Synodontis Petricola: The most peaceful freshwater fish
Synodontis petricola is a catfish which grows up to 4 inches long. The species can be found in Lake Tanganyika, and it’s rare amongst aquarists because of how hard they are to find! This freshwater fish are the most peaceful of its kind, and with their inquisitive nature, they benefit well from stimulating décor arrangements.
Housing them in a LakeTanganyika biotope setup is advised; giving enough open water for swimming as well as using rocks to form caves for exploration. Dim lighting will encourage the fish do more social activities amidst themselves.
Fish Keeping Guide
Synodontis: Ancient name for an undetermined fish from the Nile
Petricola: A dweller among rocks.
This species grows to a length of 10.2 centimetres (4.0 in)
Aquarium Size Required
36″ x 12″ x 12″ (90x30x30cm) – 80 litres
Females more round in shape and a darker colour
Sinking pellets, although will also benefit from frozen and live foods
Should only be kept with larger Tetras, Barbs, and Gourami in a community set up that like harder water quality. Ideal tank mates with most Cichlids, especially African Mouthbrooders
The Synodontis petricola is light brown in color and covered by numerous, irregular dark brown spots. It has smaller ones on its head and ventral region, with white tips and a darker base on the pectoral fins, dorsal fins as well as the anal fin. Its humeral process is trilateral or three sided; it also has gill openings that do not cross over the pectoral fin spine.
Synodontis Petricola are good-natured and sociable fish that do best when kept in groups of 3-4 or more; if kept singularly, they can be quite cautious, preferring to hide among rocks or caves.
If you have appropriately sized rainbowfish, livebearers and water cichlid communities in your tank, Synodontis petricola makes a great tank mate. However it's not advised to house them with fish that are too small for their size as they might be mistaken for food.
The Syndontis Petricola are known for their reproduction in aquaria. Whilst they reproduce quite often in open waters, this species is unusual due to the fact that it is one of a few fish who have a breeding method called 'Brood Parasitism'. The Syndontis Petricola time their spawning to coincide with African Mouthbreeders and lay eggs near theirs. As the catfish eggs hatch, young fry consume mouthbrooder's eggs and are protected by unsuspecting cichlids.
The most effective way to breed Syndontis Petricola in captivity is to raise the eggs in a separate breeding tank. It is also recommended that adults are removed from the fish tank once they have spawned so as not to eat their own eggs. Spawning of pairs or flocks, ample frozen and live feed should be provided for them.