Synodontis Angelicus: Angel Squeaker Facts & Care Tips

Commonly called as Angel Squeaker Catfish
Dr. Mollie Newton
Published by Dr. Mollie Newton PHD| Senior Editor
Last updated: July 20, 2024
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Synodontis angelicus, an amazing fish from the Congo River Basin, belongs to the Mochokidae family. Known as the Angel Squeaker Catfish or spotted upside-down catfish, it’s a favorite for freshwater tanks. Its striking looks and fun actions add a touch of the wild to any aquarium. With a sleek body covered in cool patterns and long whiskers, it’s a real showstopper in your tank.

Article Summary

  • Synodontis Angelicus (spotted upside down catfish) is native to the Congo River Basin in Africa, and it is a medium-sized catfish that can grow up to 6 inches in length.
  • Their omnivorous diet includes sinking pellets, live/frozen foods, and fresh vegetables, and they require portion control to prevent overeating.
  • When kept in community tanks, choose peaceful tank mates to ensure a harmonious environment and provide hiding spots for all fish.

Species Overview

The Synodontis Angelicus is a medium-sized Synodontis catfish species that can grow up to 6 inches in length. These unique fish are known for their striking coloration and patterns, making them a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts.

One of the remarkable traits of these Synodontis species is their active and social behavior. These fish are constantly on the move, exploring every nook and cranny of their environment. They enjoy interacting with other fish species as well as their own kind, making them an excellent addition to community tanks.

Easy to Care For

These fish is relatively easy to care for, making it suitable for both beginner and experienced aquarists. They are hardy creatures that can adapt to various water conditions, although they prefer slightly acidic water with moderate flow. Providing hiding spots like caves or driftwood will help mimic their natural habitat and create a sense of security for these fish.

Angel Squeaker Catfish Appearance

The Angel Squeaker Catfish, or spotted upside down catfish, is a unique and striking fish that stands out with its distinctive black body adorned with white spots or stripes. Its long and slender body shape, coupled with a forked caudal fin, serrated dorsal fin, gives it an elegant appearance in the aquarium.

One of the defining features of this catfish is the presence of whisker-like barbels around its mouth area. These sensory organs help the Angelicus navigate its surroundings and locate food. They are quite fascinating to observe!

In the genus Synodontis, all species have a hardened head cap. The dorsal fin and pectoral fins have a sawlike hardened first ray. The caudal fin is forked extending to the top lobe.

Another interesting aspect of their appearance is their adaptable camouflage pattern. The black coloration with white spots or stripes allows them to blend into different environments, providing them with a natural defense against predators.

Hybridization of Synodontis Angelicus with S. Eupterus

In captivity, there is a possibility of hybridization occurring between the Synodontis Angelicus and S. Eupterus species of catfish. When individuals of these two species are kept together, there is a chance for them to interbreed and produce hybrid offspring. This phenomenon has been observed in aquariums where these species are housed together.

The resulting hybrids may exhibit mixed characteristics from both parents, displaying a blend of physical traits and behaviors inherited from the Synodontis Angelicus and S. Eupterus parents. One intriguing aspect of hybridization is the potential for variations in coloration patterns among the offspring. The hybrids might display a diverse range of colors, patterns, or markings that differ from those found in either parental species.

Furthermore, behavioral traits can also differ among these hybrids due to the interaction between genetic factors inherited from both parent species. This combination of genetic material can lead to visually distinct and fascinating hybrids, making them a captivating subject to observe in captivity.

Tank And Water Requirements

To ensure the well-being of these catfish, it is important to provide them with a suitable tank and maintain proper water conditions. Here are some key points to consider:

Spacious Tank

This fish requires a spacious tank that allows them to swim freely. A minimum tank size of 50 gallons (190 liters) is recommended for a single specimen. It is essential to provide plenty of hiding places such as caves or driftwood, as these catfish are naturally shy and enjoy having secure spots to retreat.

Water Conditions For a Healthy Fish

These catfish prefer soft and slightly acidic water conditions in their aquarium. Aim for a pH range from 6.5 to 7, which replicates their natural habitat. To achieve this, you can use specific substrates or additives designed to lower the pH if needed. Monitoring the water parameters regularly using test kits will help ensure the conditions remain suitable for your fish.

Temperature Range

Maintaining an appropriate temperature range is crucial for the health of these catfish. The ideal temperature range for these catfish is between 75°F and 82°F (24°C to 28°C). Using a reliable aquarium heater with a thermostat will help maintain a stable temperature within this range.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are necessary to maintain good water quality in the aquarium. Changing approximately 25% of the water every two weeks helps remove accumulated waste products and replenish essential minerals and nutrients. Using a high-quality filtration system will aid in maintaining optimal water conditions.

Providing them with an adequately sized tank, suitable hiding places, soft acidic water conditions, and maintaining an appropriate temperature range are vital aspects of their care. By meeting these requirements, you can create an environment that promotes their well-being and allows them to thrive in your aquarium.

Synodontis Angelicus Resting at The Bottom of The Tank
Synodontis Angelicus Resting at The Bottom of The Tank

Angel Squeaker Catfish Health

The Angel Squeaker Catfish is generally robust and resistant to diseases when provided with proper care. However, it is important to note that these catfish can be prone to stress-related illnesses if they are kept in unsuitable conditions or overcrowded tanks.

One of the key factors in maintaining the health of Angel Squeaker Catfish is regular monitoring of water parameters. This involves keeping a close eye on factors such as temperature, pH levels, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Fluctuations or imbalances in these parameters can have a detrimental impact on the overall well-being of the fish.

To ensure optimal health for your Angel Squeaker Catfish:

Provide Proper Care

  • Set up a suitable tank environment with plenty of hiding places and appropriate substrate.
  • Maintain good water quality by performing regular water changes and using filtration systems.
  • Feed them a balanced diet consisting of high-quality sinking pellets or frozen foods.

Avoid Stressors

  • Avoid overcrowding the tank as it can lead to increased stress levels among the catfish.
  • Minimize sudden changes in water conditions or temperature fluctuations.
  • Keep aggressive tankmates away from your Angel Squeaker Catfish.

Regular Monitoring

  • Use reliable test kits to monitor water parameters regularly.
  • Check for signs of stress or illness such as loss of appetite, lethargy, abnormal swimming patterns, fin rot (a bacterial or fungal infection), or discoloration.

By following these guidelines and providing proper care for these catfish, you can help ensure their overall health and well-being. Remember that prevention is key.

Angel Squeaker Catfish Diet

The Angel Squeaker Catfish has an omnivorous diet that includes both plant matter and small live/frozen foods. This catfish species enjoys a varied diet to stay healthy and happy.

Omnivorous Diet

The Angel Squeaker Catfish is not a picky eater. It will happily consume a mix of plant matter and small live or frozen foods like bloodworms or brine shrimp. This diverse diet ensures they receive the necessary nutrients for their well-being.

Staple Food Source

To provide a balanced diet for your Angel Squeaker Catfish, it’s recommended to offer them high-quality sinking pellets or tablets as a staple food source. These specially formulated pellets contain essential nutrients that support their growth and overall health.

Fresh Vegetables

In addition to pellets or tablets, you can supplement their diet with fresh vegetables. Blanched spinach or zucchini slices are excellent options that provide additional vitamins and minerals. These vegetables should be cut into small pieces to make them easier for the catfish to consume.

Portion Control

To prevent overeating and maintain optimal health, it’s important to feed your Angel Squeaker Catfish small portions multiple times a day. This feeding schedule mimics their natural grazing behavior in the wild and helps ensure they do not gorge themselves on food.

By providing a balanced diet consisting of both plant matter and small live/frozen foods, along with high-quality sinking pellets or tablets, you can ensure that these catfish remain healthy and vibrant.

