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FAQs on Mochokid, Synodontis Cats and More: Reproduction 

Related Articles: Mochokid Catfishes

Related Catfish FAQs:  Mochokid (Synodontis...) Catfishes 1,   Mochokid Cats 2, & FAQs on Mochokid Cats Identification, Mochokid Cats Behavior, Mochokid Cats Compatibility, Mochokid Cats Selection, Mochokid Cats Systems, Mochokid Cats Feeding, Mochokid Cats Disease, & General Catfish: Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Feeding, Disease, Reproduction


Synodontis big belly        10/4/19
Hello crew! Hope to pick your brain a bit... I have two Synodontis nigriventris cats that are fully grown and seem to have been healthy and happy for the past year. I’ve watched them double in size and they eat EVERYTHING; the larger one is so brazen that he “crawls” around the sides and tank in broad daylight when I make my way over! I have a pearl gourami and five cherry barbs, and I vary the diet in my tank daily... any combo of flakes, shrimp pellets, NLS Float pellets, Hikari algae sinking wafers, Hikari micro pellets, freeze-dried blood worms once a week as a treat, and a feeding day off every week. The attached picture shows my smaller Synodontis and a very swollen ”belly”, in my opinion. I know they overeat and their bellies bulge, but is this too drastic? If so, should I take action? I try to be very careful not to overfeed. Thank you in advance for your always helpful expertise! —Matt from NJ
<<Hello Matt. You might simply have a female, and if yours are anything like mine, the female looks a bit like an speckled egg with fins attached! Periodically she thins out, so I'm guessing there's some sort of egg laying cycle going on, but this species is rarely bred in captivity, so hard to know the details. In any case, if the Syno is some years old, I'd perhaps observe for the time being, and certainly avoid overfeeding. My specimens get actual catfish food maybe 2-3 times a week, one Hikari algae wafer per 3 specimens. The rest of the time I'm letting them eat softened green foods (peas, courgette, etc.) as well as algae and whatever snails they find in the tank (both major food component in the wild). They're chunky and something like 15 years old now, so presumably doing okay. I'm glad you're enjoying these cats, which like all Syno species, are naturally very nocturnal, but will become day-active once settled and happy. Floating plants are a great way to get them visible when the lights are on! Cheers, Neale.>>

Re: Synodontis big belly      10/5/19
Hi Neale... Great advice, thank you! I feel much better. And yes, I took your advice a while back about purchasing these guys in the first place, and the bigger one (not pictured) flies “crawls” the tank all day, as you said, because of the surface cover. Thanks again. —Matt
<<Glad to have helped, and good luck. Certainly my female is positively rotund, and it doesn't seem to have done any harm given her considerable age. Cheers, Neale.>>

Confused yet pleased, Mochokid cross   1/19/10
Good afternoon Crew, a few weeks ago a bunch of guys I know got together and organized a deal from a wholesaler. I know that this is often an unwise course of action (we have seen a lot of DAA, for a bunch of "this guy is totally fly by night" type reasons). Live and learn for those guys I guess.
I didn't order much myself but one fish caught my eye and I ordered it on a whim (and a love of the SYNODONTIS family).
It was advertised as a SYNODONTIS ANGELICUS x OCELLIFER crossbreed or hybrid. I was not familiar with this practice, and was curious what such a beast would look like.
<Hard to imagine it'd be better looking than either of these two species, but who knows. Certainly both these species are very attractive, particularly when young. I'm generally not wild about hybrids, but in the case of species that aren't likely to breed in aquaria, and aren't likely to get back into the wild, that's more a philosophical bias than a meaningful argument against their creation. That said, identifying true species is hard enough sometimes, so if these the hybrids become too widely traded, and their parentage is lost amid a plethora of trade names, we could end up with a situation where unwitting aquarists end up with Synodontis that they cannot identify and cannot plan their aquarium around. Sadly, that's the situation with about 95% of the "African cichlids" sold in US pet stores.>
Still young the cat is built longer and leaner than I am accustom to,
<Both its parents are streamlined, fairly fast-water Synodontis rather than lake or ditch dwellers, hence the shape. And of course, the accent on good water quality and a strong water current.>
colored with a rich golden tan and black dots. Active at night he takes no guff from the rest of the night shift, eats well and dashes from cave to cave in what seems like a sensible manner for a young cat in a big community tank with some shady characters.
<Paul Loiselle once described Synodontis as having a Moses-like approach to repaying transgressions in kind! Certainly they tend to be well able to hold their own alongside cichlids, loaches and Loricariids.>
I'm thrilled with the addition, he punches above his weight, looks good, generally rounding out the bottom of the tank well.
What do you know of this practice?
<Very little. S. angelicus has been bred over the years, commercially, using hormones, as have one or two other commercially worthwhile species.
So my guess is that this is someone's idea of a bright idea. None of the Synodontis are easy to breed, so those guys doing it commercially (often in Eastern Europe, for some reason) are doing so using hormones. At least one
other hybrid is traded, S. angelicus x schoutedeni, and hybrids do occur in the wild too, apparently. A little time on Google searching "Synodontis" and "hybrids" will turn up a modest literature, both scientific and hobbyist. On the whole "serious" fishkeeping writers tend to be hostile towards hybrids because in terms of collecting interesting species, they're meaningless. But at the same time there are lots of more casual hobbyists who enjoy them. Whether these fish are worthwhile or, as you say, malarkey, ultimately depends on your point of view.>
Are you familiar with this particular Hybrid? Have I been sold a bunch of malarkey and am just looking at a SYNODONTIS that I'm unfamiliar with?
<Could well be a hybrid if so described.>
Thanks in advance,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Breeding Lake Malawi Catfish 7/7/05 Hello, I was interested in breeding S. njassae and I am in need of a protocol to follow.  Do you have any idea where I can find this information?  I Googled, but I did not find detailed information.  Any help would be appreciated. < This fish is not being worked on by aquarists because there is more money in breeding other species from Lake Tanganyika. Look for articles on breeding Syn petricola and Syn multipunctatus. Other areas to check would be Planetcatfish.com.-Chuck> Vanessa

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