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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I added five of these to my mbuna tank yesterday and they've really surprised me with their behaviour.

The last time I kept any type of catfish it was a few pictus in a general community tank, and I hardly ever saw them until they were fully grown. They constantly hid. I was expecting the same to happen here, and my primary reason for getting these was to act as fry control in the future. Seems they're far more than that though. The synos seem to be the complete opposite of what I was expecting as a catfish. As soon as I introduced them to the tank they were exploring, foraging on and around the rocks and pipework, and swimming out in open water. They got chased out of the greshakei male's cave a couple of times, but this didn't seem to bother them, and the cichlid just nudged them out a couple of inches - not a real chase. They kept going back in until he started ignoring them. The synos are all between 1.5 and 1.75" and don't seem to be at all concerned when a 4.5" cichlid comes up to them.

I'm really impressed with them so far, and it's nice to see some different behaviour in the tank.

No real reason for this post, other than to say that synos seem pretty cool :thumb:
 

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S. multipunctatus is not nocturnal like many other Synodontis, and as a brood parasite, it is not easily intimidated by mouthbrooding cichlids.
 

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It's also not likely multipunctatus. It's likely Synodontis grandiops. We've been calling them the wrong name for decades... though you are going to find them sold as multipunctatus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Fogelhund said:
It's also not likely multipunctatus. It's likely Synodontis grandiops. We've been calling them the wrong name for decades... though you are going to find them sold as multipunctatus.
Yes, the were sold as multipunctatus F1s. Granted, that doesn't mean they are accurately labelled. *** not seen any advertised as grandiops in the UK, so perhaps they're all just lumped together as multis.

Looks like I'd need to try and measure eye size, count teeth, or count fin rays to be sure!

https://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/ ... -revision/

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... Mochokidae
 

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Now this has me curious. Looking at PlanetCatfish, they are so similar and to the point of your post, they are enjoyable to have. However fogelhund brings up an interesting point and makes me want to get to the bottom (no pun intended) of what exactly is swimming in one of my tanks. I'm going to try and catch mine and check his license plate. :)

I'm betting that fogelhund is correct that mine is a grandiops based on size alone. According to PlanetCatfish, multis max out at around 8.7" and grandiops around 4.3". I have had mine for many years and he is only around the 4" mark.

Enjoy you new catfish!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
tacs said:
Enjoy you new catfish!
Thanks! I'm enjoying having them in the tank, whatever species they turn out to be. I'll see how large they get in a few years, but I'd be perfectly happy if the max out at around 4".

Fogelhund's post has got me wondering in general as to the purity of some of the things I've seen for sale, and the accuracy of their naming. I recently bought 12 juvenile Saulosi, and had the worrying thought the other night that they may actually be estherae - they are far more orange than most other saulosi I've seen. None of them have changed colour yet, although a couple do have some dark bars and slightly lighter bellies, so fingers crossed I'm just being paranoid. I guess until you have enough experience to be able to identify fish by sight, you've got to rely on the information provided by the seller.
 

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Even with a lot of experience, you are better off with a vendor that has even more. Were they coral red saulosi?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They were just labelled as saulosi. They're a more golden orange colour than labs, so much so that I would say they're different enough to have in the same tank (these aren't though). Perhaps they could be considered golden yellow? Look more orange to my eyes though.



Here's a picture of one of my labs for comparison:

 

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Saulosi are yellow-orange but IMO not a huge contrast. Nothing wrong with having them in the tank with labs if you like yellow and orange.

I also don't like estherae and labs (aside from cross breeding) together for lack of contrast.
 

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The color does not look off to me but if you want confirm on the ID post in Unidentified.
 
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