Lake Malawi Species • Best Type of Synodontis Catfish for Mbuna

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Best Type of Synodontis Catfish for Mbuna

Postby SoccerMbunaAndShak » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:34 pm

Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum, but have been keeping Mbuna for 4 years. About 3 months ago, I moved my mixed Mbuna (Yellow tail Acei majority and 1 male 3 female Red Zebra) into a 55 gallon aquarium. Since then, I have noticed an increase in spawning among the acei. I already have a bunch of juvenile acei (3 inchers from the original 4 acei which are close to 5 inches) and I’m worried that it will be too crowded if the few fry that I see every now and then grow up. I heard that synodontis are great at fry control, but which specific species is best at doing so and will be compatible with my setup? In total, there are about 18-20 fish in there. I am running a sump and in total there is about 70 gallons of water.
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Re: Best Type of Synodontis Catfish for Mbuna

Postby DJRansome » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:38 pm

Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

You probably want to shoot for 15 cichlids max in a 55G.

Best for fry control are Synodontis multipunctatus and they are good in groups of five.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Best Type of Synodontis Catfish for Mbuna

Postby SoccerMbunaAndShak » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:16 pm

Ok thanks DJ! Planning on giving the zebras to my friend anyways. They are a little too aggressive for the acei. Anyone who has any more information, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, are there any other species that would work? I’ve only seen multipunctatus a couple of times in my LFS and they seem to be expensive online. Eupterus is pretty cheap on LiveAquaria. Would those work?
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Re: Best Type of Synodontis Catfish for Mbuna

Postby BlueSunshine » Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:06 pm

DJRansome wrote:Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

You probably want to shoot for 15 cichlids max in a 55G.

Best for fry control are Synodontis multipunctatus and they are good in groups of five.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^This is good advice!!! :thumb:^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The Eupterus, I think, gets larger and doesn't go after the eggs or fry like the multipunctatus does.
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Re: Best Type of Synodontis Catfish for Mbuna

Postby DJRansome » Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:23 pm

Eupterus is a more solitary Synodontis. It is not from the Rift Lakes, but rather from the rivers. I have no experience with their fry patrol abilities.

Would you consider Synodontis lucipinnis a.k.a. dwarf petricola? They are smaller and less expensive, but still social fish that are good in groups of five.

To tell you the truth, we usually consider acei to be on the large side for a 55G and better in a 75G. But red zebras work well in a 55G.

You could think in terms of 3 species with 1m:4f of each if one of the species is red zebra.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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