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Synodontis eupterus (Featherfin Synodontis)

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Upside-down catfish have a reputation for being shy, highly nocturnal animals that may be easy to keep but you hardly ever see them. Synodontis eupterus is a species that breaks that rule, and is surprisingly bold and outgoing when kept properly. As well as a nice personality, what makes this fish so desirable is its huge dorsal fin.

Juveniles are pale grey-brown with a network pattern of dark grey stripes and squiggles all across the body. The dorsal fin of a juvenile specimen is normal in size, and such fish could easily be mistaken for something like Synodontis nigriventris. Only as the fish matures does its dorsal fin develop to full size, eventually being more that twice as tall as the depth of the body, and when folded back easily reaching the tail fin. The colour pattern also changes, with the network pattern yielding to a pattern of small, quite widely spaced dark spots.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

Wild fish are found primarily over muddy riverbeds where they feed on algae and insect larvae. In the aquarium Synodontis eupterus have proven to be highly adaptable and will eat all types of food including pellets, algae wafers, bloodworms and small pieces of chopped seafood. Although not aggressive or particularly predatory, it may eat very small fish, so tankmates should be chosen with care.

Synodontis eupterus has not been bred in captivity. Adults are territorial and should not be overcrowded. In most tanks this species is best kept as the sole catfish and combined with midwater tankmates such as barbs and characins.

Family Group: Catfish
Distribution Africa: White Nile
Temperature 22-26 C
Size Maximum size in the wild 30 cm, but rarely more than 15 cm in aquaria
Water Parameters Adaptable, but avoid extremes
Water PH 6.0-7.5
Water Chemistry Adaptable
Diet Adaptable
Care Level Easy
Schooling Fish No
Sociability Peaceful