Do Pictus Catfish Need a Filter?

Disclosure: I may earn a commission when you purchase through my affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. – read more

When you’re setting up a new tank for your pictus catfish, there are plenty of things that you should consider. First, the tank size, and the fish you will put into the tank. But you’ll also have to consider the tools that you will add to your tank, including your heater and filter.

A good filter is arguably one of the most important parts of an aquarium. It keeps the water as clean as possible, and there are varying types of filters to choose from. Some are made for maximum performance. While others are better suited for portability and for keeping the noise levels down, as well as the long-term costs.

What you will want to choose is the right balance. Pictus catfish will require a filter, as they can produce quite a lot of waste in the long-term. And a good filter will remove that waste, and it will keep the water free of ammonia, and also from other dirty particles and pollutants from the water.

In this article, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about pictus catfish filters – why they need one, which filters to consider, and how to set up your tank properly.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Pictus Catfish

There are plenty of things you should know before you buy a pictus catfish. The first thing is that they will need a filter. Regardless of what sort of other fish or plants you plan to have in your tank.

Another thing you should know is that these fish like to hide around, and they do that by swimming around the plants and rocks. And these plants can also produce quite a lot of waste, especially if they start to rot. And that is another reason why you should consider a filter.

Also, the pictus catfish like to be in shoals of 5 or more, which is why it might be a good idea to keep several of these fish in the tank. And that makes it even more important for you to keep the water clean, which will require you to install a good filter.

Pictus catfish are generally not an aggressive species, but they can prey on the smaller fish in your tank. That’s why you’ll want to avoid pairing them up with guppies or similar types of fish. Because they can harm the guppies or the smaller fish and might even eat them.

Place the Catfish in a Well-Established Tank

When you buy a catfish, you don’t want to rush it into an aquarium that’s not prepared for them to live in yet. This means you might want to filter out the water first and condition it. And let it stand for a week or two to settle and prepare itself for the new fish.

When you allow the water to settle down first, you’ll create a habitat that your catfish will be able to enter without any major problems.

If you rush your fish too fast into the tank, they might suffer as a result of the redundant ammonia that’s not yet removed by the filter. This makes the fish vulnerable and might struggle to adapt to the new living conditions, causing them to get sick and their immune system will also start to fail.

Have a Good Filtration with a Decent Water Flow

When you’re choosing the filter for the pictus catfish, remember to choose a filter that’s more powerful than the size of your tank. It’s better to overfilter rather than under filter your tank.

For example, if you have a 50-gallon tank, It’s better to buy a 100-gallon filter rather than a less powerful filter. That way, you can be completely sure that the water stays clean at all times. Regardless of whether you have plants or other several fish in the tank. Over filtering is never bad.

To mimic the living conditions of the catfish as best as possible, enable a decent water flow from the filter, as the catfish are used to such conditions.

What filter to choose?

The Fluval 407 canister filter is one of the best, most versatile options when it comes to aquarium filters. It’s very good as it offers a great performance for a decent price. Also, it operates relatively quietly.

It’s a versatile filter that will be able to clean even larger tanks – it cleans between 145 and 383 gallons per hour. That’s a powerful filtration right there.

Use Lots of Live Plants

Live plants can be an excellent addition to your pictus catfish water tank. Not only do they look great, but they can provide a natural filtration for your water, easing the pressure that’s put onto your filter.

Additionally, the catfish will love it if you put more plants into the tank. That’s because they like to swim around the plants and hide between them. But know that these plants will also have to be maintained, and if they rot, they can add more pollution to the water.

Maintain Your Tank Regularly

A good filter is mandatory, but regular maintenance is equally as important.

Some owners procrastinate when it comes to maintenance; most importantly, the water changes are very important for keeping the water quality on a high level. Even the best filters will sometimes leave some ammonia in the water. Which is why you have to do water changes monthly at the very least.

And keep track of the water parameters, too.

Do Pictus Catfish Need Air Pump?

If you already have a good level of filtration, then there is no need for an air pump. However, you can still use it to add another layer of oxygenation for your water.

A good air pump will provide more oxygen for your fish, keeping the water fresher and cleaner at the same time.


A filter is an absolute necessity when it comes to keeping pictus catfish. They will keep the water clean and the pollutants at bay. But they will also make sure there is no ammonia in the water. Keep these tips in mind when you’re setting up your pictus catfish aquarium.

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.
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *