Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

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Quokka
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Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by Quokka »

Hello,

A very skiller importer here in South Korea regularly brings in wild Synodontis contractus, and they are quite popular due to their funny (And cute!) appearance, peaceful temperment and algae grazing characteristics.

I have 6 of them, and I really love them. They aren't shy at all! Zipping around all over the tank in various orientations (Rightside up, upside down, at a strange angle), and they always seems hungry and never cease grazing on every available surface.

I am thinking of getting more (At least another 6) the next time they are shipped in, but then I thought it would be nice if I could spawn them, and have a huge swarm of the goofy little buggers like I see in that shop.

Has there been a successful spawn of this species before? All I found was that someone's contractus laid eggs but they failed to hatch, and that they are egg scatterers.

My guess is that they would spawn similarly to S. nigriventris? So some things in common would be:
- Treats of live or frozen foods
- Soft water
- Simulation of the rainy season
- Plenty of hideouts, perhaps the addition of some Java moss or other spawning media

Could someone give me more input?
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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by Jools »

They're also egg scatterers. Most catfishes that are bred in captivity are not. A substrate of large round gravel might help. I would also guess the fry will be tiny and so some thought on their first foods is needed. A "dirty" tank might help.

It also depends on what else you're set up to breed or have bred, but you could get some practice in with easy-to-breed Tetras or similar?

Hope that helps, this is an awesome project!

Jools
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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by sturiosoma »

https://youtu.be/25Vj4Ky-J98

Have you ever checked this guy out, and now I know there's 2 different species here but they're both Synodontis, so this might be able to give you a ballpark starting point, and this guy gets pretty involved something I don't know that I would want to do but he does speak of the water parameters that he is looking for and has discovered in keeping records that he gets his best spawns 1 week before a full moon and collects very little eggs after the full moon, so if nothing else you can get your water right and use the full moon to try and induce a spawn, it's worth a try

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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by Quokka »

Jools wrote: 08 Mar 2023, 08:53 They're also egg scatterers. Most catfishes that are bred in captivity are not. A substrate of large round gravel might help. I would also guess the fry will be tiny and so some thought on their first foods is needed. A "dirty" tank might help.

It also depends on what else you're set up to breed or have bred, but you could get some practice in with easy-to-breed Tetras or similar?

Hope that helps, this is an awesome project!

Jools
I've spawned various cichlids, Cory cats and egg scatterers (By accident) before but never did an actual dedicated project.

I think the 'dirty' tank will help! I unintentionally spawned a ton of fire-belly newts and the only way the babies could have survived and grown would have been due to the debris in that tank (It had a ton of moss and Neocaridina shrimp too)

I guess I should do a bit of trial and error with what I've gleaned from the Internet + not having the tank 'too' clean. Maybe adding a sponge filter would help too?
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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by Quokka »

sturiosoma wrote: 08 Mar 2023, 15:10 https://youtu.be/25Vj4Ky-J98

Have you ever checked this guy out, and now I know there's 2 different species here but they're both Synodontis, so this might be able to give you a ballpark starting point, and this guy gets pretty involved something I don't know that I would want to do but he does speak of the water parameters that he is looking for and has discovered in keeping records that he gets his best spawns 1 week before a full moon and collects very little eggs after the full moon, so if nothing else you can get your water right and use the full moon to try and induce a spawn, it's worth a try

Jeanne
No I haven't seen this video, but I will. Thank you!
Although I think lucipinnis are quite a bit different in terms of the riverine Synodontis, the lunar cycle is also something worth considering. :-BD Especially since all contractus I find are wild caught.

I'll first need to get a few more of the little buggers before I attempt this. The more the merrier! Thinking of at least 12 to begin!
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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by Jools »

Yes, lacustrine synos trigger differently from riverine ones, I say this on the basis of a few examples documented in the literature. Well conditioned fishes in both cases, but additionally riverine spp. trigger on water changes albeit less so in those from black water environs. I have had eggs from S. robertsi but could not raise them, so only limited knowledge. Water changes brought on spawning in this and I suspect others I kept but simply based on heavy females becoming thinner overnight after water changes.

While lacustrine spp. are well documented, others are less so. Look in Shane's World/reproduction section if you want to read more and compare the two - there are examples of both. One riverine sp. is S. schoutedeni - this might help you.

viewtopic.php?t=17328 will also give you some background. The S. contractus spawning mentioned therein was, I think in a 1980s CAGB article, but I either don't have it or have lost it. I am long overdue to index all that stuff...

