Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish

Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish
Latin name:
(Synodontis multipunctatus)

Care Level





Black, White, Yellow



Preferred Conditions

75-82° F, KH 10-20, pH 7.5-9.0

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size

50 gallons


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Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish: A Guide for Fish Enthusiasts

Are you a fish enthusiast looking for a unique and captivating addition to your aquarium? Look no further than the Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish, a fascinating species known for its striking appearance and intriguing behavior. This guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to know about caring for and appreciating this remarkable fish.

Origin and Habitat

The Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish, also known as the Cuckoo Catfish, originates from the Congo River Basin in Africa. It inhabits slow-moving, well-oxygenated waters with plenty of hiding places, such as rocks, driftwood, and aquatic plants. These catfish are bottom-dwellers and spend most of their time scavenging for food along the substrate.

Physical Characteristics

The Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish is a medium-sized fish, typically reaching a length of 6-8 inches. It has a distinctive body shape, with a long, slender body and a flattened head. The most striking feature of this catfish is its coloration. Its body is covered in numerous small, black spots, giving it a unique and eye-catching appearance. Additionally, it has a pair of long, whisker-like barbels on its snout, which it uses to navigate and search for food in murky waters.

Behavior and Temperament

The Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish is generally a peaceful and docile species, making it a suitable choice for community aquariums. However, it can become territorial during breeding season or when competing for food. These catfish are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. They spend their days hiding in caves or under rocks and emerge at night to feed. They are also known to be jumpers, so a secure lid is essential for your aquarium.

Diet and Nutrition

The Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish is an omnivorous species with a varied diet. In the wild, it feeds on small invertebrates, fish fry, and plant matter. In captivity, it can be fed a combination of live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods, such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and pellets. It is important to provide a balanced diet that includes both protein and vegetable matter.

Tank Requirements

To ensure the well-being of your Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish, it is essential to provide an appropriate tank setup. A minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended, although a larger tank is always better. The tank should have a sandy or fine gravel substrate and plenty of hiding places, such as rocks, driftwood, and caves. The water should be clean and well-oxygenated, with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5 and a temperature range of 75-80°F.


Breeding the Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish in captivity can be challenging, but it is possible with the right conditions. A separate breeding tank is recommended, with a slightly acidic pH and a temperature of around 80°F. The breeding pair should be well-conditioned and fed a high-protein diet. Spawning is triggered by a water change or a sudden drop in water temperature. The female will lay her eggs in a cave or on a flat surface, and the male will fertilize them. The eggs will hatch in a few days, and the fry should be fed live food until they are large enough to accept prepared foods.

Common Diseases and Health Issues

The Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish is generally a hardy and disease-resistant species. However, it is susceptible to common fish diseases such as ich, fin rot, and swim bladder disorder. Regular water changes and a clean tank environment are essential for preventing and treating diseases. If you notice any signs of illness in your catfish, such as loss of appetite, lethargy, or unusual behavior, it is important to isolate the fish and seek veterinary assistance.

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The Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish is a fascinating and captivating species that can add a touch of uniqueness to any aquarium. With its striking appearance, intriguing behavior, and relatively easy care requirements, this catfish is a great choice for both experienced and beginner fish keepers. By providing the proper tank setup, diet, and care, you can ensure the well-being and longevity of your Synodontis Multipunctatus Catfish.