Temperament And Tank Mates

Angel Squeaker Catfish is generally a peaceful fish that can be kept in community tanks with other species. However, it’s important to consider their temperament and choose suitable tank mates to ensure a harmonious environment.

When selecting tank mates for these catfish, it’s best to avoid aggressive or fin-nipping fish species. These can cause stress and harm to the Angel Squeaker Catfish. Instead, opt for peaceful community fish that won’t pose a threat to them.

Here are some suitable tank mates for Angel Squeaker:

Peaceful Community Fish

  • Tetras: Species like Neon Tetras or Cardinal Tetras can coexist peacefully with Angel Squeaker.
  • Rasboras: Harlequin Rasboras or Chili Rasboras are good choices as they have a calm demeanor.
  • Dwarf Cichlids: Consider species like Apistogramma or German Blue Rams.
Close up photo of Apistogramma Dwarf Cichlid
An Apistogramma Dwarf Cichlid

To create an ideal environment for these catfish and its tank mates, provide plenty of hiding spots. This will help reduce potential conflicts and give each fish its own space. Adding caves, driftwood, and plants will not only offer shelter but also mimic their natural habitat.

It’s essential to monitor the behavior of all the fish in the tank regularly. If you notice any signs of aggression or stress among tank mates, take appropriate action to prevent any harm.

By carefully choosing compatible tank mates and providing adequate hiding spots, you can create a peaceful community aquarium where these catfish can thrive alongside other fish species.

Breeding Synodontis Angelica

Captive breeding of Synodontis angelica can be quite challenging due to their specific requirements. To successfully breed these fish, a separate breeding tank is necessary, equipped with suitable spawning sites such as caves or PVC pipes.

Inducing spawning in Angel Squeaker may require temperature changes and adjustments to water quality. It is important to create the right conditions for the fish to feel comfortable enough to reproduce.

Once the eggs are laid, they need specialized care and feeding for proper growth and development. Here are some key points to consider when breeding Synodontis angelica:

Breeding Tank

  • Set up a separate tank specifically for breeding purposes.
  • Provide hiding places like caves or PVC pipes where the fish can lay their eggs.
  • Ensure proper filtration and maintain stable water parameters.

Inducing Spawning

  • Adjust the temperature of the water gradually within a suitable range.
  • Make necessary changes in water quality, such as pH levels and hardness, to mimic natural conditions.
  • Monitor the behavior of the fish closely for signs of readiness to spawn.

Caring for Fry and Young Fish

  • Once the eggs hatch, transfer them carefully into a separate rearing tank.
  • Feed fry with appropriate food such as newly hatched brine shrimp or commercial fry food.
  • Maintain good water quality by performing regular partial water changes.

Captive breeding of Synodontis angelicus requires patience and attention to detail. It’s important to provide optimal conditions for successful reproduction and proper care for the fry’s growth. With dedication and knowledge, you can have a rewarding experience breeding these fascinating catfish species.

Frequently Asked Questions

How big do Synodontis Angelicus catfish get?

Synodontis Angelicus catfish typically grow to a size of around 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12.5 centimeters) in length. However, some individuals may reach up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) in exceptional cases. It’s important to provide them with an appropriate tank size to accommodate their growth.

What do Synodontis angelicus eat?

Synodontis angelicus are omnivorous catfish that have a varied diet. In their natural habitat, they feed on a combination of small invertebrates, algae, and detritus. In captivity, you can provide them with a well-balanced diet consisting of high-quality sinking pellets, frozen or live foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms, and occasional plant matter. Ensuring a diverse diet will help keep them healthy and vibrant.

Can I keep multiple Angel Squeaker Catfish together?

Yes! Synodontis angelicus is generally peaceful towards other fish of similar size and temperament. Keeping them in groups of three or more can help promote natural behavior and reduce stress.

Image Reference

  • Featured Image – Aquado-Zoo (2020, March 8). Synodontis angelicus | Perlhuhnwels [Photo]. Facebook.
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