Tropical Fish Site

Profiles Reviews Guides for Tropical and Marine

Clown Catfish – Synodontis Decorus


Common name: Clown Catfish, Decorus Catfish, Decorated Synodontis

Scientific name: Synodontis Decorus

Average Adult Fish Size: 10 inches  /  25 cm

Place of Origin: Congo Basin, Africa

Typical Tank setup: Rocky African biotope with caves, roots/bogwood/driftwood.

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 50 gallon  /  200 litre

Compatibility: Peaceful, but will eat small fish. Fin nipping fish may attempt to eat the Decorus’ trailing fins. They do very well in a community aquarium.

Temperature: 75 – 82 Deg F  /  24 – 28 Deg C

Water chemistry: pH 6.5 – 8.0

Feeding: In their native habitat they live on invertebrates, small fishes and crustaceans. In the aquarium they will take a wide range of foods bearing in mind that it might be better to feed at night to make sure that they get their fair share in a community tank. They will accept live food, frozen food, catfish tablets, pellets, and a good quality flake food. DO NOT feed worms to synodontis!

Sexing: Males are normally smaller than females, but the only accurate way to sex them is to vent them.

Breeding: Breeding information is unknown.

Additional Information: Should have a cave or dimly lit area they can call their own. When netting, one must be very careful of the spines on the pectoral fins which have serrated edges. These can become easily entangled in netting and may cause injury to the fish or the hobbyist.