Care Level: Moderate
Live Plant Safe: Yes
General Description: The Petricola Synodontis Catfish, also referred to as the pygmy Leopard Catfish, is found in east Africa’s Lake Tanganyika. Synodontis is the genus of catfish that are found across the continent of Africa, with more than 120 species described including the Petricola catfish. Perhaps one of the most sought after in the genus, the Petricola catfish has a light brown body with dark spots and darker dorsal and caudal fins that are outlined in a bright white; its barbels are also an attractive white. This catfish is relatively peaceful with similarly sized tank mates, reaching an adult size of approximately 4″. Petricola catfish are very social, preferring to be kept in groups of 3 or more individuals and this dynamic will also encourage outgoing behavior. A single individual is usually cautious and withdrawn.
Diet Requirements: Petricola catfish are omnivores. A diet made up of various high quality vegetable based and protein based flake foods, algae, sinking pellet foods and bug bites are ideal, in addition to offering frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp and other freshwater mixes. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish.
Care Requirements: A minimum 20 gallon aquarium is ideal for a single Petricola catfish, though a group is preferred and this would require 55 gallons or more. This species should not be introduced into a biologically immature aquarium, as it is very sensitive to nitrite and ammonia. The aquarium should be aquascaped with rocks and driftwood for coverage and places to hide, in addition to vegetation (artificial or live, but live is preferred); some floating plants are appreciated to diffuse the lighting. Catfish require a sandy to fine substrate; too coarse of a substrate could cause injury to their barbels. Like other catfish, the Petricola catfish is an opportunistic scavenger, making them very beneficial to have to forage for extra food of all kinds that has fallen to the substrate. Given their size and temperament, Petricola catfish rarely conflict with other fish but can be easily bullied by more aggressive species, including other catfish. An ideal set-up for a Petricola catfish is with other endemic species from Lake Tanganyika. This catfish does not mix well with cichlids from Lake Malawai because they are often too belligerent. Other compatible fish include rainbows, larger tetras and rasboras, dwarf cichlids, angelfish and gouramis. Recommended water conditions, 74-82° F, KH 10-35, pH 7.5-8.5.
Purchase Size: Medium: 1-1/4” to 1-3/4”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.