Breeding catfish can be like watching paint dry unless the right measures are taken. Catfish, like people, need the right set of circumstances to exist before they are in the mood. There are very specific steps that can be taken to make sure that catfish spawn early and often.
Keep the fish together. Larger groups of fish increase the chances of spawning. Fish taken out of the wild are reluctant to spawn. It helps if there are a healthy number of partners available with which to breed.
Make sure water current is steady with a pH below 7.0. Water high in alkaline will prevent breeding for fish. Keep the temperature of the water below 78 degrees F.
Change the water regularly. Fresh water is imperative to keep the breeding environment as clean as possible. When changing the water, new water needs to be cooler than the existing water in the aquarium.
Feed the catfish a healthy and steady diet. Black worms, according to conventional wisdom, are the aphrodisiac of breeding catfish. This diet keeps the water dirty and is an example of why the water needs to be changed on a regular basis.
Get an aquarium that is large enough to suit the size of the fish as well as the number of fish breeding. A small aquarium will hinder the breeding process. Fish need elbow room.
Find micro worms and small shrimp for the babies (called fry) once they are hatched. Gravel at the bottom of the tank also works well for newly hatched catfish.