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Cuckoo Synodontis - Synodontis multipunctatus - Small

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Item: 213505

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The Cuckoo Synodontis (Synodontis multipunctatus) is a fairly distinctive species. It has larger eyes than many other synodontis and although its light tan body is covered with dark spots, the stomach is not spotted. The tail, dorsal spine and the area between is black.

Synodontis catfish typically require water that is well-oxygenated and has a relatively strong current. This can be achieved by using powerheads or a spray bar water return attachment on a canister filter. Provide hiding places situated in areas of heavy current for shelter.

Most Synodontis catfish are omnivores, and should be offered both meaty foods and vegetation. This can be in the form of flakes, pellets, and freeze-dried or frozen foods like bloodworms and blackworms. They are peaceful fish, and can be kept in most community aquariums. Many can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, including hard water and high pH, and can even be kept in some African cichlid aquariums.

Synodontis are, for the most part, nocturnal fish. They may become more active in the aquarium during the day over time but will come out of hiding the most during the night. A very well planted, dimly lit aquarium will encourage them to come out more often. Decorations like plants, driftwood, and rockwork are appropriate.

These catfish have strong spines in the pectoral fins and front of the dorsal fin. They can cause a painful puncture and may become entangled in nets. Use caution when handling or transporting.

Visit That Fish Blog for more information from our marine biologists and aquarium staff on Synodontis Catfish and many other topics!
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That Fish Place
Common NameCuckoo Synodontis - Small
Scientific NameSynodontis multipunctata
Max Size (in inches)8
Community SafeYes, with larger fish only
pH Range7.8-8.2
Min Tank Size (in gallons)55
Temperature Range75-82
Internal Id

State Restrictions
Armed Forces Americas
Armed Forces Europe
Armed Forces Pacific
Puerto Rico

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Cuckoo cats are really fun to watch!


Best kept in groups of 3+ so they come out and chase each other. Mine and others have been successfully bred with Mbuna cichlids. They are parasite breeders, meaning they steal an egg of a Mbuna and replace it with one of their own.