European Wels (Silurus glanis)

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European Wels

European Catfish (Silurus glanis) (13532570755).jpg
European Wels

Silurus glanis

3785 Litres (1000 US G.)

400-500 cm (157.5-196.9")




6.5 - 7.5

15.6-23.9°C (60 -75 °F)

4-20 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Live Foods
Other (See article)

12-30 years



Additional names

European Wels, Wels Catfish

Additional scientific names

Silurus glanis aralensis, Silurus silurus


Found in Europe and Asia, has been introduced in many countries and considered an invasive species.


Males are more slender than females and have serrations towards the end of the pectoral spine, females do not have serrations.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Mainly a substrate fish, it will also move around the upper water columns, mainly in search of food. Only keep with fish that will not fit into its mouth.


Naturally, it feeds on fish, large invertebrates and small waterfowl. In the aquarium, it is likely that almost any foods offered will be eaten, and so with this, provide a variety in diet. Meaty foods should be given to this fish every so often.

Feeding regime[edit]

A large feeding every 3 or 4 days, more often when young.

Environment specifics[edit]

Needs as much room as possible, so decorations may be out of the question. Provide good aeration and excellent filtration, as these are somewhat messy fish and water quality may deteriorate quickly.
Due to their size they are best kept only in very large aquaria, ponds or public aquariums. They are not suited to an average home aquarium. If kept in outdoor ponds local Environmental Agencies may need to be checked as this fish can thrive in temperate conditions and is already considered an invasive species in several countries.


Mainly predatory. Remains, for the most part, calm in aquariums, and is fairly inactive.


A large, brown catfish, differing from most other catfish by having a long, eel-like tail.

Species Notes[edit]

  • One of the largest-living catfish species, the Wels Catfish has been recorded at a 5 metre length, although this record is doubtful and sightings today of fish this size are rare.
  • In order to own this fish in the England or Wales a licence is required under the Prohibition of Keeping or Release of Live Fish (Specified Species) Order 1998.[1]



  1. - Controls on the Keeping or Release of Non-Native Fish in England and Wales

External links[edit]