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Synodontis petricola proper care

All posts regarding the care and breeding of catfishes from Africa.
DinoManDraves
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Synodontis petricola proper care

Postby DinoManDraves » Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:38 am

Hi everyone. Sorry, this is going to be a long post, I just want to know how to take care of my Petricola. They are simply too awesome.

I have 3 Synodontis petricola in my 55 gallon right now. I have had them for about 2 months now. They are sharing the tank with a couple species of Central American cichlids, a shoal of Tiger Barbs, and a Bristlenose pleco. Everyone gets along, I think the cichlids could care less about the petricola.

I feed them at night, however, I rarely see them eat. I drop lots of shrimp pellets for them, along with a couple algae wafers (they share with the pleco, so I usually do two wafers)

One is full-grown, or at least it seems. He is 3 inches or so long, and the other two are about 1.5-2 inches long.

They almost always hiding in their rock pile. I can see them in the rock pile, they are not stationary, they are certainly active in the caves, but they don't seem to want to come out. They seem almost afraid of me haha, when they see me, they dart for their caves. Everything I have read, seen (At the LFS), and been told that is these little guys are fairly active during the day, but it doesn't seem that way for me.

They are a shoaling species in the wild, so I can imagine it is possible they are not feeling secure in such limited numbers.

I was offered 1" petricola for $5. I may take the deal.

Here are my questions-
1. Would adding three more petricola give them more security? As a shoaling species, it seems that the more, the merrier. I don't know how the different sizes will add up though, considering I have two 1.5" specimens, the large 3", and the soon-to-be 1". Would the size matter for them?
2. Am I giving them a proper diet? They get shrimp pellets, algae wafers, and it seems they clean up all the brine shrimp from what's leftover when I give my cichlids their weekly treat. They don't obliviously get any flake food or pellet, the cichlids don't let that get to the bottom, haha
3. Is there anything special I need to know about this species?

Thanks so much guys. :D

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andywoolloo
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Re: Synodontis petricola proper care

Postby andywoolloo » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:43 am

do you have petricola or dwarf petricola aka lucipinnis?

I have 12 lucipinnis in a 75 gal, tankmates are a L270, and shoals of sterbai and panda corys.

They have caves and slate and rocks and sand bottom and live plants and driftwood.

They're fav food (cause i think they are used to it from the supplier) is spirulina flake and NLS granules. I give them the NLS cichlid small granules. I also feed them anything Hikari defrosted, bloodworms, tubifex, spirulina shrimp, daphnia etc.

They also get prepared sinking foods. Omega one sinking shrimp, Hikari carnivore sinking pellets, Hikari sinking tropical wafers, sinking earthworm sticks, sinking shrimp sticks, sinking spirulina sticks (all from Kens) Tetra granules tetra colour bits, sera products,

they are all fine, so I think they are eating. The only thing i really notice them coming out for, course i feed after lights out so its hard, but when i scope them out its always the damn spirulina flake and NLS granules that get them going. besides the defrosted frozen of course.

So even if yours are true petricolas i would imagine the feeding and amount is the same? i also add in veg for them, well for anyone in the tank, zuchinni and cuke and sweet bell pepper strips

Mine are out alot , but i think its because they have so much furniture they feel safe. and the amount maybe of them.
Last edited by andywoolloo on Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:47 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Synodontis petricola proper care

Postby MatsP » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:45 am

They aren't difficult to keep, and eat most things. I suspect, however, that you have what used to be called "Petricola dwarf" - Synodontis lucipinnis - they are similar in every aspect, except grow to a slightly smaller size and slight spot differences. The true Synodontis petricola grow a bit larger and are fairly rare, especially as juveniles from hobby keepers.

Both species grow bigger than 3"...

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Re: Synodontis petricola proper care

Postby Richard B » Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:44 pm

I am presuming that your fish are Lucipinnis as Petricola are far more difficult to find & expensive. 99% of stores selling petricola actually are selling Lucipinnis. Lucipinnis are easy to keep & feed as long as the water is relatively neutral or alkaline but they are very susceptible to nitrate build up - so good filtration & regular water changes are a must.

It is a strange mix of fish you have them with as ideally hard alkaline water with tang cichlids is where they will do best long term. Tiger barbs have a reputation for fin nipping & might be putting the Lucipinnis off being more outgoing

If you want to be certain of the ID post a pic of the biggest one. More of them would be great & the size differences will not be a factor
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DinoManDraves
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Re: Synodontis petricola proper care

Postby DinoManDraves » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:48 am

Thanks guy. I'm pretty sure they are not petricola.

I will pick up more and see if I can get a clear picture.

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Re: Synodontis petricola proper care

Postby Scleropages » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:46 am

This is not an attack on DinoManDraves by any means, but I find it almost humorous that for just about every new forum thread regarding S. petricola, the OP'er is almost always unwittingly talking about S. lucipinnis. Heck, at my favorite LFS in NJ (Tropiquarium in Ocean, NJ), they have S. lucipinnis mislabled as S. petricola. I spoke with the owner about this and pointed out the distinguishing characteristics of S. lucipinnis. He thanked me for the info. I went back a week later and they were still marked at S. petricola. Uhhhhhhhhh...

The only S. petricola that I have seen for sale in a LFS in the last five years were at Absolutely Fish in Clifton, NJ. They were 3-4" TL and thus, most likely wild caught adults.

Anyway, if you can share a few clear pics of your Synos, DinoManDraves, we can provide the proper ID. Although, proper care of most of the Tanganyikan Synos is virtually the same (save for size and aggression characteristics).

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Re: Synodontis petricola proper care

Postby MatsP » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:02 pm

S. petricola is quite rare in the trade, and has been for a long time. But S. lucipinnis, that was only described a few years back, has been known as "S. petricola 'dwarf'" for a very long time. So it's not that strange.

Shops do not like relabeling fish when they came in as X from the wholesaler - that puts the responsibility of getting it right on the shop rather than just repeating the wholesalers information (and if it's "an honest mistake", then it probably holds up in court as well).

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Re: Synodontis petricola proper care

Postby Birger » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:09 pm

t I find it almost humorous that for just about every new forum thread regarding S. petricola, the OP'er is almost always unwittingly talking about S. lucipinnis. Heck, at my favorite LFS in NJ (Tropiquarium in Ocean, NJ), they have S. lucipinnis mislabled as S. petricola. I spoke with the owner about this and pointed out the distinguishing characteristics of S. lucipinnis. He thanked me for the info. I went back a week later and they were still marked at S. petricola. Uhhhhhhhhh...

Most times when there is a recent change to a species, either being recently described or a genus change that sort of thing it takes time to be accepted...sometimes many years.
I have noticed with this species that it is only now being more acceptable to use the proper name...locally I get asked about these two species more and more without having to initially point it out. There is still confusion as to which is which but people are asking now.

The same scenario for grandiops/multipunctata.

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DinoManDraves
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Re: Synodontis petricola proper care

Postby DinoManDraves » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:37 pm

No problem guys. Glad I found the proper species. They were sold to me as Syno. Petricola,
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Re: Synodontis petricola proper care

Postby Syno Rey » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:51 pm

What are the differences between the two ??? I will be buying 6 petricolas this week and would like to know if they are really petricola or lucipinnis.

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andywoolloo
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Re: Synodontis petricola proper care

Postby andywoolloo » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:13 am


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Richard B
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Re: Synodontis petricola proper care

Postby Richard B » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:09 pm

DinoManDraves wrote:No problem guys. Glad I found the proper species. They were sold to me as Syno. Petricola,



Looks like Lucipinnis due to large irregular body blotches
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