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Blue channel Catfish?

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Whiscash
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Blue channel Catfish?

Postby Whiscash » Sat Dec 22, 2007 6:38 am

I recently brought a blue channel catfish, im keeping him in a ten gallon with a brown bullhead about the same length, until i get a larger aquarium set up.

now i have two questions.

the bullhead does not seem to like him at all (or maybe its fin rot) as the blue channels' tail has been eaten (not all of it, but its missing a good bit), my 1st question is, will he regrow it?

my 2nd question is, what is a blue channel catfish? im doubting its [url=http://www.planetcatfish.com/catelog/species.php?species_id=261what i thought it was[/url], as it has spots, and i've never seen spots on any of the tiny blue catfish i've caught while fishing, so is it some sort of special channel catfish bred for aquariums? and how big will it get?

EDIT: what i'd really like is an aquarium with more brown bullheads and nothing else, but the one i have i got from a friend who found it in a mud puddle in what used to be the lake that used to be here.

anyone know where I could get some? none of the aquarium stores around here seem to be able to order any.

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Postby Shane » Sat Dec 22, 2007 9:50 am

I am guessing that your "blue channel cat" is in fact Ictalurus punctatus (punctatus means spotted). Also, since you bought him that pretty much confirms the ID as they are the only ictalurid regularly sold in the trade.
Caudal fins usually grow back but you need to solve the root issue that is causing it. A 10 gallon is way too small for even two small juvenile ictalurids. You'll need to be performing at least 50% daily water changes until you get that 250 gallon tank they will need as adults.
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Postby apistomaster » Sat Dec 22, 2007 8:18 pm

I have caught juvenile(12-inch) channel cats while fishing and they had spots.

Your water temperatures are almost certainly warmer than their preferred range. Bullheads can tolerate warmer water and poorer water quality than channel cats and I think that is a contributing factor to the fin rot your channel cat has. I would not exclude the possibility that the bullhead is also damaging the channel cat's fins.
As it's common name implies, channel cats prefer strong cool currents, rich in oxygen. Bullheads prefer slower warmer water . They tend to inhabit slow or still waters of sloughs of rivers or ponds.
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Whiscash
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Postby Whiscash » Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:09 pm

Ah, well its good to know what he is, thanks.

and i do hope his fin grows back soon, hes starting to look shabby.... i suppose i'll start changing the water alot more frequently like you said and see if that helps, if not then at least if he dies i can get a new one and not pick it up till i have the bigger aquarium set up.

well i did just buy a heater, but i thought it would be good to keep the ich off the fish, though the bullhead seemed perfectly fine without the heater, maybe i should just turn it off?

i turned off the heater, and now he seems much much happier! he doesn't swim as much when i turn the lights on in my room, and he actually ate, a nice big worm, and now he looks quite fat and happy :) thanks! i'd never have thought it was the heater.

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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby mr.gobie » Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:07 pm

I have also had a channel catfish along with other cat fish and i also believed it was being atacked because the fins were roting. After a wile all my channel cats fins were roting and the orginal had no fins left! I would recomend bringing your cat in to the local fish store and show an expert because it seems like your cat has fin rot.

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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby kydsexy » Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:08 pm

i see this hasn't been checked in a while. but bullheads are bullies. and they make a huge mes. be sure to have a large tank and plenty of filtration. if not given enough space they will attack other bullheads even. plus channel catfish are punks unless the other fish can be swallowed

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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby love_abomination » Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:40 am

kydsexy wrote: plus channel catfish are punks unless the other fish can be swallowed

Jay



Really?
I've owned two channel catfish, and neither of them were punks, as you so eloquently put it.
They were both rather docile (although my second one, Moxie, would chase my RBP whenever he tried cozying up to her). They never bothered any small fish in the tank, feeders or otherwise which easily could've been devoured. I think it's all about raising them well and giving them the space and hiding places they need.

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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby crkinney » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:38 pm

My tang is made up of swamp and river fish caught locally. I have found that cats caught when they are less than 1inch and fed only commercial food ,will leave your other fish alone . if they have started foraging look out they will eat everything but the rocks and they will taste them.

