The Clarias, or Walking Catfish is a large fish from the family Clariidae. It has an elongated body with very long-based dorsal and anal fins. Eight barbels outline the mouth. The Clarias Catfish can display a large variety of colors including tan, gray, and brown. An albino strain has also been introduced to the hobby.
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Due to their adult size of close to two feet in length, these fish must be provided with a large aquarium. One of the common names of this fish is 'Walking' Catfish, and as that name suggests, these fish have the ability to crawl onto land and 'walk' to a new body of water when their current environment won't suffice. Clarias Catfish are illegal in many of the warmer states due to the fact that they can be released by foolish owners into local ponds and take over with their predatory lifestyle and ability to wipe out an entire food chain and then move on to the next pond to continue. Obviously a tight-fitting canopy is a must. Provide the fish with plants and hiding places.
A Clarias Catfish can attack, kill and eat fish close to its same size. For this reason most tankmates could become prey to this carnivore. Recommended foods include beef heart, earthworms, fish and vegetable matter such as brussel sprouts, pieces of fruit and softened rolled oats. If allowed, they will often eat until their bellies swell to the size of a human fist. If this should happen, allow for several days of fasting.
The pH in the aquarium should be kept slightly acidic, between 6.5-7.0. A water temperature between 62-79 degrees F will suffice. These fish are extremely hardy and in warmer areas they may be kept without a heater if necessary.
Little is known about the breeding behavior of these oddballs. Sexing can be done by observing the dorsal fin; males have spots on their dorsals while females lack this characteristic.