Synodontis Angelicus Catfish (Synodontis angelicus)

Synodontis Angelicus Catfish (Synodontis angelicus)

Synodontis Angelicus Catfish (Synodontis angelicus)

The Synodontis Angelicus Catfish (Synodontis angelicus) is a species of upside-down catfish that tropical fish keeping enthusiasts also refer to as the Angel Catfish, Angelicus Cat, Black Clown Catfish, Polka-dot African catfish or Angel Squeaker.  It is in the “naked catfish” group and may also be known as S. robianus, S. tholloni, S. werneri, and S. angelicus zonatus

This river dwelling species is native to the Congo River Basin of Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo. It is a peaceful species that grows to a length of almost 10″ in an aquarium environment, and up to 22″ in their natural habitat.

The Synodontis Angelicus Catfish has a chocolate brown, jet black, dark gray or deep purplish colored body that is boldly sprinkled with a variable pattern of creamy white spots of the about the same size.  As the fish matures, these spots become less pronounced and become more gray.  Stress, illness, sex and age also factor in as to why they radically change their background colors.

The Synodontis Angelicus Catfish is primarily nocturnal and loves to excavate and burrow around in the substrate.  They may nibble on live plants and they appreciate a fine sandy bottom in their tank with lots of rock, driftwood, roots, and caves to hide in and among.  This is one species that will not thrive if left in an open environment; they must have multiple places for them to hide.

Since they grow to almost 10″ in length, they should be housed in an aquarium of at least 55 gallon capacity with a power head to provide them with a moderate current that they prefer in their natural habitat.

These fish are social and can be kept in small groups as schooling fish with other species of Synodontis or kept with most African Cichlids of approximately the same size.  They aggressively guard their caves from other Synodontis species but they do well in a community tank with Congo Tetras and other larger African Tetras.

To date there have been no successful aquarium breeding of the Synodontis Angelicus Catfish.  They are egg scatterers, but none have hatched.

Synodontis Catfish are omnivores and will readily accept freeze dried bloodworms, freeze dried tubifex, sinking catfish pellets, shrimp pellets, insect larvae, small shrimp, and high quality flake foods.

Wild collected specimens are usually available for sale when they are 4″ to 6″ in length.

Synodontis Angelicus Catfish (Synodontis angelicus)

Synodontis Angelicus Catfish (Synodontis angelicus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 75-82° F, KH 4-15, pH 6.5-7.8
Max. Size: 8″
Color Form: Tan
Diet: Insectivore, Algae
Compatibility: Keep with larger fish
Origin: Africa – Zaire, Cameroons
Family: Mochokidae
Lifespan: 16 – 17 years
Aquarist Experience Lever: Intermediate

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