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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby Viktor Jarikov » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:22 pm

Wiscash, it is so refreshing to see someone actually interested in brown bullheads - for all I know, you may be one of the kind because these fish are not showy-flashy and to somebody who lives in Carolina they are definitely not exotic, maybe to somebody in Thailand or Paraguay :) . I commend you on your ability to see beauty in humble places!

So you got yourself a (not blue but) channel cat too. Like Shane said, 10 gal is way way too small for them, unless they are like 2-3" each, and they will need large quarters when they grow up. I have a post with pics on channels and bullheads of perhaps tangential value to you but you may wanna check it out and more importantly, there is a link in it to a NY DEC website describing yellow, brown, black, and white bullheads in a nice fashion viewtopic.php?f=13&t=29628

Did you NOT note the temp ranges for the two fish as a part of your research/care/prep? If you provided the before/before the before/and after temps in your case, that could be informative for the readers in posterity (how did Larry Waybright know the temp, a lucky guess? summer time in Carolina?). Fish sizes are also good to know.

As for the bullhead availability: (1) again, not showy/flashy/interesting enough the the vast majority of USA hobbyists, and (2) I may be wrong, but LFSs shy away from native species (except say for channels and blue channels) - something about the laws that says LFSs cannot sell local fauna - you know, otherwise they would go out and fish out all they can and sell what they net out, which could deplete the local populations and destroy ecosystems. But I did see bullheads in LFSs every now and then as trade-ins - I think there is no law that says you cannot keep a fish you catch (legally) as a pet and that you MUST eat it :) :)

I also would love to have had all 4-5 types of bullheads but cannot find any sellers. Neither I could buy a flathead catfish or a wels so far. Well, wels is foreign (not illegal though), but flathead is native and abundant but cannot find any sources in Northern USA or USA for that matter.

I agree with crkinney's comments, except it is like always with wild animals (remember Sigfried and Roy?): you think you tamed and trained and changed them but one day the old killer-fish (or killer tiger) instinct kicks in and vualya (pardon my French), you got yourself a fish (man) eater back.

"plus channel catfish are punks unless the other fish can be swallowed" ---- I have not a clue what this means, could someone enlighten me on the latest and the greatest in English? Even if I understood "punks", I do not get the sentence.

Kydsexy: so far I only have had florida bullheads in my collection, they are nice, gentle, and sweet and have a beautiful marbled appearance. No bulling. No mess. But of course, people's experiences can differ vastly.
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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby apistomaster » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:19 pm

Viktor Jarikov wrote:Wiscash

Did you NOT note the temp ranges for the two fish as a part of your research/care/prep? If you provided the before/before the before/and after temps in your case, that could be informative for the readers in posterity (how did Larry Waybright know the temp, a lucky guess? summer time in Carolina?). Fish sizes are also good to know.


I know a bit about Bull Head Catfish and Channel Catfish because Bullheads were the first fish I ever caught at 5 years old and since then I have caught many more Bullheads and Channel Catfish by angling.
I also have netted many young Bullheads from schools of fry being guarded by the male so I am familiar with their breeding habitat and temperature tolerance range in nature and aquariums. Not rocket science to know what kind of places lend themselves to being optimum for each of these kinds of Catfish. I am 5 minutes away from places where I can catch either species but they very rarely share the same part of a given habitat. Bullheads and Channel Catfish also show by their morphology that classic rule, form follows function.
The stream lined shape and deeply forked tail of the Channel Catfish is an adaptation for living in strong currents while the square tail and chunky build of the Bullhead is not well suited to strong currents but still or very slow moving waters. You might not have realized that the fast and strong currents tend to be associated with higher dissolved oxygen levels with cooler temperatures than still or slow waters which will usually be warmer and have lower dissolved oxygen levels if the different habitats occur within the same climatic zones being compared.

