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Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1

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    Default Synodontis Courtship? Rough Play? Or do I have a bully?


    0 Not allowed!
    I have two synodontis catfish in a 20L with a common pleco, 2 goldfish, and a few danios. They have all been together for 9 or 10 months now, but in the last two or three days, the larger of the two catfish has been chasing the smaller one around the tank and has on one occasion grabbed the smaller one by the pectoral fin and spun it in circles. They sit together for hours sometimes and then at other times the larger one gets rather aggressive towards the smaller one. The larger on is a dark gray and the smaller one is a much lighter color, almost tan. Twice I have seen the larger one chase the goldies who are two and four times his size.

    So, all of this sudden aggressive behavior has me wondering if I have a male and female who are courting (I know some fish species have very violent mating rituals) or do I have just have a bully in my tank?

    Let me preface a few comments that I sense coming already...

    I know two goldies are too big for a 20L. They will be moving into the 55 Gallon in my signature as soon as it is ready. I am actually building it for them because I learned after I had already purchased the 20L that I shouldn't trust teenagers in pet stores when it comes to answering questions about fish... I now come here first! SO, if this is a territorial issue, it will be resolved soon.

    Also, the two catfish were actually netted by accident when they were tiny fry while I was purchasing the pleco. In fact, they were so tiny I didn't even notice they were in the bag until I got home, and then I thought the pleco had pooped. It wasn't until about a week later that I saw two tiny fish hiding behind the heater. Initially I thought they were baby plecos. Since they are now grown, I know what they are. In my research to find out what they were I learned that they should be kept in larger groups, but again, I didn't even mean to have them. SO, if this is one of those, "two will fight, but four will live happily together" situations, should I go buy a few more? Or would that just cause more problems since these two are already established in the tank...

    Hopefully some of you Catfish experts can give me some advice!!
    It's my kids fault I am hooked on this hobby... It all started with a Desktop 5 Gallon Father's Day Gift!

    My Tank Journals:
    In Wall 55 Gallon - My first "Large" tank...
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  2. #2

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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    Most Synodontis are territorial fish, though there are a few exceptions. In any case 2 is a bad number for a 20 long, may even be crowded in the 55 depending on how large they eventually get. Have you identified the actual species? The species most commonly bred in the trade are S. eupterus and the species Tanganykian S. petricola and S. lucipinnis, though there are several hybrids that turn up occasionally as well. The Tang species grow fairly quickly up to a point, then slow down considerably, taking several years to mature. The eupterus and hybrids grow very quickly. A baby eupterus will grow to full adult size in a matter of months.
    Aside from that, even the 55 will be too small for the common pleco. There's also the issue of temperature, goldfish prefer cooler water while the pleco and Synodontis prefer warmer water.

    ^^^^Please click the eggs/dragons, thanks...

  3. #3

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by toddnbecka View Post
    Most Synodontis are territorial fish, though there are a few exceptions. In any case 2 is a bad number for a 20 long, may even be crowded in the 55 depending on how large they eventually get. Have you identified the actual species? The species most commonly bred in the trade are S. eupterus and the species Tanganykian S. petricola and S. lucipinnis, though there are several hybrids that turn up occasionally as well.
    I believe mine are Eupterus or Nigrita. I have seen many photos online that look just like my fish labeled as "Lace Catfish" (which appears to be the "Nigrita" variety). However, when I look up "Nigrita" in what I would consider more reputable sources they look nothing like my fish. My fish look exactly like the fish in this video:

    ,

    They look more like the Eupterus photos on those same "more reputable" sites. I would take video of mine, but I rarely see them when the lighting is good enough to take a video, and when I do see them lately, they are darting after one another in the tank too fast to get a good shot of them, but they look exactly like the one in the video.

    Quote Originally Posted by toddnbecka View Post
    The Tang species grow fairly quickly up to a point, then slow down considerably, taking several years to mature. The eupterus and hybrids grow very quickly. A baby eupterus will grow to full adult size in a matter of months.
    This is interesting as well, because I brought these guys home in November of last year, again, so small I nor the lady who scooped them up even saw them, and they are now about 3.5 and 4 inches long with dorsal fins near equal in height to the fish's length and they really don't seem to have grown much in the past month or so.

