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Synodontis decorus - Clown SynodontisMagyarul / Hungarian
Synodontis decorus - Clown SynodontisSynodontis decorus - Clown SynodontisSynodontis decorus - Clown SynodontisSynodontis decorus - Clown Synodontis
  • Scientific name: Synodontis decorus
  • Synonyms: Synodontis vittatus, Synodontis decora
  • Common name: Clown Synodontis
  • Group: Catfishes
  • Habitat: Africa; Cameroon, Congo
  • Size: 30 cm
  • Biotope: Found in large rivers and lakes of the entire Congo drainage with the exception of the Luvua and the Zambian Congo, usually in the slow moving areas of rivers and in flooded zones.
  • Social behavior: Do not keep with small fishes, as they may be eaten. Not as territorial as many Synodontis and can even be maintained in a group in a large aquarium. Can be kept with large African cichlids or larger barbs in a community tank, but best kept away from fin-nippers which might be tempted to pick at the filament on its dorsal fin.
  • Diet: Omnivorous; Eats crustaceans, algae and insect larvae in the wild. Unfussy eater in the aquarium, will accept frozen, live and dried foods, and also vegetables as peas and cucumber.
  • Breeding: Unsuccessful in aquaria.
  • Tank: Minimum 200 litres
  • Population: 1 fish for 200 litres.
  • Decoration: Use sand or fine gravel as substrate. Lots of rock caves and bogwood, many hiding places. Use floating plants to dim the lighting.
  • Temperature: 22-27°C
  • pH: 6-8
  • Hardness: 3-25 NK°
  • Lifespan: 10 years

Description: The attractive coloration of these fishes is one reason for their specific name. Adult specimens are light grey-brown, with large dark black-brown round spots, not clearly defined, and which may also merge together. Their belly is white. The short head is finely speckled, and has 3 pairs of barbels with filaments on both maxillary and mandibular barbels. Their eyes are large. The dorsal fin and pectoral fins have a hardened first ray which is serrated. The high dorsal fin has a long filament at its tip, and may extend as far as the tips of the caudal-fin lobes and is already present in juveniles. Juveniles are lighter and more contrast-rich in their coloration. The caudal fin is large and deeply forked, and exhibits a horizontal black stripe on its centre, and from this 2 to 4 further zebra-like stripes extend onto each fin lobe. The dorsal fin too exhibits 2 to 3 black transverse bands, and the filament is likewise black. Clown Synodontis is extremely nocturnal as an adult and is one of the shyest Syno's around, so an additional night light or moon-light would be recommended to their tank, so the fish can be observed after the lights go out in their tank. In nature this catfish is diurnal and adults are usually found in groups of 10-50 specimens.

Adult males have a little darker coloration and are smaller than females. They can also be sexed by examining the genital papillae: males have pointed, while females have more rounded papillae. In nature, Synodontis decora breeds in areas of seasonal flooding. They are egg scatterers, and the parents do not care the eggs or fry. In aquaria breeding was unsuccessful, but captive breeding has occured in fish farm ponds using hormone injections.

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