Cuckoo Catfish – Care | Size | Tank Mates | Lifespan | Breeding

Cuckoo Catfish
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Cuckoo catfish, or the pygmy leopard catfish, scientific name Synodontis multipunctatus is a species broadly available to African countries, such as Burundi, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania where it is only known from Lake Tanganyika. Cuckoo catfish was first described by Belgian ichthyologist Hubert Matthes in the year 1959.

Cuckoo Catfish profile

Aquarists love these fish not just for their exterior magnificence, unpretentious behavior, and calm disposition but additionally for the flexibility to save lots of the owner of the aquarium from extra cleansing of the soil and partitions. Catfish actively eat extra natural matter.

History and Description

Cuckoo Catfish belongs to the family of variegated catfish. Its natural habitat is the freshwater reservoirs of Cameroon and the Republic of Congo. Most catfishes are discovered within the African rivers Lekini and Malebo. They are additionally usually present in wetlands on land.

Cuckoo catfish have been launched into Europe within the 1950s. Aquarium fish lovers instantly fell in love with them for his or her small size and good coziness with different aquarium inhabitants.

The look of this catfish can range considerably, however, all of them have widespread options:

The body of the Cuckoo is elongated and oblate from the edges. The back is barely arched.

The eyes of the fish are giant and situated on the edges of the skull.

The mouth is giant, situated deep within the backside of the pinnacle, and is framed by a thick lip. In the rapid neighborhood, three pairs of mustaches develop. This is an auxiliary tool that facilitates fish orientation within the darkness of the night.

Aquarium Cuckoo has totally different colors. It all will depend on the actual species. Common to all are shiny-colored spots on the pores and skin.

All catfish have very comparable fins. The dorsal has a triangular form with a prickly edge. The pectoral fins are giant, having an elongated form.

The tail has an elongated V-shape.

All catfish have a great urge for food. Insects, snails, vegetation, and even small fish – all these are eaten by the Cuckoo catfish.

Cuckoo catfish Feeding

Omnivorous. Offer a range of meaty frozen meals akin to bloodworm, white mosquito larvae, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, and so forth., together with some sinking catfish pellets/tablets/granules.

Be positive to supply some vegetable matter akin to cucumber, courgette, and shelled peas, together with occasional algae wafers.

These are grasping fish, and are slightly prone to bloating so take care to not overfeed, and go straightforward on the number of dried meals given – avoiding all floating meals.

Cuckoo Catfish Tank Mates

Cuckoo Catfish are nigh wanderers and roam across the aquarium within the night solely. The greatest tank mates for Cuckoo are Gourami Fish, Large-sized Barbs, Loaches, Tetras, Rainbowfish, Larger Danios, Pleco fish, and different catfish.

Cuckoo catfish Diet

Cuckoo Catfish can eat any type of meal. Their meal preferences change considerably throughout the day. In the morning, they present all of the habits of predators. At this time, it’s higher to feed them with reside and dry meals containing a considerable amount of protein.

Cuckoo Catfish is not going to refuse items of shrimp and sprat meat however you shouldn’t feed them such a deal, Otherwise, they’ll turn into pure predators and start to destroy different inhabitants of the aquarium.

To blunt the instincts of a hunter within the Cuckoo, you need to often feed vegetarian meals.

The Afternoon is the very best time for feeding this fish and attempt to give them Plant-based meals, you should utilize crushed dandelion leaves, cucumbers, elements of zucchini, and spinach.

Fish additionally get pleasure from oat flakes scalded with boiling water.

Cuckoo Catfish are vulnerable to weight problems, you shouldn’t overfeed them in any case. From time to time it is suggested to rearrange fasting days: don’t feed the pets in any respect. They are not going to die of starvation, however, this strategy serves as prevention of ailments.

Cuckoo catfish in the aquarium

Synodontis multipunctatus is a popular addition to cichlid aquariums. They develop to about 15 centimeters (5.9 in) and will be bred in captivity offered appropriate hosts are present.

