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I have been doing aa search on the subject but none of the discussions answer my question....

What are the feeding habits of channel cats fed a floating pellet?

I throw 8 or 9 handfuls of food and watch the fish go nuts. I see fish from both my purchases, ( based on size). my question is just how much does an individual fish eat at one time if food remains available?

I watch the catfish churn the top water for maybe 10 minutes and then they are gone, leaving the reminder to the minnows. Am I seeing a fish eating 3 or 4 pellets (depending on size), and then going to the bottom until it is hungry again, or are the fish eating until they cannot hold any more before they quit?

If the answer is the first then alot of my cats are alive and well. If the second, I have far fewer fish thanI purchased.

In my circumstAnce, I cannot see individual fish. I am feeding a swimming pool....

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Kinda difficult to be sure, I suppose.  If any died, you should have seen floaters.

Interesting link, Keith. Thanks.

I guess what I am asking is for personal observations of how catfish in clear tanks seem to feed. Do they eat like gluttons until stuffed or eat a little at a time? I know alot of opportunistic feeding animals will consume as much as possible because they do not know when the next meal is coming. I was wondering if catfish fed on a daily basis reach that satiation level quicker,

I lost several out of my first purchase and have found bones in the pump screen to indicate more losses. I know I lost 30 of my second batch in the first 24 hours as i pulled the floaters. I have crawfish as scavengers in the tank so I imagine they have consumed the greater part of the bodies and smaller bones. I have tried skimming a net over the bottom but that has come up empty.

George said:

Kinda difficult to be sure, I suppose.  If any died, you should have seen floaters.

I am on round two of catfish keeping--round one was aborted because of an ich infestation.  Water in my tank is clear, and the catfish huddle in a corner throughout daylight hours. There's no place for them to hide in the tank, and I interpret this behavior as fish seeking to hide under other fish, with the result being one big lump of fish. Floating food is totally ignored during the day. Sinking pellets are taken as individual fish break out from the mass every once in a while.

At night, the fish are swimming throughout the tank, so I feed at dusk and again before retiring. By morning all the food is gone, but I never get a feeding frenzy like the one you describe. From what I've seen they suck a few pellets and drop back down.

I'm pretty sure that the clear water is making the cats nervous, and I might just break down and put something down there for them to hide under during the day. 

What would the pipes do for feeding? They seem to be ignoring the clusters of 4 inch pipe that I use for minnow spawning..

Keith Langdon said:

Drop in some PVC pipe if they haven't grown too big for it. Or perhaps some plastic containers on their sides.

Oh ok. I agree. Some pieces of PVC placed at right angles etc, would help alot. Make them think they are hiding.

when I had catfish, they stayed on the bottom

Okay I did some observation on my guys with muted light at night. It looked like individual fish were taking a few pellets and heading to the bottom. Nobody was staying at the surface and plugging their guts. I hope this is relevant to Pat's question.

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