Fast facts on Synodontis petricola dwarf
Biotope: Lake Tanganyika. No local morph known, to my best knowledge.
Etymology: The name Synodontis comes from the Greek where syn stays for "together", and odontos, stays for "tooth/teeth"; and refers to the typical closely-spaced lower jaw teeth.
Tank: I keep my two specimens in a 75 liters tank aquascaped with a thin layer of gravel and a pile of rocks. Bogwood are a (sort of) second best choice. Plants (I happen to have few) are not at all damaged.
Water chemistry: Comes from Lake Tanganyika, this meaning EXTREMELY alkaline water (pH even over 8.0/9.0). It's said - anyway - the fish is not that fussy when kept in tanks. Don't abuse of this habit (on my own I keep them at a lower level: 7.5/7.8: as of today - after about 10 months - no troubles).
Spawning: It's been said, in the past, this fish is a "parasitic spawner" (the way Synodontis multipunctatus does). More recent references tend to says it's not true stating this fish is an egg layer; even if I haven't heard of any spawing of Synodontis among aquarists I know. Mine (two) specimens are said to be a pair - and could be true because of different shape of the body: one of the two is remarkably slender - but as of today no result.
Food: Easy feeder, above all! Will accept all foods: tablets, flakes fallen at bottom, frozen food, live food (I used black mosquito larvae).
Tankmates: Are said to be tolerant in case You have multiple synos in the same tank - do NOT extend this statemet to all other Synodontis species, - and not quarrelsome to other tankmates (at the moment a single small Paratilapia polleni male, previously an Aulonocara pair). Asked for a preference I'd say, at any rate, each and every cichlid from the Rift Valley's Lakes.
Pics on my pair.
The pair "dance" under a passing P. polleni.
The fish at right shows a fat belly; is this swim in middle water the begin of a courting?
Patrolling the bottom side by side.
Here they are, at left is the (supposed) female.