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Old 09-11-2011, 04:07 PM   #1
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African Featherfin Cat

I recently saw an African FF cat and my LFS and fell in love. I didn't buy him at the time but want to go back. He was $17.00 and I think well worth it. But I don't know anything about them. Do any of you? He will go in my 55g with my gouramis, angelfish and rainbows. I already know I will need a larger tank. I will also be getting a BN plec to replace my common pleco (to big). Any way, if someone knows about FF cats please advise.
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:01 PM   #2
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Actually, unless the tank is/will be overstocked a 55 is large enough for one FF. They're generally pretty easy to get along with, somewhat territorial about their chosen hiding spot, but not likely to do any harm to your other fish. I presume the one you was was an adult, 6-8"? Juvies look quite different from adults, and generally cost about half as much (even less online) and will grow to adult size in a matter of months. They prefer somewhat alkaline water, but can live in soft/acidic as well. Eat anything that will fit into their mouths, should have some spirulina flake in their diet though. May also eat veggies along with the BN pleco you proposed.
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:31 PM   #3
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Thanks. Actually the one I was looking at was approx. 3" and so cute. Since I'm rehoming my pleco, bala and pictus, it should be fine. Like I said I will be getting a larger tank in a few months. Should I get more than one or do they need a companion?
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:00 AM   #4
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Most larger Synodontis are territorial (rather than social) fish. The decorus are a notable exception, but few people really have a tank large enough to properly house a group of those, and the ones that do have such tanks are typically inclined to keep other, even larger species of fish in them. The FF are fine as singles, not so good with 1-2 other FF's, but generally good in a larger group. Groups have spawned in aquariums, but the eggs are quickly eaten and very seldom do any actually survive.
I have a single FF in my 125, a breeding group of multi's in a 75 with a group of peacocks and groups of petricola in a 55 with some SA cichlids and another 75 with peacocks and mbuna. So far I've raised 6 multi fry in the 75, recently sold the 5 larger/older young ones and still have a wee 1" fat baby in the tank. They grow much slower than the FF's.
Recently released multi fry:

Sad looking little fish, all head and hardly any body yet...


Grown out for about 6-7 weeks:




It doesn't show in the pics, but fry/juvies that have been out of the female cichlid's mouth for a day or two have relatively huge, round bellies and waddle when they swim. They find every available scrap of food and eat constantly. Even before the tank is fed (once daily) they're already stuffed, and still eager for more.
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