Welcome to our in-depth guide on the stunning and captivating fish species Synodontis Angelicus. Often referred to as “Angel squeaker” these graceful fish are popular among pet fish enthusiasts for their unique appearance and interesting behavior.

Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate pet fish owner, you’re sure to discover something new about this fascinating species as we delve into its origin, appearance, size, genders, behavior, tank conditions, tankmates, diet, breeding, and potential diseases. 

This guide provides a comprehensive understanding of Synodontis Angelicus and helps you become a more informed and successful pet fish owner.

Prepare to embark on an exciting discovery journey and learn about this beautiful species.


Scientific Name: Synodontis angelicus
Common Names: Angel Catfish, Angel squeaker
Life Expectancy: 10-15 years
Adult Size: Up to 8 inches (20 cm)


HabitatAfrican rivers and streams
OriginWest and Central Africa
Care LevelIntermediate
DietOmnivorous, feed on live, frozen, and dry food
Tank LevelBottom
Minimum Tank Size75 gallons (285 liters)
Water pH6.0-7.5
Water Temperature74-82°F (23-28°C)
Water Hardness5-19 dGH
LightingLow to moderate
Tank MatesPeaceful community fish

Fun Fact Corner

One fun fact about the Synodontis Angelicus species is that they have a unique skeletal structure called the Weberian apparatus, which allows them to hear and amplify sound through their swim bladder. It will enable them to detect the faintest vibrations, making them excellent scavengers and predators in their natural habitat. So, if you ever notice your Synodontis Angelicus fish suddenly darting around in the tank, they may be responding to a sound or vibration that you cannot hear!


Synodontis Angelicus is believed to be native to the freshwater rivers and lakes of West Africa, specifically in the Congo River basin. These fish inhabit various habitats, such as clear and murky waters, rocky and sandy bottoms, and fast and slow-moving currents.

This fish belongs to the Mochokidae family, which includes over 200 species of catfish. The elongated body form of these fish and the presence of a spine on the leading edge of the dorsal fin are only two of their unique and distinct features.

In the wild, Synodontis Angelicus is known to be a hardy species that can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. They are also known to be opportunistic feeders, eating a variety of foods, including crustaceans, insects, and plant material.

As the popularity of this fish species as an aquarium pet has increased, many of these fish are now commercially bred in fish farms. This breeding process has led to a wide range of color variations of the fish, making it an even more popular choice among fish enthusiasts.

The Synodontis Angelicus is a fascinating species with a complex history and biology. As we continue with this guide, we will delve deeper into its appearance, size, behavior, diet, breeding, and more, providing a comprehensive understanding of this unique and captivating species.


In terms of appearance, Synodontis Angelicus is one of its most striking characteristics. This fish species has an elongated body shape, with a broad head and a pointed snout. The body coloration is typically a light tan or cream with dark brown spots scattered throughout. However, many color variations have been created, such as albino, leucistic, and melanistic, as this species is commercially bred.

A hardened, serrated first ray is present on the dorsal and pectoral fins. The top lobe of the caudal fin has an extension and is deeply forked. In the upper jaw, it has short, cone-shaped teeth. The teeth in the lower jaw are movable and s-shaped.

One of the most striking features of the Synodontis Angelicus is its large dorsal fin, which has a spine on its leading edge. This spine is known as “adipose fin,” a common feature among many species of catfish.

Additionally, the Synodontis Angelicus has a pair of barbels, sensory organs used to locate food. These barbels, located close to the mouth, are often used to identify one species from another.


In terms of size, Synodontis Angelicus can grow to an adult size of around 22-25 cm. They are categorized as medium-sized fish, making them suitable for a wide range of tank sizes.

The size of the Synodontis Angelicus is one of the vital factors to consider when keeping this fish as a pet. They are regarded as medium-sized fish, typically reaching an adult size of around 22-25 cm (9.8-22 inches) in length.

It’s crucial to remember that the size of the fish can vary depending on the specific conditions in which they are kept. For example, if they are kept in a tank that is too small or not adequately maintained, they may not reach their full potential size. On the other hand, if they are kept in optimal conditions, they may grow larger than the average size.


When maintaining the Synodontis Angelicus as a pet, it is essential to consider its gender. Like most fish species, the males and females have distinct physical characteristics that can be used to determine their gender. Males of the species have a more elongated body shape and a more pointed dorsal fin. They also tend to have more vibrant colors and more pronounced spots on their body. While females tend to be larger and more rounded, with a less pointed dorsal fin, they also tend to have a more subdued coloration and less pronounced spots on their bodies.

It is crucial to remember that identifying a fish’s gender can be challenging and may require close observation of its behavior, breeding habits, and physical characteristics.   Without the help of a fish expert, it might be difficult in some cases to identify a fish’s gender.

In addition, the Synodontis Angelicus is a harem breeder in the wild, where one male will have multiple females as partners. This behavior is often replicated in captivity as well.

It is common to find that some males will change color during the breeding season, becoming more vibrant and colorful, which is a sign that they are ready to breed.


The behavior of Synodontis Angelicus is a vital aspect to consider when keeping this fish as a pet. In general, the fish are known for their peaceful nature and can be maintained with a wide variety of tankmates. They are active during the day and will spend much time swimming in the middle and upper levels of the tank. Additionally, they are known to be inquisitive and often investigate their surroundings.

The Synodontis Angelicus uses its dorsal fin as a sensory organ, which is an interesting behavior. With their dorsal fin, they can detect vibrations and changes in the water, which allows them to detect potential prey and potential threats.

