the best algae eaters around.

8. Bumblebee Catfish

These adorable little fish are perfect for smaller tanks, but other fish in the tank should be larger than them. Why? They have big mouths and could swallow up small fish easily. Of course, that makes them great tank cleaners. As the name would imply, they’re colorful, striped fish.

9. Glass Catfish

If you’re not a huge fan of the more signature appearance, these transparent, silvery fish look more like common fish. But don’t let that look fool you. These catfish will do the job like the rest of them.

10. Chinese Algae Eater

The Chinese algae eater will grow to almost a foot long, so it’s best for large tanks. It also will need that space because it may be uncomfortable with too many other fish nearby.

11. Twig Catfish

If you’re a fan of fascinating your guests with a game of find the fish, this little guy will do the trick. It looks like a twig and will therefore blend into your gravel, plants, or other decor. That’s part of what makes it an exceptionally good cleaner.

A twig catfish has a way of blending into its environment.
A twig catfish has a way of blending into its environment.

12. Tiger Shovelnose Catfish

The tiger shovelnose is ideal for commercial aquariums or large aquariums in business settings. They can grow to three feet long! They will also require skilled care, so experience in fishkeeping will be required. The good news is that they can live for about 20 years with the proper care.

For more tips about how to properly care for various types of aquarium catfish or to order RODI water to help create a more optimal environment for your habitat, contact us by phone or through our Seatech H2O website.

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