    Quote Originally Posted by toddnbecka View Post
    Aside from that, even the 55 will be too small for the common pleco. There's also the issue of temperature, goldfish prefer cooler water while the pleco and Synodontis prefer warmer water.
    The 55 will be a temporary home, as they will eventually go into my next tank, a 135 Gallon community tank, as will the Pleco.

    Honestly though, if this type of aggression keeps up I may just move one to the 55 and keep one right where it is until the 135 is ready, or I might sell them. They are beautiful fish who up to this point have been stellar tank mates and the 135 will provide many, many places for them to hide, etc. if they stay that long... But, as mentioned, I have no attachment to these fish. They came to me by total accident. I have fish I wouldn't sell for ten times their value, but these aren't them...
    Last edited by PaulPerger; 08-04-2016 at 11:28 AM.
    It's my kids fault I am hooked on this hobby... It all started with a Desktop 5 Gallon Father's Day Gift!

    My Tank Journals:
    In Wall 55 Gallon - My first "Large" tank...
    135 Gallon Tank
    20L Multi- Betta Tank

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Lace cats is a generic name for a variety of Synodontis species, but essentially the same general care as eupterus or nigrita in any case. They aren't social fish, and even the schooling species need at least 5 in the group to establish a pecking order that doesn't bully one fish too much. A 55 is a decent size tank for one such adult, maybe two if there are enough suitable hiding places for them to establish separate territories, that mainly depends on their behavior. As long as fins aren't torn up or bite marks showing on the skin (yes, Synodontis do have teeth) and the smaller one isn't too skinny the dominant fish isn't doing any real harm.

    ^^^^Please click the eggs/dragons, thanks...

  5. #5

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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    Those are very pretty catfish, btw. Also a word of caution when housing goldfish and plecos (especially common plecos), the plecos will eventually get a taste for the slime coating that goldfish produce in excess and you will start seeing fin damages and lesions on their bodies. They shouldn't be kept together. Unfortunately I did that when I had goldfish and was in my teens and had to re-homed my pleco because he was stressing and damaging the goldfish.
    Last edited by Boundava; 08-04-2016 at 06:07 PM.
    75g- Plecos, Rainbowfish, Edlers, Espei, Gouramis, Cory, Loaches, Amano, and misc.
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    DebinWhitmore

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by toddnbecka View Post
    Lace cats is a generic name for a variety of Synodontis species, but essentially the same general care as eupterus or nigrita in any case. They aren't social fish, and even the schooling species need at least 5 in the group to establish a pecking order that doesn't bully one fish too much. A 55 is a decent size tank for one such adult, maybe two if there are enough suitable hiding places for them to establish separate territories, that mainly depends on their behavior. As long as fins aren't torn up or bite marks showing on the skin (yes, Synodontis do have teeth) and the smaller one isn't too skinny the dominant fish isn't doing any real harm.
    Thus far, I haven't seen any real damage. I have just noticed that the smaller one will avoid contact with the larger one from time to time, especially so right after an "attack". I don't want it to live in fear. I think I will be separating them as soon as I can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boundava View Post
    Those are very pretty catfish, btw. Also a word of caution when housing goldfish and plecos (especially common plecos), the plecos will eventually get a taste for the slime coating that goldfish produce in excess and you will start seeing fin damages and lesions on their bodies. They shouldn't be kept together. Unfortunately I did that when I had goldfish and was in my teens and had to re-homed my pleco because he was stressing and damaging the goldfish.
    I agree. They are beautiful fish. I especially love it when they swim around the tank with their fins all spread out with their super long spines that trail behind them... They're just beautiful. Which is why in a way I want to keep them for the big community tank. I just feel like in that big tank they will be able to cruise the middle and bottom of the tank. There will be plenty of hiding places as I plan to build a 3D background into which I plan to build some caves for the shy fish to hide in.

    Thus far, there has been no contact between the pleco and the goldies that I am aware of. The pleco is still considerably smaller than them though. He is about 75% the size of the smaller goldie and less than half the size of the larger one. Honestly, it's just one more reason to re-home him. I am feeling more and more like he won't be with me when I am ready to stock that tank.
    It's my kids fault I am hooked on this hobby... It all started with a Desktop 5 Gallon Father's Day Gift!

    My Tank Journals:
    In Wall 55 Gallon - My first "Large" tank...
    135 Gallon Tank
    20L Multi- Betta Tank

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