The paper summarizes aspects of nutrition and growth in Clarias species. Of the many Clarias species cultured, Clarias gariepinus has been subject to particularly intensive research; the species has been widely introduced for aquaculture outside its natural range. Clarias are omnivorous fish. Their dietary protein requirements are about 40%, their energy requirements range between 13 and 17 kJ.g−1. Controversy exists on their ability to utilize carbohydrates, despite the fact that their natural feed may contain high levels of carbohydrates. Comparison of growth performances as recorded in literature indicate that C. gariepinus seems to perform better in terms of growth rates and feed conversion than other species (C. isheriensis, C. batrachus, C. fuscus). Monosex culture (in C. gariepinus) or triploidy (in C. gariepinus and C. batrachus) do not seem to hold much future for improving growth and feed utilization, in contrast to hybridization. Selection for improved growth could have drawbacks, such as an increased level of agression. To achieve improved growth, selection for lower maintenance requirements or better glucose metabolization seems preferable over selection for high feed utilization efficiencies.