Synodontis lucipinnis - Back to S. lucipinnis Page

    Common Name- The Dwarf Petricola
    Water Conditions- Not Critical. Temp 74-82, Some water movement, plants
    Behavior- An active fish that will patrol the tank to feed, but prefers the security of caves and rockwork.
    Breeding- Pairs grow slowly and breed at 3.5 - 4 inches. See below-
    Size- 4-5 inches


     This has always been a popular fish because of their appearance and non aggressive nature, but they
      are also very hardy, and in our experience, have been very resistent to disease. They will eat most 
      aquarium foods, and we feed them 2-3xs per day, a mix of carnivorous and vegetable based foods. 
      Their preferences  here for live or frozen foods, in roughly the order they are taken most readily are: 
      White worms, mysis shrimp (Frozen), bloodworms (Frozen), Adult Brine Shrimp (Frozen), and 
      chopped Red  Worms.

      Coming from Lake Tangyanika, they are kept with some crushed coral or Oyster shell to bring up the
      the hardness and pH. The water here is moderately soft at 90ppm, and 7.4 pH.

      Though they seem to handle slightly less than ideal conditions, they are provided with a fairly clean
      environment, some water movement and adequate or above filtration. Small pots, caves, rockwork
      without sharp edges (as they have a thin, scaleless skin that can injure easily), is provided. They
      are very social, but while always in close proximity to one another, fish of wide size differences
      can be tough on one another, so you want to keep them well fed with plenty of places to hide.

      As a rule adults live peacefully together. When aggression was seen, it was older males chasing off
      a younger male when a female was around, which did result in the loss of the young male. Through 
      counting fry here, I am trying to determine if cannibalism between young fry is a problem, as is widely  

      When they come into sexual maturity, they can be sexed fairly early by body shape. Females have a
      wider abdomen, and when full of eggs their abdomen is quite round. They appear to be slightly higher
      bodied in comparison to the males, which is likely, because they are certainly more heavily bodied.
      The males appear to be longer and thinner with a body that is straight back along its sides - it's
      abdomen does not bulge as the females do. They can also be sexed by examining the genital papillae,
      but have not found that to be necessary.

      When sexually mature, they will breed most often during the week previous to the full moon. A local
      university would simply siphon through the gravel every week or so, pick out the eggs and raise the
      fry separately.

      The eggs are about the size of the period at the end of these sentences, and are a light amber color.
      The young can be started on 24 hr. baby brine shrimp or microworms (NOT vinegar eels, as the acidity
      will kill the batch) and I have found they can be sensitive to water quality changes during their first
      1-2 weeks. For example, use only water from their birthing tank to do water changes into the container
      where the eggs are being maintained.

      Young are slow growing and can be scooped up with a net at about 1 month. Good luck!


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