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The Cuckoo Catfish, native to Lake Tanganyika in Africa, thrives in aquariums mimicking its natural habitat, complete with rocky formations providing caves and open areas for swimming. Subdued lighting enhances visibility and activity levels.

As omnivores, Cuckoo Catfish readily accept a variety of foods, including frozen, live, and dried options, as well as vegetable matter like shelled peas and cucumber. While not suitable for tanks housing small, vulnerable fish, they integrate well with communities of hard water cichlids, especially mouthbrooding species from Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika. Grouping them in fours or more enhances their sociability, as solitary individuals tend to remain secretive.

Sexual dimorphism aids in identification, with mature females appearing plumper and males boasting a higher, more pointed dorsal fin. What distinguishes the Cuckoo Catfish is its unique breeding strategy of brood parasitism. During spawning, it synchronizes its reproduction with a mouthbrooding cichlid, depositing its eggs among the host's clutch. Upon hatching, the catfish fry consume the cichlid eggs while the unwitting parent guards them as its own.

Successfully replicating this process in an aquarium requires meticulous setup, careful selection of suitable host species, and conditioning both parties with a diet of live and frozen foods. Once breeding behavior is observed, the male Cuckoo Catfish facilitates egg deposition, ensuring the catfish eggs hatch quickly, offering the fry an early meal of cichlid eggs and nauplii until they are large enough to accept larger food items.

With a preference for alkaline water with a pH range of 7.5-8.5 and a temperature around 24°- 28C, the Cuckoo Catfish provides aquarists with a fascinating insight into natural behavior, making it a prized addition to any Tanganyikan biotope setup.


Species – Synodontis multipunctatus
Common Name – Cuckoo Catfish
Origin – Lake Tanganyika
Diet – Omnivore
PH Range – Alkaline 7.5 – 8.5
Water Type – Hard
Temperature – Tropical 24°- 28C
Breed Type - Brood Parasitism
Current Size – approximately 5cm (Grows to approximately 15cm)
Sex – Un-sexed

Cuckoo Catfish

AU$22.50 Regular Price
AU$20.25Sale Price

Tropical Fish Sale

Only 1 left in stock
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