I have always found Bullheads to be fairly assertive and not very choosy about what they eat. Channel Catfish, in the wild, are predators. They eat many crayfish but also smaller fish. Channel Catfish are occasionally known to strike lures that imitate bait fish when fished in clear waters. Both fish are predators but being larger, faster, Channel Cats are better at catching other fish to eat than Bullheads. In a small aquarium, a Channel Cat will be closer to it's limits with regard to tolerating poor water quality than the Bullheads which when in trouble, are able to use atmospheric air to obtain supplemental oxygen. Most Channel Catfish will have died long before the bullheads if kept in similarly deteriorating water conditions.
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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby Viktor Jarikov » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:30 pm

Thanks, Larry, Makes lots of sense.

I understand the aerodynamics, well rather hydrodynamics of the body shape, but how does the tail shape figure into this equation? Why is the forked tail more efficient at swimming than a rounded/squared one?

BTW: did you not see the continuation on one of my posts where you gave good, strong opinions before or do you just have nothing to add? viewtopic.php?f=7&t=29712&start=0 (if you choose to reply, please do not do it within this post, of course...)

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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby apistomaster » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:39 am

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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby Suckermouth » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:57 am

A broader tail gives more power because it has more surface area, but it is more difficult to move and thus reduces speed. It is good for a quick burst. A forked tail, on the other hand, is quicker to move, but does not give as much power. It is better for more continuous swimming.
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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby Viktor Jarikov » Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:15 pm

Larry, Milton, thank you. Interesting stuff. One would naively think that longer-term swimmers would simply have smaller tails which would not be as tiring to operate while those fish that need quick bursts in slow waters would have a larger tail and the tail shape would not matter, just the size. But nature (well, God rather) says the naive thinkers are... well, naive... and ignorant... :D There are many more factors, maneuverability, agility, flexibility to name superficial few... not to mention that science does NOT know all there is to know about water, not even close, can you believe it!?? Something as "simple" and basic as water. There are scientific papers being published on water molecular and supramolecular structures, novel spectroscopic properties, water rheology, etc. regularly. If we do not know water completely, we certainly cannot explain all or likely even most of the traits of what lives in it...

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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby MatsP » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:01 pm

I'm sure tail-shape, just like so many other things, is a compromise "design" - you have swimming speed vs. drag resistance.

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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby apistomaster » Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:50 pm

The forked tails are found on fish which are typically long ranging fish in oceans but that design also allows for extreme bursts of speed. Tuna, Barracuda, Bone Fish and the majority of the Salmonids are well known high speed fish but the small Tetras also share the same caudal fin morphology and as most of us have experienced they can be very quick when they need to be.
In the link I posted, I did not know until I actually looked at it, used Channel catfish as one of the examples of strong and fast swimming forked tail fishes. I wasn't expecting that but it made posting it even more relevant to the discussion.
That link summarized and gave examples of many different fish morphologies and explained the associated benefits and gave examples of very wide ranges of form follows function for most of the basic morphological types known among fish.

The name in the topic, "Blue Channel Catfish" is a classic example of the problem of using common names. Locally, anglers often refer to to Channel Cats and Blue Catfish which in reality are different species. The fisherman often think they have caught a Blue Catfish when they catch larger Channel Catfish but we do not have any Blue Catfish in our waters. Only 4 species of Ictalurid Catfish were introduced and became established; Channel cats, Flathead cats, Bullheads and Tadpole Madtoms.
Flathead Catfish are relatively rare but they lack the deeply forked tails of the Channel Cats and are found in very large and deep slower moving pools in the main river. The Flathead catfish are sometimes caught as large as 40 pounds, a size unheard of among our local Channel Catfish. Most run 20" and 3 pounds to 25 inches and 6 pounds. The Flatheads are more of an ambush predator although they do forage. A 12 inch trout is considered to be among the best baits tro use when specifically fishing for the larger Flatheads. This is not legal but is widely practiced by those seeking to catch our larger Flathead Catfish
All of these fish were introduced into what were originally primarily a Salmonid dominated native fisheries but have carved out a niches helped but the constructed hydroelectric reservoirs. These were devastating to the native Salmonids but provided more suitable habitats for the larger Catfish.
Still, because of the higher latitudes of the Columbia River system the water temperatures run cooler for longer than is normally found where the larger specimens of these catfish are caught in the more southern parts of their original native range. The cooler water for a longer period limits maximum potential size and also a reduced growth rate.
The length to weight relationship is a nonlinear function. Only a few ever reach 10 pounds in this latitude although in their native range there are recorded weights of some Channel catfish which did reach what is considered their maximum potential size of about 40 pounds. They are not the largest of the North American Catfish species but as aquarium fish they are "tank busters" as some refer to the large species of fishes they keep.
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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby Suckermouth » Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:39 pm