Some aquarists have had success with host cichlids from Lake Malawi and Lake Victoria in addition to these from Lake Tanganyika.

They will be very aggressive and territorial in the direction of different Synodontis species, they need to be stored in teams over three to keep away from competitors between two, and correct cover and cave-like constructions must be offered.

They appear to be lively within the day as a lot because the night and may show fairly full of life. If stored in bigger teams territorial points are much less seemingly.

Cuckoo catfish Care

The Cuckoo Catfish is frequent all through Lake Tanganyika, the place it inhabits the littoral and benthic zones to a depth of 100m (328ft). The aquarium must be spacious with a smooth sandy substrate so as to defend the sensory barbels.

It must be embellished with an excellent quantity of rocky caves/PVC tubes, some driftwood, and sturdy planting (that may deal with laborious, alkaline situations) to supply shady areas, however, you must also make sure that a roomy swimming area is left alongside the front of the tank. Efficient filtration is really useful, as these fish are voracious eaters and may produce a good quantity of waste.

The water must be well-oxygenated with a reasonable present, and frequent partial water modifications are a should to assist maintain nitrate to a minimum.

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These fish are most snug in aquaria with subdued lighting, and the usage of blue-moon kind illumination is extremely really useful so that you could observe a couple of hours of the nightly goings-on in an aquarium containing these catfish.

Ensure that heaters are lined with heater guards to forestall these catfish from being burned when on the lookout for darkish crevices to relaxation in opposition to. A gregarious species, S. multipunctatus must be stored in teams of 5 or more for his or her continued wellbeing.

Companions must be comparatively peaceable and bigger than 5cm (2″) in size (in any other case they could be predated upon); they do nicely as a part of a Tanganyikan community of medium-large sized fish.

Disease and Treatment

The Cuckoos are in pretty good health and don’t usually trouble homeowners with their sicknesses. Nevertheless, they’ve them. Most ailments are decided by exterior indicators.

If the pores and skin of the fish turn boring, it implies that the pet is confronted with stress. Stressful situations will be attributable to overcrowding within the aquarium or environmental degradation. It is sufficient to remove the unfavorable components for the fish to get well.

If the catfish lay on its aspect and started to breathe closely, then this means an absence of oxygen within the water. The cause for that is most frequently the failure of the aerator. After repairing the equipment, the pet will get well rapidly.

Moreover, it’s fascinating to revive the operation of the machine as early as possible. The truth is {that a} long mendacity catfish on the backside fairly often results in an infection of the fins. Fin rot develops. Infection is handled with a shower with Streptocide.

Cuckoos are delicate to modifications in any water parameters. It is sufficient to monitor its high quality in order that the fish don’t seem ailments.

Cuckoo catfish Breeding

Unlike nearly all Synodontis species, S. multipunctatus has been bred within the dwelling aquarium. Interestingly, it has 2 strategies of breeding: brood parasitism and egg scattering.

For the previous, which is far more frequent, the catfish coincides its spawning with that of a mouthbrooding cichlid (the catfish will come racing out of their caves the moment they turn into conscious of the cichlids spawning) and stealthily lay eggs amongst these of the host fish.

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As the Synodontis eggs hatch more rapidly than the cichlid eggs, the younger catfish devour all of the cichlid eggs, leaving the unsuspecting adult cichlid to protect the catfish fry as in the event that they had been its own.

In the aquarium, well-conditioned S. multipunctatus will breed through both methods – brood parasitism happening if appropriate host cichlids are present.

During egg scattering, the spawning clinch follows an interval of excited chasing from the male fish. Eggs are deposited on the substrate or in a cave.

The feminine catfish climbs into the shelter and spawns. Caviar instantly enters the container. As quickly because the spawning is over, the female and male are far away from the aquarium. The web is faraway from the container in order that the fry, which is able to seem later, can independently get out of it.

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