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Ictalurus punctatus, Channel Catfish, Graceful Catfish

Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is North America's most numerous catfish species. It is the official fish of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Tennessee, and is informally referred to as a "Channel Cat". In the United States they are the most fished catfish species with approximately 8 million anglers targeting them per year. The popularity of the channel catfish for food has contributed to the rapid expansion of aquaculture of this species in the United States.

The Channel Catfish is a beautiful, hardy bottom feeder. They are a great fish to start with in Aquaponics. Catfish in general are very similar to Tilapia, but they are just a little hardier. Catfish will continue to grow in lower temperatures while Tilapia growing will slow down. Overall Catfish will grow just as fast if not faster than Tilapia. The same as Tilapia, Catfish can survive in somewhat poor conditions, but they will do far better if their environment has good aeration, filtration and water flow.

Catfish are an assorted group of ray-finned fish that vary greatly in size. They are a tasty choice and are definitely worth considering if you plan on raising a food fish. They are omnivores, and in nature eat crickets, minnows, freshwater drum, crawfish, frogs, sunfish etc. Channel Catfish mature between 3 and 8 years of age, the males find a cave or hollow to invite the female to lay her eggs. Then the male stays and guards the eggs, using his tail to fan water over them to keep them oxygenated.
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