Another interesting behavior is the behavior of the fish to bury themselves in the substrate of the tank. They often bury themselves in the sand or gravel, with only their head and dorsal fin exposed. This behavior is considered a form of camouflage to protect them from predators.


The Synodontis Angelicus is a peaceful fish that gets along well with various species when maintained in a tank. They can be housed alongside smaller shrimp and snails and get along with other gentle fish. It is essential to remember that they may react aggressively toward other fish of a similar size and form, especially during the breeding season.

Here are some suitable tankmates for Synodontis Angelicus:

  • Other peaceful fish such as tetras and rasboras
  • Smaller species of catfish, such as Corydoras and Plecos
  • Peaceful cichlids, such as angelfish and Discus
  • Smaller shrimp, such as ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp
  • Snails, such as neurite snails and mystery snails

It is important to remember that the tank size should be considered when choosing tankmates. It’s critical to choose compatible tank mates in size and temperament so that the Synodontis Angelicus has enough room to swim and hide.

Tank conditions

In terms of tank conditions, Synodontis Angelicus is a hardy fish that can adapt to a wide range of water conditions. They are found in the wild in various habitats, including rivers, swamps, and lakes, so they can tolerate a wide range of water parameters. However, it is essential to note that the fish will thrive in optimal water conditions, and providing them with the proper environment will help to ensure their health and well-being.

The ideal water temperature for the Synodontis Angelicus is between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. It is crucial to maintain a stable water temperature and avoid fluctuations. A heater should be used to keep the proper temperature range.

It is worth noting that the pH level of the water should be between 6.5 and 7.8, and the water hardness should be between 4 and 20 dGH. Regular water tests should be conducted to ensure the water parameters are within the ideal range.

It is crucial to remember that the Synodontis Angelicus needs a tank with at least 30 gallons of capacity, lots of hiding spots, and areas to swim. The tank should be decorated with rocks, plants, and other aquarium-safe decorations to provide them with a natural environment. Using a sand or fine gravel substrate for the tank is also recommended, as it will mimic their natural habitat.

In terms of filtration, a good quality power filter is essential to keep the water clean and clear. It is vital to choose a filter appropriate for the tank’s size and to ensure that it is cleaned and maintained regularly.


Synodontis Angelicus is an opportunistic feeder who will eat a wide variety of foods when it comes to diet. They are known to eat a wide range of foods in the wild, including insects, crabs, and small fish. In captivity, they must be fed various meals, such as flake, pellet, frozen, and live food.

A good diet for a Synodontis Angelicus should include a variety of different types of food, including:

  • High-quality flake food or pellet food as a staple diet.
  • Frozen food such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia.
  • Live food such as brine shrimp, black worms, and daphnia.
  • Vegetable matter such as blanched spinach, lettuce, and cucumber

It is crucial to remember that these fish need to be fed a varied diet to maintain their health and avoid nutrient deficiencies. Additionally, giving them at regular intervals will keep them active and promote healthy growth.


Even the most expert aquarists may find breeding Synodontis Angelicus to be a challenging task. Since the species is not known to reproduce quickly in captivity, various factors must be considered to raise fry successfully.

The first step in breeding Synodontis Angelicus is to provide them with a suitable environment. It is also important to remember that the tank requires a lot of hiding spots, a pH of about 7.0, and temperatures between 26 and 28 degrees Celsius.

The tank should also include a well-established breeding area with a fine substrate, such as sand or fine gravel.

The next step is to sex the fish, which can be difficult as there are no noticeable physical differences between males and females. However, males tend to be slimmer and have broader heads, while females tend to be rounder and have more pointed heads.

Once a pair has been established, they should be conditioned separately with a high-quality diet. Once the couple is ready, they will start to display courtship behaviors, such as chasing and flaring their fins.

The breeding pair will lay their eggs on a slate or flat surface. The eggs will hatch in approximately 2-3 days, and the fry will be able to swim freely in about a week. Small amounts of food, such as baby brine shrimp or finely-crushed flake food, should be fed to the fry at this stage several times a day.

It is crucial to keep in mind that breeding Synodontis Angelicus is challenging, and it may require several attempts before a successful spawn is produced. Additionally, a healthy population of Synodontis Angelicus must be raised in captivity despite the fry’s survival rate often being low.


When it comes to keeping your Synodontis Angelicus healthy, it’s critical to know the different diseases they may contract.

One of the most common diseases affecting this species is Ich, often known as white spot disease. Small white spots on the body, fins, and gills of the fish are its defining characteristic. These spots were produced by the protozoan Ichthyophthirius Multifiliis.  Left untreated might lead to decreased appetite, increased respiration, and even death.

Fin Rot is another common disease that can affect Synodontis Angelicus. This bacterial infection is characterized by fin erosion and discoloration and can be caused by stress and poor water quality. Since this condition can cause severe tissue damage and even death if neglected, it is essential to treat it quickly.

This species is susceptible to fungal infections, often identified by cotton-like growth on the skin and fins. Stress and poor water quality can also contribute to this infection and can be treated with antifungal medication.

It’s vital to note that early detection is crucial in treating and preventing the spread of diseases in fish, so regular monitoring of your fish’s behavior and physical appearance and regular testing of water parameters is essential.


Jason Matthews

My name is Jason Matthews, and welcome to my website. When other kids were bragging about how their dog could sit and roll over, I was bragging about my latest Betta Fish and the cool sea castle I just added to his aquarium. 

Jason aquariume

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