Striped Eel Catfish/ Saltwater Catfish/ Marine Catfish: all you need to know

This one is a really fun fish to just watch and have in your tank, but it is also very specific in somethings; it is the Coral Catfish also known as Striped Eel Catfish/ Saltwater Catfish/ Marine Catfish.


PRICE: In the store, you will get these fishes for $25 each.

TANK SIZE: As a juvenile, it normally needs about a 75-gallon, but eventually they do get pretty large and you'll need upwards for about 180-gallons or bigger. They can get really big.

CARE LEVEL: They are really easy to take care of, they are a lot of fun too.

TEMPERAMENT: They can be a very aggressive scavenger. When sifting through the sand and looking for food, they will just beat others up and knock them around while they are looking for what they need. So, definitely be on the more kind of; Do I need this fish? Should it be okay in the tank? Because they can be very aggressive in their groups. 

REFF COMPATIBILITY: Yes! they are found around the reef in the ocean, so they do really well in reef tanks, but you need to watch out because they are known to eat small fishes and invertebrates, especially when they get bigger. 

So, corals are fine but those smaller fishes and invertebrates would not be a very good idea.

TEMPERATURE: You want to keep it from 72-78, but it is recommended 78, they like that warm ocean water in there.

dKH: 8-12

pH: 8.1-8.4

SALINITY: 1.020-1.025; but whenever you start to look in a little depth on them, they actually do better in salinity that's lower, in more of 1.020 range.

MAXIMUM SIZE: They can get up to 12-inches, it can get really big. It is like those engineered Gobies that just get huge over time. That is the reason why it is always recommended to keep them in larger tanks.

If you do take care of them well, you will eventually need to upgrade your tank as it gets bigger, especially in a group of them.

COLORS: They are black with white stripes going down the body, they are very pretty. As they do get older, it would definitely fade the stripes tend to go away and they turn more of like a yellow-brownish color.

DIET: They are obviously carnivores, so meaty food is one of their favorite. Make sure you feed them plenty of mysis, brine shrimp, frozen cubes they just love that. Then they also scavenge all day,  so it is also good to throw some pallets down there. That way they can settle at the bottom, that way they can run around and eat that too.

ORIGIN: They come from the Indian Ocean and the reefs around Africa, over there Madagascar.

COMPATIBILITY: Just ask, you will definitely need a group of them for them to thrive and do well. They do really good in the group and need to be in groups because one alone will definitely hide all the time and they will eventually stop to eat. You need at least four of them, in the ocean, they run around in groups of hundred.


One thing that you should definitely see is that they are venomous, their spines on top of their head can sting you and they can sting other fish with those spines. So, it is going to be extremely cautious whenever you catch them in the net that sting can easily be sticking out, it can be very dangerous. So, definitely be careful whenever handling these fish.


As they get older they tend to stay on their own or just smaller groups will go there in separate ways and then they can become very territorial, whenever you have a big tank whenever you are taking care of the larger one. That way they will not try to take the whole tank. 


One cool thing about them is that they are known to swim into lakes, to find food, and to breed. So, they are almost like a brackish fish, they can definitely deal with some salinity changes going on back and forth


They are really a fun fish to have in the tank, they are always energetic, they are always going to be out running around each other in the little group trying to be the first one in line. They are awesome to have but it is just that they are really important to realize that they can be really aggressive in the group, towards the other fishes. 

Have fun with your Striped Eel Catfish/ Saltwater Catfish/ Marine Catfish!

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