Tropical Fish Site

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Lake Malawi Synodontis – Synodontis Njassae


Common name: Lake Malawi Synodontis

Scientific name: Synodontis Njassae

Average Adult Fish Size: 7.6 inches / 19 cm

Place of Origin: Lake Malawi, Africa where it is fairly common in rocky shorelines and in the incoming streams.

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

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 40 gallon / 160 litre

Compatibility: Should not be kept with any fish so small as to be considered food but makes a good addition to a community of hard water cichlids, ideally of Lake Malawi in origin. It is a fairly vigorous species and should not be combined with shy fish. It will fight with other synodontis species, and should be given a lot of hiding spaces.

Temperature: 73 – 82 Deg F / 23 – 28 Deg C

Water chemistry: pH 7.5 – 8.5

Feeding: In the wild it feeds primarily on zooplankton. In the aquarium, it will do best when fed a varied diet of catfish tablets, pellets, flakes, live and frozen brine shrimp, and the occasional algea wafer. Will also gnaw on cooked and shelled peas along with blanched and chopped spinach.

Sexing: Mature females are plumper than males. Male fish also have a higher, more pointed dorsal fin. Venting is the only 100% accurate way to sex them though.

Breeding: It is found in large groups at night in certain areas of the lake, between the months of October-December, suggesting it breeds during the hours of darkness and is an egg scatterer. Not much else is known though regarding its’ breeding habits.

Additional Information: This is the only synodontis species found in Lake Malawi.