Synodontis Petricola catfish with my lemon tetras?


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Dec 31, 2023
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Salisbury, UK
Hello, I have 8 lemon tetras probably about 3cm each and i was hoping to get some Synodontis Petricola catfish. I also have 6 platys and 6 Boeseman's rainbowfish but i think they will be fine. I am just not sure if the catfish will eat them. The tetras are not fully grow yet as I got them about a month ago.
What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?

What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website (Water Analysis Report) or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

Angelfish, discus, most tetras, most barbs, Bettas, gouramis, rasbora, Corydoras and small species of suckermouth catfish all occur in soft water (GH below 150ppm) and a pH below 7.0.

Livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), rainbowfish and goldfish occur in medium hard water with a GH around 200-250ppm and a pH above 7.0.

Synodontis petricola come from Lake Tanganyika, which has a GH around 400-450ppm and a pH around 8.5.

Basically no you should not have Synodontis petricola in with lemon tetras or even platies. Most rainbowfish will be fine in really hard water and mollies would be ok, but not tetras.

Synodontis petricola also live in groups and should be kept in groups containing at least 6 (preferably 10) or more individuals.
petricola need specific water parameters to remain healthy, and that's not even close to what lemon tetras need. I have heard of them adapting to medium hard water, but it isn't ideal. Plus they will munch on smaller fish. High bodied lemons and platys would probably survive with them though. Probably...

I wouldn't consider them unless I had a tank large enough for a group of these social fish. They take a lot of space.
Ahh ok never mind I don't have that hard water (about 280ppm) and the tank dimensions are 119 x 39 x 50cm, i don't know the pH but probably around 7.5
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The tank is big enough for a group of the catfish but the GH is too low for the Synodontis, and is way too high for the tetras.

Rainbowfish, livebearers, and small peaceful cichlids from Lake Victoria and Lake Malawi would be ok.

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