False Cuckoo Catfish (Synodontis Lucipinnis)
The False Cuckoo Catfish is a charming dwarf species that adds a touch of nature's beauty to your aquarium. This fish is recognized for its elongated, slender body that is covered in a silvery skin without scales. It is adorned with evenly spaced black spots, which are more concentrated along the body and fewer on their bellies. They have large mouths, flat bodies, and long whisker-like barbels on their mouths, which they use to navigate and find food.
A fish with many names, the False Cuckoo Catfish is sometimes called Dwarf Petricola Synodontis Catfish, Dwarf Lake Synodontis, and Petricola Dwarf Syno.
False Cuckoo Catfish are peaceful swimmers and are one of the smaller freshwater catfish species, reaching an adult size of about 3.5 to 4 inches. They are active, especially at night, and their playful nature makes them a delightful addition to a community tank. False Cuckoo Catfish prefer to be in a group of 4 or more and may become timid if left on their own. They can also become territorial, especially towards other bottom-dwelling fish.
The False Cuckoo Catfish doesn't require stringent water conditions normally associated with rift valley cichlids. This makes virtually any aquarium fish of a suitable size and disposition a good tankmate. Ideal tank mates include larger tetras, rasboras, and other peaceful mid-water fish. It's best to avoid housing them with small invertebrates or fish that could fit into the False Cuckoo Catfish's mouth, as they are opportunistic eaters. Avoid housing with overly aggressive fish like Dempseys and African Cichlids.
In terms of diet, False Cuckoo Catfish are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods. They enjoy sinking pellets, flakes, and a variety of live and frozen foods like bloodworms, krill, and brine shrimp. They are also known to appreciate the occasional vegetable matter in their diet, such as peas and cucumbers. Feeding times for False Cuckoo Catfish should be late in the evening and early morning to accommodate their nocturnal lifestyle.
The ideal tank habitat for False Cuckoo Catfish should mimic a riverbed. A soft, sandy substrate is best to minimize injuring their sensitive belly. They also enjoy exploring their environment and relaxing in their personal hiding spots. Use smooth river rocks, caves, and driftwood to make interesting places to visit and sleep. Include robust plants because the False Cuckoo Catfish is an active swimmer and may disturb them. Some hard water tolerant plant is Bacopa Caroliniana, Java Fern, Anubias, and Hygrophila Corymbosa. False Cuckoo Catfish also need plenty of open space for swimming. Since they are nocturnal, the lighting should be kept dim to mimic their natural habitat and encourage daytime activity.
The minimum aquarium size for False Cuckoo Catfish is 30 gallons or larger to accommodate a community with enough open space to swim. The water parameters should have a pH range of 6.5-8.0, a hardness within the soft to medium range of 1-15 dGH, and a temperature range of 72-78°F (22-26°C). False Cuckoo Catfish are sensitive to water quality, so regular water changes and good filtration are essential to keep them healthy.
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.