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Synodontis contractus - Bugeye squeakerMagyarul / Hungarian
Synodontis contractus - Bugeye squeakerSynodontis contractus - Bugeye squeakerSynodontis contractus - Bugeye squeakerSynodontis contractus - Bugeye squeaker
  • Scientific name: Synodontis contractus
  • Synonyms: Synodontis davidi (Axelrod, 1970), Bug Eyed Squeaker, Big-nosed Upside Down Catfish
  • Common name: Bugeye squeaker
  • Group: Catfishes
  • Habitat: Africa; Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo
  • Size: 6-7,5 cm
  • Biotope: Found in the central Congo basin, over muddy bottoms and among marginal vegetation in large rivers.
  • Social behavior: One of the most peaceful members among Synodontis, and can be combined with other placid fish in a community tank. They should be kept in a small group of 3-4 fish, as this way they become more confident and bold.
  • Diet: Omnivorous; Unfussy eater in the aquarium, will accept frozen, live and dried foods, and also vegetables such as peas and cucumber. These fish will often feed from the surface in their typical upside down style.
  • Breeding: Uncommon in aquaria
  • Tank: Minimum 75 litres
  • Population: 3-4 fish for 100 litres.
  • Decoration: Use sandy substrate with lots of rock caves and bogwood, that form many hiding places. Place broad-leaved plants or floating plants in the aquarium, as the fish like to rest under these.
  • Temperature: 22-26 °C
  • pH: 6.2-7.6
  • Hardness: 3-15 NK°
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years

Description: Synodontis contractus has a grey-brown body and head where the dorsal side is lighter, and the ventral side is darker. The body is covered with numerous small, irregular, black-brown spots that may merge togehter to create a dark marbling. The pores of the lateral line are visible as rows of small white dots. The dorsal fin and pectoral fins have a hardened first ray which is serrated. With the pectoral fins the fish can produce chirping sounds. It is very similar in color pattern to the more commonly encountered Synodontis nigriventris, but Synodontis contractus has a bigger head, broader mouth and far larger eye. Often swims upside-down and will also feed in this position under the water surface where the fish sucks in floating food. Synodontis contractus is a nocturnal fish spending most of the daylight hours in shady places, or among the vegetation. Wild caught fish can be quite delicate and may take some time to become acclimatised, however once settled they are relatively easy to maintain. An aquarium that resembles to their natural habitat will help speed up the settling process.

It is almost impossible to tell differences between the sexes by external look. There are only a few reports of their captive breeding, where a small group produced one batch of 30, large (3.0 mm diameter) bright orange eggs, these were hidden away at the back of the tank.

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