Pictus Catfish Best Water Temperature – Minimum & Maximum

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When you’re buying new fish, one of the first things you’ll want to know is the main requirements of the fish. This includes their diet, their breeding and feeding habits, and of course, the desired water parameters. And the most crucial parameter for happy and healthy fish is the water temperature.

The ideal temperatures for pictus catfish are between 75-81 degrees Fahrenheit (23-27 degrees Celsius). However, the fish can adapt to slightly lower and slightly higher temperatures, but only for brief periods of time.

You should be aiming to keep the temperatures within the ideal range. If they are too low for a lot of time, they will have a very negative effect on the fish. In the long-term, they can cause diseases and even death.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what are the good temperatures for pictus catfish, how to maintain and achieve those temperatures, and everything else you might need to know about it.

Pictus Catfish Minimum Water Temperature

When it comes to the minimum water temperatures for catfish, these are around 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

But, the absolute minimum temperature for catfish is 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). Again, you should not keep these fish under these sort of temperatures for prolonged periods. This only means that the fish can survive under these conditions, but not for very long.

Prolonged exposure to low temperatures like this can cause the fish to get sick. It can also cause bacterial and fungal infections, and their immune system will get compromised.

You should not be satisfied with temperatures that are only minimal. You should always try to keep them within the ideal ranges that we discussed above. Only that way the catfish will stay healthy for longer, and they will survive for longer.

If you can’t maintain the ideal temperatures naturally, you’ll have to start considering a heater. Although a heater can be an additional cost to you, you’ll be sure that it will provide the temperatures needed for the pictus catfish. Room temperatures won’t be enough, often, and they will need you to take extra measures.

As to what heater you should choose, we’ll talk more about that later on in this article.

Pictus Catfish Maximum Water Temperature

We’ve talked about the minimum water temperatures, but what about the maximum temperatures?

The upper limit when it comes to ideal temperatures is 81 degrees Fahrenheit. But, in some cases, the catfish will be able to survive even in higher temperatures, although not for very long. The higher the temperature gets, the less oxygen there will be in the water. And that causes your catfish to struggle to get the proper nutrients from the water – oxygen is a key one.

The absolute maximum water temperature that the catfish can survive is 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius). Now this temperature is by no means ideal. But, given the circumstances, the fish can survive in that temperature, but not for long.

Those temperatures can happen, especially in the summer. If the air temperature where the tank is gets constantly over 86 degrees Fahrenheit, then you should start considering using a chiller for the summer days. Or, you can get a nice cooling fan that will cool the air around the tank.

But what exactly happens when the temperatures are too high?

Put simply, the catfish won’t get enough oxygen in higher temperatures, as it will evaporate from the water. As a result, the fish won’t get the necessary nutrients such as oxygen, which might cause them to start failing. They will get diseases, and in higher temperatures, their organs might start to fail.

Do Pictus Catfish Need a Heater?

Yes, it’s recommended that you do get a heater for your pictus catfish. That’s especially the case if the room temperature is lower than 22 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit). That way, the tank water would have no way of getting heated up enough so that the catfish will be able to enjoy the water that they like.

To solve this problem, you should consider buying a water heater for the pictus catfish aquarium.

But the heaters are usually not that cheap, especially the good ones. So what makes a good heater?

First of all, it should have a good amount of choices when it comes to temperatures. That makes it easier to control it. Also, it should have an automatic detector that will let the heater work automatically, so that you won’t have to constantly adjust the temperatures on the heater.

All in all, you should really consider getting a good heater for the catfish, especially if you can’t keep up the temperatures naturally.

Other Fish with Same Water Requirements as Pictus Catfish

If you are considering bringing tank mates for the pictus catfish, then you might want to know which fish are the most compatible with the catfish.

Ideally, you should take a look at those fish that have similar tank requirements as the catfish. This includes the water temperatures, of course.

But which fish have similar water requirements to the pictus catfish?

Now these are all fish that would make great companions for the pictus catfish. In any case, they are all tropical fish that will also need a heater from you. If you get different fish with different requirements, you might struggle to keep the temperatures right. That’s why I often discourage people from getting goldfish with the pictus catfish.


The ideal temperatures for the pictus catfish are between 75 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit (23-27 degrees Celsius). However, the pictus catfish can survive in different conditions – in temperatures that are slightly higher than the ideal temperatures, or if they are slightly lower.

But in any case, you shouldn’t keep them in such temperatures for very long. If the temperatures are too low, then you should certainly consider getting a heater. If they are too high, that’s also not great for the fish. Keeping the balance is the key.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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