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Synodontus eupterus - Featherfin catfish


  • Synodontus eupterus - Featherfin catfish

    Photo thanks to DiscusEden

    Photo thanks to theonetruepath

    Photo thanks to BrianS

    Scientific name: Synodontus eupterus
    Common name: Featherfin catfish
    AKA: Feather Fin Catfish, Featherfin squeaker, Featherfin Synodontus, Squeaker synodontus, Cat Synodontis Eupterus, Featherfin Syno, Synodontis macrepipterus

    Country of origin:

    pH: 6.2 - 8.5
    Temperature: 22 - 26c
    Hardness: 8 - 15 dGH
    Water flow: low - standard
    Oxygenation: standard

    Maximum size: 30cm

    Diet: They are omnivores. Live foods, frozen, flake and sinking pellets.

    They can roll upside down to eat, particularly when resting.

    Although they appreciate some vegetables in their diet (through flake food, spirulina or other means) - they will not eat plants and would appreciate some planting, which still allows room for the fish to swim.

    They have not been successfully bred in home aquariums, although commercial breeders have bred them - possibly with the aid of injected hormones.

    They are egg layers.

    The sexes can only be differentiated by venting. This could be harmful to the fish if bungled, so should only be performed by someone experienced in this.

    The juvenile pattern is very different to the adult pattern.

    Tank companions:
    They are definitely not suitable to house with shrimp, which will be a very expensive snack for them.

    They are territorial and aggressive toward their own (or very similar) species once they reach adulthood, so only one should be kept in a display tank at a time.

    They can, however, be kept with other species, which do not look similar to them (i.e. no plecos). I have kept one in a 4ft tank with kuhli loaches, large tetras (which I suspect were disappearing when I inherited the tank, thanks to the featherfin) and an angelfish. They could also be kept with rift lake cichlids, gobies or larger gouramis. They should not be kept with fin nippers.

    Like all fish, they will eat anything small enough to fit in their mouths, and given that they are a fish of substantial size, this rules out all microfish and small tetras.

    Lifespan: 18 years

    As they are primarily nocturnal fish, most of their algae eating is done at night, and like many other catfish they do seem to hide, and are on display the majority of the time.

    Should contain caves of a suitable size - these can be offcuts as long as the edges are not sharp. They should not be placed near heaters, as the fish can burn and scar.

    The tank should be an absolute minimum of 4ft for a young fish. They will grow to 30cm, so will need at least a 6ft tank as they mature.

    They live at the bottom of the tank - so tank shape should be taken into account when considering tank size.

    They can make noises when communicating with each other - hence the "squeaker" name.

    They are scaleless, as are most catfish. Please adjust medications accordingly.

    All Synodontus eupterus are NOT legal imports to Australia as of 20/10/2013:
    however they may have been on previous import lists, have entered Australia prior to the implementation of import lists, or been misidentified on importation.

    The IUCN Red List reports Synodontus eupterus as a species which has not yet been assessed at 20/10/2013:

    It is very important not to release any aquarium specimens into our waterways. Any that are not sold or re-homed/ given away, can often be re-sold to aquarium stores. If they are homed in ponds, care should be taken that they cannot escape in run-off into our waterways. Even if fish are native & local they should not be moved from one waterway to another, as this can transfer disease. If they are not local fish, they can both spread disease and either out-compete or eat local fish, shrimp & plants, causing their demise.

    This is a good fish for experienced hobbyists.

    Relevant threads:

    Feral Plecos altering waterways and fish stocks - with much thanks to PeterJ

    Photo thanks to DiscusEden

    Photo thanks to DiscusEden
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