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Catfish / Mochocidae / Black Clown Catfish

Black Clown Catfish, Polka dot African Catfish, Angel Catfish, Angel Synodontis
Synodontis angelicus



Synonyms: None
Physical description: A beautifully colored catfish. The back is slightly arched. It has large eyes and a large head. The Angel Catfish's mouth is located under the head and has three pairs of barbels. The body is black with white spots. The fins are white-striped and black. Different populations have slightly different spot patterns and color.
Size/Length: To 10" (25 cm)
Similar species: S. angelicus zonatus
Habitat: Western Africa; found in the Zaire (Congo) River watershed (countries of Cameroon, Congo, and Zaire), in rivers which flow into Stanley Pool.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: A 40" (122 cm) or 45-55 gallon (170-209 L) tank is suggested. Provide hiding places with driftwood, rocks, and roots. The substrate should be fine gravel and algae growth should be encouraged. Use a powerful filter that produces strong current. Leave open areas for free-swimming. Use robust plants with large roots.
Water chemistry: pH 6-7.5 (7.1); 4-15 dH (8); 75-82°F (24-28°C)
Social behavior: Do not combine with fish that are under 2" in length, otherwise a good community fish. Often aggressive and territorial towards its own species.
Suggested companions: African tetras, larger barbs, West African cichlids, Mormyrids, Knifefish
FOOD: Live; Tubifex, insect larvae, crustaceans, earthworms, aquatic and terrestrial insects; vegetables; tablets; will graze algae. Feed at night or when lights are off.
Sexual differences: Males are smaller, more slender, and retain their beautiful spots. Mature females lose spots and become brownish-black color.
Breeding techniques: Unsuccessful
Breeding potential: 10. The Angel Catfish has not spawned in captivity.
Remarks: The true S. angelicus catfish is usually hard to find and expensive, although a sub-species has been identified. S. angelicus zonatus is legally exported and comes from the Lukulu River in Kantanga, Zaire. The Angel Catfish is sensitive to water pollutants, but especially nitrates.
Difficulty of care: 5. A community catfish that is sensitive to water conditions, whose best coloration is displayed under favorable conditions.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com






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