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This profile was written by Ashraf an active contributor to the site.  



Synodontis euptera

Synodontis euptera


    One of the most commonly available synodontis species, the featherfin cat also undergoes one of the most dramatic colour changes from juvenile to adulthood. True to its name, the dorsal fin of this beauty grows multiple extensions that fan out delicately.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Up to 12 inches (30 cm)in the wild, smaller in the home 8 – 8.7 inches (20 – 22 cm)
    Tank: Min. Length 48” (at least 55 gallons)
    Strata: Will go everywhere but predominantly bottom.
    PH: 6.2 – 7.5
    Hardness: dh range 4 – 15
    Temperature: 72°F to 79°F (22°-26° C)


    Order: Siluriformes
    Family: Mochokidae
    Genera: Synodontis
    Species: Euptera


Common name:

    Featherfin squeaker, Featherfin syno, Lace syno, Network catfish. This is not a rare, but not a common catfish, so it is sold under many different names.

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    Africa: Central zone, namely; White Nile (Sudan) and the tributaries of Lake Chad (Chari and Yobe Rivers) in Niger and Chad.

General Body Form:
    Typical synodontis body shape, notably with an adipose fin. The most pronounced and noticeable trait of this fish is the long flowing fin extensions it grows from most, if not each, of the dorsal spines. I have also noticed that its pectoral fins have slight extensions.

    An amazing thing about synodontis eupterus is the colour transformation it undergoes. When young, the pattern on it resembles that of a giraffe. However, as it ages, the pattern slowly changes to a fairly dull grey back ground with black dots splayed across the entire fish.

    My syno loves wood that is placed such that it creates an arch. He (or she) swims upside down on the inside of it, sometimes going up and down, sometimes just loafing. I have kept him on gravel and sand and I would recommend sand by a long shot. Not only is it more pleasing to the eye, my syno loves rooting in it and digging for non–existent morsels.
Synodontis euptera

    Veggies should be offered as this fish is an omnivorous creature, Mine loves cucumber only, and will not touch anything else. Live insects, earthworms, blackworms, and fish fillets should be offered as treats, while a good quality flake be the staple.

    Swift Flowing African rivers with smooth, water worn rocks and pebbles over a sandy substrate. For the flow bit, you could use an oversized internal filter, or slapping on a powerhead. Though most plants fail to thrive in such a setup, bolbitis is a a very hardy plant that attaches to décor and should be able to withstand the flow.
    Fishes that would key in with such a biotope would be African tetras and barbs, riverine (not Rift Lake) cichlids, smaller bichirs, brown knife fish, and African Butterfly Fish. These are only a few examples, there are many more.

    Owing to the rather territorial nature of this fish to con-specifics, breeding is not achieved under natural conditions in aquaria. However, captive breeding has and is happening in commercial fish farms via hormonal injection.

Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Mark
I fell in love with this catfish. Bought my first from Wal-mart being sold as an upside down catfish, but it grew far too quickly, and got around 8" within a year. Beautiful coloring, very docile, yet if it gets picked on it will hold its own. I highly recommend you do not use a glass heater with this species. For some reason they love to rest on them and it burns their beautiful skin. Go with a plastic "unbreakable" heater. They do not seem to have this problem.






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