How Many Catfish Per Gallon Of Water For Aquaponics

Last Updated on February 10, 2022 by Cinthia

If you are struggling to know how many catfish per gallon of water, not too worry. This post attempts to answer your troubling questions and more.

The delicious catfish is one of the most rewarding fish you can raise in your aquaponics. They are pretty forgiving and tolerant and they can survive with a little or huge variation.

Knowing the stocking density of catfish will increase your chances of a better and rewarding relationship between your plants and fish. So let’s dive into how many catfish can fit per gallon of water.

How Many Catfish Can Fit per Gallon of Water
How Many Catfish Per Gallon Of Wate...
How Many Catfish Per Gallon Of Water For Aquaponics

Getting the correct stocking density for your catfish will help to go a long way in your aquaponics.

If the numbers of catfish in your gallon are too small they might not be enough nutrients for your plants. Reversely, if you have too many catfish in your gallon, the bacteria may be inadequate to clean your water. This may in turn cause your catfish to die of excess ammonia.

How Many Catfish Can Fit per Gallon

The appropriate number of catfish you can fit per gallon of water is one pound of fish per eight gallons of water. This way, stress is reduced and there’s adequate space for oxygen. However, note that when it comes to a fully grown catfish, you will require more than 8 gallons of water per fish.

Catfish are fast-growing fish and they usually grow quickly during their first breeding years. You can increase the quantity of water as your aquaponics system duration increases and the nitrifying bacteria become more powerful.

Check out the Best Plants for Small Aquaponics and Where to Buy Fish for Aquaponics Systems

When it comes to catfish aquaponics recommended tank size, a very large tank is required. Catfish are fast growers and they can grow up to 2 or 3 pounds in just 12 months.

The fact that a whole 8 gallons of water are required for just one catfish shows a large tank is required. Although if you wish to raise one or two catfish and a small grow bed, you can make use of a small tank.

Go for a bigger tank so you can give your catfish a good quantity of filtration, aeration, and water flow and your catfish will flourish excellently.

Let’s take an illustration and see the ratio of a large tank to the number of catfish:

  • Let’s take 6 fully grown catfish weighing 2 to 3 pounds each. The total weight of all the 6 grown catfish will be approximately 18 pounds. Therefore, a total of 18 pounds of catfish will require at least 144 gallons of water. (Using one pound of catfish equals 8 gallons of water).

Other Catfish Requirements

The tolerance and hardiness of catfish vary with species. Therefore, select the variety of fish that will suit and adapt to your aquaponics system.

With different species of catfish, channel catfish is one of the best varieties, the reason being that they are very forgiving and tolerant to cold water. They are perfect for beginners and they can as well live with other fish such as koi, tilapia, and crappie.

Other catfish requirements for your catfish to flourish include:

  • Oxygen: good air circulation and aeration is needed for your catfish. Ensure you use a good air stone and air pump so there is adequate availability of oxygen to suit your catfish.
  • Food: feed your catfish with good high-quality protein fish food. You can also feed them with worms, black soldier flies, and insects. Ideally, we recommend you supply your catfish with about 2.5% of their body weight. Even though you can’t weigh your catfish weigh all your catfish, you can estimate their body weight from their sizes. A full-grown catfish weighs around 2 to 3 pounds. If there’s uneaten or excess food in your aquaponics system, you will need to readjust the amount of food the next time you feed your catfish.

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  • Temperatures and pH: catfish can withstand variation in water temperatures. However, the ideal water temperature ranges from 65 to 90 Fahrenheit. If the temperature goes above or below these standards, extra aeration will be required for your aquatic animal. They also have good tolerance to pH levels. Their pH can range from 7 to 8.

Final Say on How Many Catfish Per Gallon

Catfish is the second great option after tilapia when it comes to aquaponics for beginners. Even though catfish are quite hardy and tolerant, tilapia however is more resilient.

This is usually why tilapia is preferred to catfish for beginners. However, if you have a bit of experience with catfish or you wanted to have some daring experience, then you can opt for catfish.