apistomaster wrote:The name in the topic, "Blue Channel Catfish" is a classic example of the problem of using common names. Locally, anglers often refer to to Channel Cats and Blue Catfish which in reality are different species. The fisherman often think they have caught a Blue Catfish when they catch larger Channel Catfish but we do not have any Blue Catfish in our waters.

To add on to that, Ictalurus punctatus and Ictalurus furcatus are fairly easy to distinguish. I. furcatus shouldn't have spots, if I'm not mistaken. Also, if you look at the anal fin, I. furcatus should have a straight anal fin margin while I. punctatus has a rounded one. I believe they also differ in anal fin ray count, but don't ask me what the numbers are.
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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby Viktor Jarikov » Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:01 pm

The fish has already been figured out to be a Channel, not a Blue Channel. CateLog: (Blue Channel catfish) Only confused with adult channel cats. The channel cat averages 27-30 anal fin rays while the blue has 33-35. Even easier, the anal fin of the blue is straight along the lower margin while the channel cat's is distinctly rounded.

For some reason no reference to spots, likely because they disappear as channels grow. But I've heard that differing characteristic from many now. Maybe someone could update the Cat-eLog?

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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby apistomaster » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:01 pm

Viktor Jarikov wrote:
For some reason no reference to spots, likely because they disappear as channels grow. But I've heard that differing characteristic from many now. Maybe someone could update the Cat-eLog?


Hi Viktor,
I don't believe any changes are necessary. Unless you catch your own Channel Catfish, those being sold are from the aquaculture industry and there are several strains which have slight differences in appearance or have been bred for fast growth and greater body mass. There is even the albino form being bred in captivity so spots are not apparent in these fish at any age. This complicates using transient appearance in spotting of the juvenile to adults as identifiers. The fin ray counts and fin shapes are probably more reliable.

You can probably catch some from a river or lake near by. They are widely distributed throughout the USA even well outside their original range. If you go night fishing for them you should catch a few that are less than one foot long as well as many others much larger. They are not harmed much by hooks except those which have swallowed the bait. I have brought them home in wet burlap bags as a kid and then kept 2 feet long specimens in our horses' watering trough for months.
Imagine how much easier it would be to have kept them in water for transport. When you are fishing for them as prospective pond fish I recommend taking along a netted bag like potatoes are sometimes sold in because that way you can keep them in the water until you have caught the number you want to keep and you will not harm their gills as I did by using a fish stringer. Remember, I was still just a kid experimenting when I did keep my wild caught Channel cats. I wouldn't and actually still don't use stringers anymore when I visit a near by trout pond stocked by the state. I like to keep my fish very much alive until I am ready to clean them. It is one of the few instances where I do not practice catch and release. The fish are hatchery fish and meant to be eaten. Nothing wrong with keeping a few of the large Channel Cats you will catch while you are at it. They have a good flavor.
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Re: Blue channel Catfish?

Postby Viktor Jarikov » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:15 am

fun read, Larry - thanx! You do realize I am not the poster here but just chiming in with my pocket full of "two-cent" coins and a burning desire for knowledge, don't you? ... :D

Also, what I wrote above is: "I also would love to have had all 4-5 types of bullheads but cannot find any sellers. Neither I could buy a flathead catfish or a wels so far. Well, wels is foreign (not illegal though), but flathead is native and abundant but cannot find any sources in Northern USA or USA for that matter."

If I may remind you, I do have two >2' TL channels in my indoor pond and a one-footer too, see here viewtopic.php?f=13&t=29628 and here viewtopic.php?f=25&t=29488 . So I am not looking for Channels. And the only bullheads I have had so far are the marbled ones or FL bullheads Ameiurus serracanthus http://www.planetcatfish.com/catelog/sp ... es_id=1089


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