Bigeye Synodontis Catfish

From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Jump to: navigation , search
Synodontis alberti - Schilthuis, 1891
Bigeye Synodontis Catfish

A generally neighborly African catfish, best kept in groups. Aaron Norman


An immensely likable, peaceful species that will put on a continuous show when kept in groups. Synodontis catfishes are perfect tankmates for African Rift Lake Cichlids, as well as larger tetras and other characins.

Family: Mochokidae

Other common name(s):

  • Bigeye Squeaker

Native range:

Habitat: Provide lots of "caves" (i.e., piles of rocks with holes throughout, inverted flowerpots, large PVC pipes), and include fine-grade rounded gravel substrate. Plants are optional.

Maximum length: 20 cm (8 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 114 L (30 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Bottom


Carnivore. In the wild, often feed heavily on snails and will do the same in the aquarium. Accept a wide range of aquarium fare, including tablet and pellet foods, and a wide variety of flakes. In addition, live and frozen foods, such as brine shrimp and bloodworms, are appreciated. Feed in the morning and at lights-out time at night.

Aquarium Compatibility

Generally peaceful. Keep in groups of at least three.


Synodontis breeding events in aquaria are not common, but if properly conditioned (daily feedings of live black worms and Spirulina flakes have been used) and provided a flowerpot spawning cave, they may reward the aquarist with fertile eggs.


Synodontis catfishes are known as "squeakers" by local African peoples for the sounds they make when taken from the water. When netted, they often produce squeaking noises.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: AN
Text credit: KW