HTH,

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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by sturiosoma »

Does anyone have a list that would include all Lacustrine, and all Riverine

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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by Phoenix.L »

Yes they will and yes similar to s.nigriventris in pretty much every way. Their behavior, eating, social, and spawning behavior are pretty much identical. They are also similar in that neither species spawns for the first time until they are like two or so years old. The bigger the school the better with these guys, I think 8 was the magic number where I started seeing them out and about all the time instead of hiding.
It helps if you have a programmable light that you can dim (mine is at 40% except for 2-3 hours a day where it goes up to 60% for the plants sake) and replicate the seasons in terms of day/night hours and rainy/dry season. If you increase the temp and let the water level drop a bit, raise the TS and conductivity a bit for a couple months to mimic the dry season, and condition them with a really quality diet and some added live foods, then wait for a moment when the barometric pressure is high and do a water change fill the tank back to the to top with cooler water that is a good spawning trigger for both species.
They also really like clay pots as spawning sites. you can cut a hole in the side of the pots and leave them right side up but then put the dish that would go under it for watering on top as a lid (this way it can be removed and checked) I put pebbles in there, some people use marbles. Other than that just give them lots of cover, like driftwood that leaned up against the walls and other pieces to make overhangs, slate stacked to make caves, large broad leaf sword plants, and floating plants.
I have found that they really liked when I started putting leaf litter and twigs in there and letting the water become really tannin stained, they have been noticeably more active and out chasing eachother around since then. They also really liked when I put circulator fans in the tank to give it a moderately strong current. From what I can tell they also appreciate a school of dither fish.
Sorry if that was a bit long winded, I don’t really know what is most important or really critical so I told you everything I know.
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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by Phoenix.L »

I wanted to come back and let you know unequivocally that contractus will spawn quite readily in captivity. I found a single fry, maybe 3-4 weeks old when I was doing a thorough cleaning of the tank and putting in new plants. He is about the size of the corydora habrosus that they share a tank with and is just making the switch to swimming upsidedown. I did not do anything special to make that happen, just keeping them according to general guidelines I had used to spawn a school of nigriventris I had in the past. I think I mentioned that I saw them doing chasing behaviors recently, like you would associate with corydora, but I didn’t realize how were quite old enough already!

I now plan to move them to a separate tank because I do not want them to hybridize with the nigriventris that they currently live with, and those are approaching breeding age now too. I just need to find a few more because there are only 5 with the new fry and they are currently living with 8 s.nigriventris, I don’t want them to be deprived of the enjoyment they get from living in a large school. They are not the easiest to come by in my area though.
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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by naturalart »

Wow, that is good new Phoenix.L! Can you talk a little more about your tank layout and parameters? I have one S. contractus and am looking for more also. It's hard to find them out here on the west coast also. But once I get them I hope to spawn them as well.
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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by Phoenix.L »

There are 3 big things I would say probably helped. 1) I feed a diet that includes a lot of frozen and live food. I do frozen like 4-5 times a week as a main part of the diet in that tank, there are also scuds living in there that I am sure they eat. Plus a repashy mix that is roughly 60% bottom scratcher/30% igabo explorer/20% community plus. Now I have started adding some spawn and grow formula to that mix as well 2) I have been doing mini wet/dry seasons with that tank, I let the water level get low and don’t do top offs in between twice monthly water changes. I was 3 weeks out though between water changes when the spawn would have happened so now I am certain that there really is a spawning trigger there because they would have definitely gotten that wet season is here vibe. 3) I think that the large size of their school is probably a factor. They live in a mixed school with 15 individual at the moment and, being as most people don’t keep really big schools like that I do believe that it is a factor here.
There are also Phoenix rasbora for dithers. I find that they are less shy with other species around and that specifically very small species of top level schooling fish are good for them.
I did do a breeding report that you can check out, I didn’t see the spawn, eggs, or young fry so it doesn’t have that info but tank conditions and feeding regiment are reported in as much detail as I can give without making any guesses.
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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by Phoenix.L »

If you do come across any please let me know. I have to separate them to prevent hybrids but I think the big school is a factor and I actually don’t think they will keep spawning if they are suddenly in a tank with just the 4 adults and one little guy.
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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by naturalart »

Thanks for the details. What size tank do you have them in and what type of filtration? Do you do anything special with the lights aside from the standard 10-12 hour lighting period?
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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by Quokka »

It's been a while...Thank you everyone for the replies! I'm getting another 8 to bring the total up to 14...maybe more if my wallet allows it ;)

I think I'll need a bit more time for them to reach spawning age...so I plan on growing them out first. I'll post details of my planned breeding setup too! (Nearly done) :D I guess good food, dithers, hiding places, mulm and a wet/dry season are main factors.

Also...the reply by the petpalace sounds suspiciously like an AI generated response :(
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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by bekateen »

Quokka wrote: 22 Feb 2024, 03:59Also...the reply by the petpalace sounds suspiciously like an AI generated response :(
Agreed. It's now gone.

Thanks, and good luck with your contractus.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by Quokka »

I managed to increase my group to 16! Although they are a bit pricey, I'm seeing if I can add 4 more.
Only 6 are close to adult size....the rest are barely 3 cm long! I guess this breeding project will take a bit of time to commence 🙂
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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by Quokka »

Why does this post keep getting bots :(

Can Synodontis also get protein blisters like Corydoras sometimes do?
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Re: Is it possible to spawn Synodontis contractus?

Post by bekateen »

Quokka wrote: 18 Apr 2024, 16:36 Why does this post keep getting bots :(
Ugh. IDK why.

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