Synodontis Eupterus Catfish

Synodontis Eupterus Catfish
Latin name:
(Synodontis eupterus)

Care Level





Black, White



Preferred Conditions

75-82° F, KH 4-15, pH 6.5-7.8

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size

50 gallons


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Synodontis Eupterus Catfish: A Comprehensive Guide for Aquarists

The Synodontis eupterus catfish, also known as the Featherfin squeaker, is a fascinating and unique species that has captured the attention of aquarists worldwide. With its striking appearance and intriguing behaviors, this catfish makes an excellent addition to any tropical aquarium. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the captivating world of the Synodontis eupterus catfish, exploring its characteristics, care requirements, and breeding habits.

Characteristics of the Synodontis Eupterus Catfish

The Synodontis eupterus catfish is a medium-sized species, typically reaching a length of 6-8 inches in adulthood. Its body is elongated and slightly flattened, with a distinctive dorsal fin that extends along the length of its back. The most striking feature of this catfish is its feathery pectoral fins, which give it its common name. These fins are adorned with long, delicate rays that flutter gracefully in the water, creating a mesmerizing effect.

The coloration of the Synodontis eupterus catfish varies widely, ranging from light brown to dark gray. Its body is often adorned with intricate patterns of spots, stripes, or marbling, making each individual fish unique. The catfish’s eyes are typically black or dark brown, and its mouth is adorned with four pairs of barbels, which it uses to navigate its surroundings and search for food.

Care Requirements for the Synodontis Eupterus Catfish

Providing proper care for the Synodontis eupterus catfish is essential for its well-being and longevity. Here are some key factors to consider:

Tank Size:

The Synodontis eupterus catfish requires a spacious tank to thrive. A minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended for a single fish, with an additional 10 gallons for each additional fish. The tank should be long enough to allow the catfish to swim freely and should have a secure lid to prevent it from jumping out.

Water Parameters:

The Synodontis eupterus catfish prefers warm, slightly acidic water. The ideal water temperature range is between 75-82°F (24-28°C), with a pH of 6.0-7.5. The water should also be well-oxygenated and free of harmful chemicals. Regular water changes are essential to maintain good water quality.


The Synodontis eupterus catfish prefers a soft, sandy substrate that is easy to sift through. Avoid sharp or rough substrates, as these can damage the catfish’s delicate barbels. A layer of fine gravel or smooth sand is ideal.


The Synodontis eupterus catfish appreciates having plenty of hiding places in its tank. Driftwood, rocks, and caves provide shelter and security for the fish. Live plants can also be added to the tank, but choose plants with sturdy leaves that can withstand the catfish’s nibbling.


The Synodontis eupterus catfish is an omnivore and will readily accept a variety of foods. A high-quality commercial catfish food should form the basis of its diet, supplemented with live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. The catfish should be fed once or twice a day, with the amount of food adjusted to prevent overfeeding.

Breeding the Synodontis Eupterus Catfish

Breeding the Synodontis eupterus catfish in captivity is a challenging but rewarding experience. Here are some key steps to follow:

Selecting a Breeding Pair:

Choose a healthy, sexually mature pair of Synodontis eupterus catfish. The male fish will typically be smaller and have a more slender body than the female. The female will have a rounder belly and may be slightly larger than the male.

Preparing the Breeding Tank:

Set up a separate breeding tank that is at least 20 gallons in size. The tank should have a soft, sandy substrate and plenty of hiding places. The water should be clean and well-oxygenated, with a temperature of around 80°F (27°C). Add a few pieces of slate or flat rocks to the tank, as the catfish will use these to lay their eggs.

Conditioning the Breeding Pair:

Feed the breeding pair a high-quality diet rich in live and frozen foods. This will help to stimulate their breeding instincts. Gradually increase the water temperature in the breeding tank to around 82°F (28°C).


When the breeding pair is ready to spawn, they will engage in a courtship ritual. The male will chase the female around the tank, nipping at her fins and body. The female will eventually release her eggs, which the male will fertilize. The eggs will adhere to the slate or rocks in the tank.

Incubation and Care of the Fry:

The eggs will hatch after about 3-4 days. The fry are very small and delicate, so it is important to provide them with plenty of food and clean water. Feed the fry with live or frozen foods, such as brine shrimp nauplii or microworms. As the fry grow, they can be gradually introduced to a diet of commercial catfish food.

FAQs About the Synodontis Eupterus Catfish

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Synodontis eupterus catfish:

Q: How long do Synodontis eupterus catfish live?

A: With proper care, Synodontis eupterus catfish can live for up to 10 years in captivity.

Q: Are Synodontis eupterus catfish aggressive?

A: Synodontis eupterus catfish are generally peaceful fish, but they may become aggressive towards other fish if they feel threatened or if their territory is invaded.

Q: Can Synodontis eupterus catfish be kept with other fish?

A: Yes, Synodontis eupterus catfish can be kept with other peaceful fish, such as tetras, barbs, and rasboras. However, it is important to choose tankmates that are similar in size and temperament to avoid aggression.


The Synodontis eupterus catfish is a fascinating and rewarding fish to keep in an aquarium. With its striking appearance, intriguing behaviors, and relatively easy care requirements, this catfish is a great choice for both experienced and beginner aquarists. By providing proper care and attention, you can ensure that your Synodontis eupterus catfish thrives and brings years of enjoyment to your aquarium.