S.Nigriventris and S.Contractus are unhappy, what can I do better?

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Phoenix.L
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S.Nigriventris and S.Contractus are unhappy, what can I do better?

Post by Phoenix.L »

I was sold a mix of both of these species at me LFS, I did notice the differences and questioned them but they brought their “fresh water expert” over and he talked me into it. Once I had them home out of the dim store lighting it was quite obvious that although my order had been for 6 S.Nigriventris what they actually sold me was 4 (said that was all they could get) fish total 3 of which are obviously S.Contractus.
The issue is that these fish are clearly unhappy, they hide all the time only coming out in the dark to quickly grab some food. They are currently about 2” and being housed in a 30 gallon with a handful of pygmy corys and 3 African algae eating gobys. The Ph is maintained around 6, temperature 77. I built some rock caves and there is a lot of driftwood of varying sizes and types, as well as some Amazon swords, guppy grass, and various floating plants.
What can I do better? Do they need a bigger school? Will the two different species school together if I grab a couple more of each and move to a bigger tank to accommodate, or would I have to attempt to trade one kind back to have a single species? Would some kind of small dither fish help? Try and increase the current? Plant grass? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Last edited by Phoenix.L on Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Jools
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Re: S.Negriventris and S.Contracta are unhappy, what can I do better?

Post by Jools »

The fish don't sound unhappy. With these species, if they're happy you won't see them much unless in large shoals. They will come out for food and the rest of the time they will hide. You've done well finding 3 S. contractus - there are usually only a few found per 100 of the other species.

Feel free to post some pics if you'd like a second opinion on the IDs.

HTH,

Jools


PS Synodontis nigriventris and Synodontis contractus are the current correct names/spellings.
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Re: S.Negriventris and S.Contracta are unhappy, what can I do better?

Post by sturiosoma »

With my experience with Synodontis is they're a cool looking, slow moving fish that you don't get to see to often, you could try removing some of the hiding spots

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Re: S.Negriventris and S.Contracta are unhappy, what can I do better?

Post by Phoenix.L »

So if I had like 8 total would it matter that they are mixed species? I have looked around and it doesn’t seem like I can get more contractus anywhere, which tracks with what you just told me about them being less common. I will try to get pictures so you can confirm. I had originally put it up for debate on a different catfish page and that was the consensus, but I definitely like to hear your opinion also. I can order 2 more of the true upside-downs that are available now which would give me a total of 6 with 3 of each, I just wasn’t sure if they would be happy with that and school together or if I would need to have 6 of each type (which would involve getting another tank). Would 6 total be comfortable if I were to add them to a planted 55 gallon tank with some dwarf rainbow fish, cherry barbs and smudge spot corys? I have always kept plecos and corys but these are my first synodontis catfish and I want to make sure I am giving them what they like.

Thanks for the heads up on the spelling, the first one was a typo but the second one I was actually remembering incorrectly….. I am a terrible speller
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Re: S.Negriventris and S.Contracta are unhappy, what can I do better?

Post by dw1305 »

Hi all,
sturiosoma wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 2:34 pm With my experience with Synodontis is they're a cool looking, slow moving fish that you don't get to see to often, you could try removing some of the hiding spots.
I'd go the other way, give them some more cover, even if you don't see them very often you'll know their happy.

Cheers Darrel
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Dave Rinaldo
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Re: S.Nigriventris and S.Contractus are unhappy, what can I do better?

Post by Dave Rinaldo »

Love to see a pic of your S. contractus. :)
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naturalart
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Re: S.Nigriventris and S.Contractus are unhappy, what can I do better?

Post by naturalart »

I agree with dw1305, I would darken the tank overall, create some darker open areas with plants or plastic plants if you not good with real plants. I would maybe get a school of relatively calm dither fish. My 2¢
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