Bob noted catfish have begun spawning rituals. Males are seeking cavities where they can hide and protect eggs. During spawning season, it’s common to see big males with scars on top of their heads and scratch marks along their sides as they fight for best cavities.
Males protect the fertilized eggs until hatched. Newly hatched fry remain on the nest until consuming a small yolk sack. When depleted, they leave in search of natural forage. Since catfish are the last to spawn, earlier hatched fish of multiple species are seeking food and find the tiny catfish irresistible. Consequently, catfish survival rates are low.
Bob explained that catfish aren’t curious and are shy. They’ll train easily, but do anything radically against conditioning, and they’ll bolt. It may be a long while before they return to a routine.
Understanding catfish behavior goes a long way to understanding your management style of them. Understand how they act and respond and you’ll be more successful as you culture these fun critters.