My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

All posts regarding the care and breeding of catfishes from Africa.
Jacky82020
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:23 am
Location 1: NYC
Location 2: NY, USA

My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Jacky82020 »

I have 2 large syno Eupterus cats. ~7”. One was added to the tank a month ago. Today I noticed the newer one has a large white splotch on the top of her head. The other has a few smaller spots. This appeared quickly, I would have noticed. [*] I pulled the one with the larger splotch and put her in a QT tank.

A few hours after the move, I observed what might be eggs in a corner of the tank. The tank was bare bottomed, but contained a small amount of sand. It almost as though she shoved some sand in the corner and laid eggs. I am a relative novice to fish keeping, just under a year. I am very attached to Tom, the first Synodontis E & deeply distressed that these splotches are a disease, but fervently hoping they could be related to spawning.
Is there a way to add photos here? I took some.
Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 4563
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Spotted: 4
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Welcome to the Planet!

When you click "post reply", there are two tabs on the bottom left, one of them says "attachments". You can attach up to 5 photos per each post. To attach more, create another "post reply".
Thebiggerthebetter
Jacky82020
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:23 am
Location 1: NYC
Location 2: NY, USA

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Jacky82020 »

Image. I get this & not a link to my iPad photos
Jacky82020
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:23 am
Location 1: NYC
Location 2: NY, USA

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Jacky82020 »

8F274691-49B9-48A1-B08B-438B54DD7BAF.jpeg
Attachments
28EA8EA8-2DC2-4B78-BFC2-533445FE5FCA.jpeg
3CE077F1-F2D8-4BB1-94B3-65317A713AA8.jpeg
A20B9A5F-F4D5-4392-B692-4730776ECE35.jpeg
Jacky82020
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:23 am
Location 1: NYC
Location 2: NY, USA

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Jacky82020 »

Thanks!
Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 4563
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Spotted: 4
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

To me, the affected area doesn't look like an illness at all. It can be a mood-related discoloration or it could have been caused by some kind of physical action, e.g., rubbing or scraping against something.

I could think of
-- fighting between your two synos (albeit I've never seen this exact or similar aftermath after seeing our syno eupterus fight);
-- or them trying hard to get into something or at something in your tank, into where they cannot fit more than part of their snout and head;
-- or indeed could be related to breeding behavior but here too I'm afraid I've never had any experience from our featherfins of this kind, not that I noted or interpreted it as such.

The photo of the alleged eggs is too crude and grainy to pass judgment on what is depicted on it.
Thebiggerthebetter
Jacky82020
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:23 am
Location 1: NYC
Location 2: NY, USA

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Jacky82020 »

Thanks, Viktor. Yeah, I can’t get good fish or possible egg photos on this iPad. I do have a nice digital SLR & need to learn how to use it for fish. The thought of stress induced chromatophoric whitening occurred to me. Especially after my green severum suddenly went white, the entire body, when I had to put my hand in the tank to adjust the filter yesterday. He quickly reverted to his normal pigmentation.

Everything you said makes perfect sense to me. Yakoke. (Thank you in my Native American language)

I will not be returning the probable female to the other tank, a 90 G. She’s in a 55 G I had around the house. I don’t like the idea of keeping solitary fish other than my betta. Do you know of good tank mates?
Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 4563
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Spotted: 4
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

I think it is more so about the lighting. Bright light is needed inside the tank for good photos by any camera.

If you witnessed the fighting and are sure it is what it is, then perhaps I'd not combine them again, although this could still be tried with the addition of more scape, like plants, real or fake, driftwood, rocks, decorations, etc. to create more secluded spaces and to break the lines of sight.

Or the 90gal can be divided up.

Short term there is a plethora of tank mates that can go with a featherfin, I'd direct you to scan threads of people who keep them and report on their experience. Long term (to me) proves that the smart and the quick tank mates avoid the eventual rasping attempts by the featherfin.

Thank you for the linguistic touch. I love those.
Thebiggerthebetter
Jacky82020
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:23 am
Location 1: NYC
Location 2: NY, USA

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Jacky82020 »

I never saw these guys fighting, unless chasing is considered combat. Even so, the chasing I observed was not extreme. They took up private residences in two halves of a large pirate ship. Such decor appears to have fallen out of favor, but my first 90 G included one & I couldn’t imagine evicting the big catfish from his hideout. These ships have numerous nooks & crannies, but I’ve seen some nicely stacked rocks that are quite attractive.

I’ll research suitable tank mates. I’d like to avoid African cichlids in favor of fish who come in peace. My first secondhand tank included the 7” syno e, 5 pictus cats, & a dozen or so cichlids. I purchased another 90 in part because the Blue Dragon & Red Dragon both wanted to dominate the others & now each has his own kingdom. The second 90 has cichlids only.
Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 4563
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Spotted: 4
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Sounds like they could have been trying to get at something in the nooks and crannies of their pirate ship home.

In any case I don't see then a reason not to combine them again, if there were no significant conflicts.

