What about Synodontis petricola "Pygmy Synodontis" catfish? Okay or not? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-02-2008, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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What about Synodontis petricola "Pygmy Synodontis" catfish? Okay or not?

I have always loved the look of the Synodontis catfish, but they generally grow much too large for any tank I hope to own. So I've just enjoyed them from afar.

However, there is one Synodontis that seems to be quite a gem. Beautifully marked, only grows to about 4.5", and supposedly peaceful. Really?

The fish is Synodontis petricola or otherwise called "Pygmy Synodontis".

Has anyone ever had one of these? Not only do I love their appearance and the way they swim, but they're supposed to eat small snails which would be a nice bonus. But I don't want a fish that's going to destroy my plants and other fish.

This post in my journal shows the fish I already have in my 75g tank. Is it possible for me to get one of these catfish without it killing everything in sight?

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ph...tml#post633075

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-02-2008, 09:53 PM
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I haven't kept that Synod, but I have a 5" Synod. angelicus in my 46gal. He does tend to uproot plants that aren't well rooted, bumping around while scavenging at night, and he's also taken out a few schools of Otos and black neon tetras in his day (most Synods are nocturnal, so they get the fish at night while they're sleeping... you just realize you have missing fish and no other explanation...) They aren't aggressive, but like most catfish will eat whatever they bump into at night that might taste good...

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-02-2008, 09:55 PM
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i have three in my taganyikan tank. I just tried taking pics but they never stop moving! here's the best I can get.






they are full of character. they also like high ph, hard water as they are from the african rift lakes. Mine definitely don't eat snails as I have quite the assortment of nerites in the tank. Mine are currently about 4 inches... when i first bought them they were tiny! I would not trust them with anything too small as they are constantly on the prowl. I do have otos (no comments from anyone) and some small shell dwelling cichlids that they don't bother. When they were small they hid a lot. As they got older they began to be out in the open more. They still base their movements in a boomerang pattern. They headquarter in a large piece of texas holey rock and venture out in grocery run and then return back to the rock... it's a never ending cycle... lol. They just stay away from the rock more now than they did before.



If want something a little more community based... i'd check out some microsynodontis. I currently have an unnamed microsyndontis that gets about 2 inches or so. these were also hard to get a pic of... he is sitting right above the suction cup. microsynodontis are riverine as opposed to rift lake based. They prefer a ph around 6.5 to 7



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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-02-2008, 10:01 PM
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LOL @ "grocery run"

Where'd you get microsynods? I've never seen those before! They sound promising...

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-02-2008, 10:12 PM
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My LFS got some in recently. I bought half of their stock before they were even put into their tank... lol


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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-02-2008, 10:15 PM
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How long have you had them now?

Vicki, these might be a really good choice, if you can find them...

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-02-2008, 10:18 PM
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2 weeks or so now.

Complexity: if you are interested in either... My LFS could probably mail them to you. I don't remember how much the petricola were... but the micros were $9.95 each.


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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-02-2008, 10:20 PM
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i forgot to mention that the petricola are super peaceful... they don't bother any of the other fish... and they don't uproot any of the plants in the tank or dig at all for that matter. They kind of skim the surface of the sand smelling for food rather than rooting around for it.


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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-02-2008, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the pics and info, MedRed! I looked up microsynodontis, and they're not what I want. I want that bala shark shape and manner of cruising. But, clearly, a bala shark won't work for me. But the little pygmy synodontis has been on my mind for a long time!

Would they eat cardinal tetras? I think they're about the smallest fish I have in the tank. I have a feeling they'd wipe out any pelvicachromis fry I might get, but the parents do protect them fiercely until they get a bit older. And I honestly don't want a hundred fry growing up in my tank with no place to put them (yeah, I could sell them, but I don't want to get into shipping live fish).

Please take a quick look at the link I gave above listing the fish I have, and let me know if there's any fish you believe would be in danger if I got one or more of the little pygmy synodontis.

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90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-02-2008, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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I found some small ones (S. petricola) available at thatpetplace.com which is what brought me to ask if I can even have one or more in my tank. They're asking $17 each for what they're calling small. But they have no pictures or info as to what "small" means. So if I could get some from a trusted source, that would be great!

Vicki Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
5g - RCS colony 2.5g - Journal Retired
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-02-2008, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, and I forgot to mention... my tap water is actually perfect for african cichlids. I forgot the hardness now, but the pH is 8.0. So the petricola would be happy in my water.

Vicki Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
5g - RCS colony 2.5g - Journal Retired
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-02-2008, 11:29 PM
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awesome... no i don't think that anything you have will be at risk. you're cardinals are big enough to not be snacks. I had baby julies hatch and survive to adulthood in the tank so mom and dad pelvicachromis could probably get a few to survive.

I can check on the price at my LFS. i thought i remembered them being between $12-$15 each. I would definitely keep atleast two as they are quite social.


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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-03-2008, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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If I could manage 3, I'd prefer that (unless three's a crowd for them). I'd actually rather get more like 5, but I'm really pushing the stocking limits on my tank not just in the number of fish, but in the mix of fish.

I was planning to get zebra loaches (Botia striata I think it's called), but I'd rather get these instead.

OH. I just realized I might have a problem. I read that they like to eat crustaceans. I have close to 40 amano shrimp in that tank!

Uh oh. That may have just ruined any hopes I had of getting these fish. I would hate to see all of my amanos being eaten.

Vicki Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-03-2008, 12:12 AM
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I can't vouch for shrimp as I have plenty of fish in that tank that would eat the shrimp before the petricola even had a chance. zebra loaches would also eat your shrimp. the microsynodontis do cruise... i've yet to see one at rest.


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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-03-2008, 12:19 AM
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Get 5 if you can. You will see more of your petricolas. More the better.

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