Foods That Catfish Eat in The Wild and Captivity

Catfish are omnivores, meaning they can eat just about anything that comes their way. Catfish are a diverse group of fish that feature whiskers and barbels, which help them to seek out food. Catfish eat a variety of foods including vegetables and fruits, meat, earthworms, frogs, insects, fish eggs, and other fish. The habitat of catfish and the prevailing season determines what catfish eat, particularly in the wild.  

The diet of catfish in the wild is not the same as what they will love to eat in captivity. Both ways, it has been established that catfish will eat anything they find; hence, you do not need to worry about what catfish will eat if you have one. In this article, we will cover everything from what catfish eat naturally to other foods they can eat as well as how often you should feed your catfish if you want them to healthy lives

What Food Do Catfish Eat

What Do Catfish Eat In The Wild

Naturally, Catfish are found in saltwater, freshwater, and brackish water. There are lots of food resources catfish can eat in the wild. Catfish diet in the wild consists of algae, fry, fish eggs, minnows, crickets, shrimp, plant matter, and decay fossils found beneath the river or streams. They all serve natural food for catfish.

In the wild, catfish scavenge for food from various depths of the waterbody; they have various options to select from, ranging from plant matter to earthworms, crustaceans, and other fish they can prey on. Catfish are known for eating the carcasses of dead fish. In some literature, catfish are termed opportunistic eaters in the wild.

What Do Catfish Eat In Captivity (Aquariums or Ponds)

Catfish diet is more improved in captivity. Usually, catfish are fed to meet a certain demand when they are housed in ponds (concrete or plastic) and aquariums. In captivity, catfish are fed local foods and commercial catfish pellets that are specially formulated for catfish at different growth stages to attain certain weight within a desired period.

Catfish are fed pellets made from various ingredients such as vegetables, grains, and byproducts like fishmeal, that provide nutrients such as protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals for their health growth. Commercial catfish pellets are usually floating for better utilization by catfish; they can be bought at pet stores or online, and they’re typically made in bulk so they last a long time. While this isn’t exactly fresh food, pellets are better because they contain more blends of nutrients than what catfish eat in the wild.

Local food for catfish, such as groundnut cake, soybean meal, bloodmeal, maggot meal, and more, are food options available for catfish in captivity. Although they are not as nutritious as the commercial catfish pellet, they contain an appreciable amount of nutrients that can be beneficial to the catfish when fed. Catfish local foods are more of supplementary foods than a whole diet; they can be fed alongside the commercial feeds for cost reduction’s sake.  

In addition to commercial catfish pellets, catfish can also eat some vegetables and fruits as treats or supplement feeds. They enjoy carrots, broccoli, and celery. Catfish also like apples, oranges, bananas, watermelon, lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes. These fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals; they also help to improve the gut health of catfish. Vegetables and fruits must be chopped into small pieces before giving to catfish to eat.

What Is The Best Time To Feed Catfish?

Catfish are fed twice per day and the best time to feed them is during the coolest part of the day. Catfish producers usually feed catfish early in the morning and late in the evening. One of the ways to control pollution from excessive feed and algae problems is to control the amount of feed given to the catfish. To do this, a ratio of 2:1 must be adopted. This means feeding the catfish more in the morning and half of that portion in the evening.

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