African Catfish

African Giraffe Catfish (Auchenoglanis occidentalis occidentalis)African Giraffe Catfish (Auchenoglanis occidentalis occidentalis)
This is a very large, very demanding species of fish. It should only be kept by dedicated, experienced aquarists and only after careful con...
Clown Synodontis (Synodontis decorus)Clown Synodontis (Synodontis decorus)
Caring for this fish is relatively simple. It is very adaptable to water conditions, is not a fussy eater, and will co-exist with all but th...
Cuckoo Catfish (Synodontis multipunctatus)Cuckoo Catfish (Synodontis multipunctatus)
A very attractively patterned catfish which makes an ideal and interesting addition to a Rift Lake setup of Malawi or Tanganyika cichlids. T...
Featherfin Catfish (Synodontis eupterus)Featherfin Catfish (Synodontis eupterus)
The Feather Fin Catfish is a fish for long time aquarists. It is a fun fish to have, but difficult to care for. It gets its name from the wo...
Lace Synodontis (Synodontis nigrita)Lace Synodontis (Synodontis nigrita)
Commonly misidentified in the trade. Contaminants often include S. nigriventris and small juveniles of many West African Synodontis species....
Upsidedown Catfish (Synodontis nigriventris)Upsidedown Catfish (Synodontis nigriventris)
The upside down catfish is a member of the Mochokidae family of fish. It has three sets of barbels, a forked tail and very large eyes. It ...
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About African Catfish

This section of Aquarium Life is about tropical catfishes from the continent of Africa. There are a wide variety of catfish from Africa and many of these species are ideally suited for keeping in a home aquarium. African catfish are commonly kept with African cichlids because they have similar water parameter requirements and are often from the same lakes.

Synodontis angelicus


Most African catfish are exported from the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly known as Zaire) and from Nigeria. Some catfish species are also exported from the Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika area as a part of the Afican cichlid trade.

African catfish are all scaleless fish and this leaves them more susceptible to parasites such as ich. African are generally peaceful and can live with other African catfish. New world catfish should not be mixed with African catfish because they have a tendency to try to bite the eyes out of their South American or Central American brethren.

To the left is a list of the African catfish species in our fish profile database.