Pictus Catfish Food – What do They Eat?

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Tropical fish flakes are not always the best answer to this question. Every fish requires a somewhat diverse diet in order to thrive and stay healthy. You need to feed your Pictus Catfish the types of food that provide the necessary vitamins and nutrients for this species.

Not only that, but you should also introduce different treats such as live food and frozen food to their diet. They need something to be excited about and feeding them the same food over and over is simply not the way to go.

In this article, we are going to talk about all the fish foods you can give to your Pictus Catfish and the ones you should avoid. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Best Food for Pictus Catfish

The absolute best foods you can give to your Pictus Catfish are catfish pellets, frozen food, bloodworms and flake food. These are the ones you can buy in a typical pet shop. Of course, there are home alternatives as well. It is a great idea to prepare some chopped chicken meat or beef for your fish too.

As you can see, they can eat a range of different types of food. This is because they are omnivorous scavengers and they are not picky at all when it is time to eat. There are many plant-based and meat-based foods you can choose from, but you can’t go wrong with our abovementioned recommendations.

It is all about finding the perfect balance in their diet.

Do Pictus Catfish Eat Algae?

Since Pictus Catfish eat pretty much everything edible you give them, they are more than willing to eat algae as well. However, they eat it only in that concentrated, tablet or cube form. Those are types you can buy at the fish shop. No matter how much algae there is in your tank, they are not going to nibble on it, ever.

If you have an algae eater fish in the tank, then you need to be a bit careful. Once there are no more algae left in the tank, you will need to feed them in the form of tablets. That is when your Pictus Catfish might try to steal some food from your algae eater.

It is best to be around the aquarium and make sure that the algae tablet gets consumed by the right fish. You definitely don’t want your algae eater to starve.

Do Pictus Catfish Eat Aquarium Plants?

It is okay to give your Pictus Catfish some plant-based food. They are going to consume it, yet this doesn’t mean that they are going to nibble on your aquarium plants too. They don’t see it as food, so this is not something that you should worry about.

Still, you will need to buy some plants that are not too easy to pull out. Pictus Catfish tend to uproot plants, so you will eventually find those weaker plants floating around in the tank. Being highly active schooling fish, they will show no mercy towards those plants.

Fortunately, there are plenty of decorative ones to choose from with stronger roots.

Can Pictus Catfish Eat Flake Food?

Flake food is the most basic fish food every fish keeper can buy. Pictus Catfish are omnivores, so they are not going to reject flake food. On the contrary, they are going to be more than eager to consume it. Just make sure to compliment their diet with other foods because flakes don’t contain all the nutrients they need.

As we already mentioned, Pictus Catfish will eat any type of food you give them, be it meat-based or plant-based. It might be tempting to just buy some flakes, but there are plenty of alternatives out there. Don’t shy away from giving them a variety of live foods, frozen foods, pellets, chicken meat and beef as well.

Will Pictus Catfish Eat Snails?

The Pictus Catfish has a tendency to bully slow-moving species that are smaller than them. Unfortunately, aquarium snails fall into this category. It won’t take long until the snail becomes the target of this highly active and swift catfish. In general, you shouldn’t put any living creature in the tank that is smaller than this catfish in particular. Especially not those that are slower.

Although they can do no harm to the snail’s hard shell, they can still suck the snail out of its shell. This will eventually happen if you keep them together in your community tank. Therefore, we don’t recommend snails as the tank mates of Pictus Catfish. The good news is that there are still many fish that count as ideal tank mates for them.

How to Feed Pictus Catfish?

When you set up a community aquarium that contains the Pictus Catfish and some other species, the feeding schedule is going to be quite simple. This species has pretty much the same needs as most of the other fish that aquarists keep at home. You can feed all of them the same time and with the same food.

You can give them the amount of food they can eat in 3 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day. That is all you need to know. By their nature, they will swim around in the tank looking for food even after you have already fed them. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to feed them every time they are searching for food.


Feeding the Pictus Catfish is not more complicated than feeding any other species that you can keep at home. They are also omnivores who are ready to eat everything that fits in their mouth. This leaves you with a lot of alternatives when it comes to feeding your fish.

Not only that, but it will be much easier to come up with a general feeding plan for the whole community tank. Just make sure that every one of the fish gets its own portion because they tend to steal food from each other. Hopefully, this article helped you to understand the eating habits of the Pictus Catfish.

Featured Image: Wikipedia (sourceCC BY-SA 4.0)

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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