The size of tank and the setup influence the level of possible aggression between tank mates. Here is a thread on our synos and there are more links inside, including to the Planet Catfish threads, we've kept synos in 120, 240, 1800, and 4500 gal tanks. Not all tank mates you'll see ended up living in peace with each other long term:

https://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/foru ... al.682549/
Thebiggerthebetter
Jacky82020
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:23 am
Location 1: NYC
Location 2: NY, USA

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Jacky82020 »

4500! Great balls of fire. And I thought the 360 this guy built from plywood was humongous. Awesome tank. He’s on YouTube, Joey Mullen.

Thanks for the links, much appreciated
Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 4563
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Spotted: 4
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Sure. Thank you. I remember Joey also built a 2000 gal.
Thebiggerthebetter
User avatar
naturalart
Posts: 647
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 5:38 am
I've donated: $20.00!
My cats species list: 30 (i:0, k:0)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:1)
My Wishlist: 1
Spotted: 4
Location 2: Oakland, California
Interests: catfish

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by naturalart »

The white patch on the head combined with what looks like white dots going down the lateral line in one of the photos and you mentioning that the older cat also has spots (I'm assuming white and on the head) could indicate the beginnings of what is known as Hexamitiasis, "hole-in-the-head" or "lateral line" disease. If so it is entirely curable. There are some very old threads on this site that address the subject. In my opinion it has to do with mineral uptake and maintenance. I would reduce stress and broaden/upgrade the diet. As Victor indicated more 'furniture', ideally 'real driftwood' and rocks to give more hiding spots. Then add more variety to the diet; particularly live and frozen foods like earthworms and frozen shrimp.

There is debate that Syno eupterus is gregarious or not. I believe they are. I would not hesitate to put them back together in the 90g, just with more hiding spaces for them. Also this is a riverine species. I would check that my water isn't super super hard (i.e. ph 20). MHO
Jacky82020
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:23 am
Location 1: NYC
Location 2: NY, USA

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Jacky82020 »

Thanks so much for your insights. Never heard of that disease. Will google. Is it highly infectious? Should I be worried about my African cichlids who share this tank? I did not assemble this group. A previous owner I found on Craigslist did & I knew nothing about either syno cats or the various cichlids at the time, 8/21. They came in a spectacular mahogany canopy cabinet.

Sounds like you & Viktor really know your cats. I am deeply appreciative for your replies. Yakoke
Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 4563
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Spotted: 4
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Good eye NaturalArt. In the first photo indeed there is a clear LLE lateral line erosion. From what I know it is most usually caused by not enough green, plant matter in the diet, or poor diet otherwise. It will be corrected most likely by giving the fish algae wafers or flakes, or spirulina flakes or pellets, etc.

IMHumO, I see no signs of hole in the head, and also I don't connect the rubbed up snout with the LLE or HITH caused by hexamita.

LLE and HITH are not dangerous to tank mates with a healthy immune system = stress free tank mates. LLE is not infectious at all from the little I understand about it as it is more about an internal problem, which is taken advantage of by external pathogens naturally living on all fish and normally kept in check by a healthy, uncompromised immune system.
Thebiggerthebetter
Jacky82020
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:23 am
Location 1: NYC
Location 2: NY, USA

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Jacky82020 »

Dang, Viktor! I’m blown away by your knowledge & that of Natural Art. I see your profile says Scientist. What do you do? I was a research biologist when we lived in California. PhD from UCLA. Comparative immunology; worked on sea urchins. My thesis advisor had me doing some entirely different old school crap, but I did my own thing as time permitted and the results were published in Science. Naturally his name was listed first as the lead investigator. That’s how the system goes.

Nonetheless, I am a blastocyst so far as fish keeping goes.
Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 4563
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Spotted: 4
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Thank you. Wait until more knowledgeable peers disagree with my posts or until you learn more yourself and disagree too :) I do keep a lot of fish but I am rather superficial, a collector of sorts, and consider myself a run of the mill hobbyist relative to so many upper tier ones I am privileged to come across. I am a research chemist (physical organic chemistry), PhD in photochemical sciences, but now switching gears and trying to make my hobby into a living. In my academic and scientific career and publications, my advisor was always the second, but "Science" is such a top prestigious club and perhaps rules differ there. In any case, you must have done something remarkable to get a Science publication. Congratulations!
Thebiggerthebetter
Jacky82020
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:23 am
Location 1: NYC
Location 2: NY, USA

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Jacky82020 »

Thanks, that was another lifetime ago. I am sure you underestimate your expertise. May I message you regarding a baffling situation with my new Peacock OB? Came to me along with the Synodontis E. under discussion.
Viktor Jarikov
Posts: 4563
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:11 pm
My images: 11
My cats species list: 25 (i:0, k:0)
Spotted: 4
Location 1: Naples, FL
Location 2: USA
Interests: Big freshwater catfish and Co.

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Cichlids is where I have the least experience relative to catfish, carp, characins, and oddballs. If there is nothing private, you'd serve yourself best to post to forum. I'd suggest the forums "Tank Talk" or "Speak easy" if you'd like.

Then there are cichlid-specific forums, for instance on Monster Fish Keepers, where I am too, and many other places.
Thebiggerthebetter
Jacky82020
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:23 am
Location 1: NYC
Location 2: NY, USA

Re: My Synodontis E. Has white patches on his head

Post by Jacky82020 »

I will do that, yakoke
Post Reply