How Long Can Catfish Live Out of Water! (Myths & Facts)

how long can catfish live out of water

Did you know that catfish can live out of water for quite some time? In fact, they can survive and walk on land for up to three days! But there are a lot of myths floating around about how long can catfish live out of water. So, today we’re going to set the record straight and dispel some of those myths! Keep reading to learn more.

How Long Do Catfish Stay Alive Out of Water?

First off, it’s important to note that the three-day out of water myth was proven false in 2011. 

How long can catfish live out of water? The average life expectancy for catfish out of the water is around three hours, but some can live up to ten. 

This long period depends on how much oxygen they get through their skin or gills and what kind it is. If the water is low in oxygen, catfish have developed a special air bladder organ.

It allows them to absorb atmospheric oxygen directly through their skin. However, this is not the most efficient source of oxygen. They use it when they are in dire need of fresh supplies.

Why Do Catfish Live So Long Out of Water?

This is because catfish can survive out of water for quite some time. As we stated earlier, the average life expectancy for these fish is three hour out of water, but as we stated earlier, it can be as long as ten.

Fish can breathe air just like humans, but they need to stay in water at all times. The only time you’ll see a fish out of its natural habitat would be if it is being kept as an aquarium pet or sold fresh for cooking purposes – then there’s no problem!

Can Catfish Breathe Air Out of Water?

Yes, catfish are a minority fish that can survive out of water for periods longer than several minutes. This is due to their highly vascularized swim bladder that allows them to extract oxygen from the air.

That being said, they are not in any way able to breathe out of the water like how we breathe air on land, so prolonged exposure to the atmosphere can be dangerous for them.

How Do Catfish Survive Out of Water?

Fish, including catfish, use their gills to get oxygen from water.

It is a fantastic adaptation that allows them to live in environments with little or no vegetation and helps fish species who can intake a certain amount of air through skin survive long periods of time out of it!

When catfish are kept out of the water for too long, they will start to suffocate under pressure. That’s why it is never a good idea to keep them out of water for a long time.

However, if you find yourself in a situation where you must keep a catfish out of water for some time, the best way to allow them to breathe is by keeping it remains wet with low oxygen.

How Do You Keep Catfish Alive After Catching Them?

Keeping your catfish in a big container with fresh water will help them stay happy and healthy.

You can do this by continuously pumping new, cool liquids into the tank or simply changing out old dirty stuff for clean drinking Fountain is ready to use replacement filter media otherwise fish die.

You should also keep the container cool, dark, and well-covered to prevent other fish from getting in there.

It is also a great idea to have multiple items in there that your catfish can use to climb on. Otherwise, they may get exhausted from trying to escape. The good idea is to put some rocks, sticks, or even some pots for them to climb on.

Commonly Asked Questions about Channel Catfish Live (FAQ)


Catfish are fascinating creatures, and we’ve only scratched the surface of what makes them so unique. We hope this article has helped answer some of your questions about how long can catfish live out of water and that you will enjoy learning more about these amazing creatures!

If there is anything else we can do to help or have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Remember, when fishing for catfishes, always keep an eye out for their telltale fin sticking up from the water – it’s one way they breathe air while remaining submerged. (We know how much fun catching fish can be!) Have you caught any? Let us know!

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