factsheet this month (Dec.2003) spotlights on a Synodontis
that does not look like your typical member of the
Mochokidae family. By that I mean by the body shape
and its dietary requirements. To the untrained eye
it looks more like a Bagrid from the Bagridae family
rather than one of the 150 odd members of this African
must think differently when dealing with brichardi
from the vast majority of other Synodontis, starting
with the requirements for housing this species in
the aquarium. First off we should provide good water
movement provided by either an internal or external
pump as this species is basically a riverine species
in that it lives in and around the rapids of the Congo
River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A good
pointer to this is the flattened body shape and also
the 'sucker' type mouth to help it to hold on to the
water polished stones that lie on the bottom of this
part of the river. Dietary requirements are logged
in the species table at the end of this factsheet.
The above image
shows the palatine teeth in the mouth and so its tendancy
is to graze on algae in its natural habitat.
the area around Kinshasa and Malebo Pool and
the rapids of Kinsuka.
It is less tolerant
of bad water conditions than most Synodontis
so make sure you keep up the water changes to keep
this nice looking species looking bright and colourful
in its surroundings.
A nice species
to keep if you are more of an experienced aquarist
and can spot any problems before they can become insurmountable.
The genus Synodontis
sports three pairs of barbels 1pair: maxillary, 1
pair: outer mandibular and one pair of inner mandibular
barbels that are branched (filaments). There are only
three species that have filaments on their maxillary
barbels as well as the mandibular, and they are, S.
decorus and S.
Congo River rapids. Type locality:
Léopoldville, début des rapides à
Dorsal 1, 7 (1, 7-1, 7 + 1),
a thorn finished by a short filament. Adipose, basis
0, 65 (0,5 - 0,7). Pectoral 1, 9 (1, 8-1, 9) thorn
finished by a short filament, smooth outside side
and interior side very serrated. Ventral not reaching
anal. Anal longer previous rays, 111, 8 (111-1V, 6-8).
Caudal excessively elongated with prolonged lobes
and filaments. Caudal peduncle 0,85 (0,75 - 1) as
high that it is long.
Deep black, with 5 brilliant
yellow transverse bars and fins banded with black
Care and Compatibility
Like most Synodontis
species it can be territorial with its own kind but
not much damage is incurred from this tolerant species,
in fact if you keep Cichlids or larger barbs they
can be more of a threat to the more peaceful brichardi.
If you do house this Synodontis with larger
inhabitants of your tank keep an eye out for the afore
mentioned bullying. You may succeed with plenty of
hiding places with rockwork, driftwood and tall plants,
but make sure that they are eating even if you have
to feed after lights out.
Leans more towards a green
diet more so that other Synodontis species.
Chopped leaf spinach, also algae wafers and vegetable
tablets. Frozen and live brineshrimp also form part
of their diet. When settled in the aquarium they will
also take flake and tablet food.
Ancient name for an undetermined fish from the Nile
(Cuvier 1816). brichardi: In honour of Pierre
Brichard, a collector in Burundi.
Max; Revision Des Synodontis Africains (Famille