Catfish / Mochocidae / White-Barred Synodontis

White-Barred Synodontis
Synodontis ornatipinnis

Synonyms: S. zebra
Physical description: An elongated catfish with a large, forked tail. Three pairs of barbels extend from the mouth, including one long pair that are pointed downward. The base body color is white to light gray with swirling patterns of black markings. This pattern continues on all flanks. The head is dotted with small, black spots. The White-barred Synodontis has a large adipose fin.
Size/Length: To 12" (30 cm), although not usually more than 6" (15 cm) in aquaria.
Similar species: Brichard's Synodontis (S. brichardi), Decorated Synodontis (S. decorus)
Habitat: Western Africa; turbulent waters of the Zaire ( Congo) River.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: 48" (122 cm) or 55 gallons (210 L). The tank should have a strong current and have a dark, fine gravel substrate. Only use tough, robust plants for this fish digs. For this reason an undergravel filter should not be used. This lighting should be dim. Provide open swimming areas and hiding places in the corners of the tank.
Water chemistry: Use well-filtered water with a pH of 6-7.5 (7.0), dH 8-18 (12), 72-79°F (22-26°C)
Social behavior: An aggressive, intolerant fish which is highly territorial and preys on small fish. Keep only one fish per 40" (102 cm) of tank. Should only be combined with other robust fish. A nocturnal species.
Suggested companions: West African cichlids, African tetras, Knifefish, Mormyrids
FOOD: Live; fish, snails, Brine Shrimp, mosquito larvae, Tubifex, crickets, other insects; tablets
Sexual differences: Unknown
Breeding techniques: Unknown
Breeding potential: 10. Breeding has not been accomplished in captivity.
Remarks: The colors of this fish fade with age.
Difficulty of care: 5. A large fish that will eat small tank mates. Its diet must include live foods.

By Rhett Butler


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