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Fast facts on Synodontis eupterus.

by Francesco Zezza

Foreword: All Synodontis come from (south of the Sahara desert) Africa, either from Rift Valley’s lakes (mostly Lake Tanganyika) and rivers flowing into the Atlantic ocean. And my fish resulted, in the end, hard to identify even if I’ve been always deeply conviced it’s  “riverine” Synodonti.

Further investigation took place, also with the help of Georges who as who has a CD on African Catfishes a and two possible clues were found.

·        Synodontys woosnami: known with the common name of “Upside-down Zambesi Syno”, and my fishes stays, in his cave, very often in upside-down position.

·        Synodontis eupterus: commonly known as “Featherfin Syno” and my fish has an extremely developed dorsal fin.

WebInfo on both fishes were found at:

·        Synodontys woosnami: here. Please note not even a pic of this fish is available

·        Synodontis eupterus:  here and here (Text is polish but the pic is nice)

Then, in the end, the fish has been - quite satisfactorily - indentifyied as an, actual, Synonontis eupterus also with the help of the AusCat Catfish and Loach Forum (Australian Discussion Forum on Catfishes and loaches). I’d like to tank for their input and efforts Rosco (Forum’s Moderator), Dave and Tammy. Then it’s a Synodontis eupterus … back to fish info, then:

Biotope: It’s found in the water of rivers: White Nile, Chad (whole basin) and Niger (in Africa), with temperatures ranging from 22° to 26° C and pH values between 5.6 and 7.5. Are said to attain a T.L. of 15 cm; but mine is slightly bigger.

Tank size: all synos are said to be extremely territorial, good “fighters” and to grow big (up to 30cm/1 foot) hence fishes to be handled with a bit of “care”; even if this given species is reported to be, quite, peaceful and not too big (T.L. 15 cm). My fish is, actually, housed in a 750 lt tank and is doing well. I need to add that when he decided that “given” cave would have been perfect for his need … he got it! Forcing the two plecos previously sharing the, large, den to move away.

Water chemistry: these fishes (here I refer, namely, to Riverine Synos) are not fussy and generally do great in Malawi/Tanganyika tanks, mine is sharing the tank with middle sized Malawi Haps. In wild they (riverine Synos) are reported to be living in slightly less alkaline environments (see above: Biotope, for S. eupterus needs).

Spawning: Absolutely no idea; but most Synos are said to be egg-layer.

Food: Flakes and pellets, live and frozen matter (rely on animal matter). My Syno is anything but fussy when it comes to food.

Tank Mates: It’ said keeping two, or more, Synodontis – also of different genuses - in the same tank (even if quite big and full of hiding spots) could be a tricky matter (George will confirm it!) but mine is kept sigle, and beyond minor troubles with plecos, he’s doing well in the Malawi Haps tank.

And here come two pics; enjoy!

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