Featherfin squeaker

Aquarium fish: Featherfin squeaker (Synodontis eupterus)
Size: 15 – 20 cm
Origin: Africa
Water temperature: 22-27 ° C
Aquarium volume: 120 l

Featherfin squeaker (Synodontis eupterus ) -finned bison (Synodontis eupterus) – a large, freshwater, bottom aquarium fish of the pinnate family (Mochokidae) .


Africa. Widely distributed species, it is found, among others, in Nigeria, Cameroon, Mali, Ghana, Sudan and Nigeria. It lives in a variety of biotopes.

Characteristics and disposition

In nature, they can be up to 30 cm in length, in an aquarium they usually do not exceed 20 cm.

Color change. Young ones are quite different from adults, so they can be mistaken for smaller flexible teeth. Their pattern resembles black and white stripes, which are interrupted by irregular spots (like in a zebra). Changes in appearance occur between 4 – 10 cm in length. In adulthood, the body is gray or brown, decorated with black, distinct dots.

A characteristic feature of this flexible tooth is its high dorsal fin, which, interestingly, is not completely connected by a membrane. It is one of the few among the Synodontis family to have 3 instead of 2 pairs of mustaches. All fins are mottled, often forming stripes. Adult females are much rounder than males. Sexual dimorphism is also recognized by the genital wart.

However, this is not an easy method and requires some practice. The fish are held in the hands with the belly up, paying attention to the spines of the dorsal fin (the prick is very painful), which is best grasped between the middle and ring fingers. The reproductive zone is located near the pelvic fin, the nipple can be discovered by gently tilting the tail of the fish. The nipple is elongated and sharper in males, and rounded in females. Fish reach sexual maturity after 2 years of age.

They live in herds and lead a nocturnal lifestyle. Specimens reaching 28 years of age have been recorded . Unfortunately, small 3 – 4 cm individuals are sold in stores, which most often end up in too small aquariums.

Nutrition and feeding

Omnivorous fish. In the aquarium, they are not picky and eat most of the available dry, frozen and live food.

They also like vegetables, such as green peas or cucumbers, which they scrape with their teeth located on the lower lip.


They require a large aquarium with a length of min. 100 cm, with numerous hiding places and a soft base. For decoration, you can use stones, marsh wood or twisted roots that will provide them with proper shelter. Lighting should not be too bright, muffled, for example, by floating vegetation.

Sensitive to contamination, they require efficient filtration and regular changes as well as well-oxygenated water. They adapt quite easily to different conditions. As companionship, avoid small fish that may be treated as food. Suitable cohabitants will be: African Red-eyed Tetra, Congo Candle, Cichlids from West Africa, Mruk Peters , Amazon Spirit , Gurami and larger razors or barbs. With age, it becomes territorial, especially to other flexible-toothed fish and benthic fish (kirysków, otoska).

However, the aggression is less than with other fish of this kind and in a sufficiently large tank it can be kept in a small group, where the hierarchy is usually determined by size. Due to its size, it is not recommended for a social aquarium.


It does not reproduce in aquarium conditions . Most of the commercial fish come from breeding farms where special hormones are used for this purpose. In natural habitats it breeds seasonally, on flooded areas rich in food.

The species spreads eggs and shows no parental care.


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