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Synodontis petricola – strange behaviour, advice required please

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Hi all,



Following a house move, I have recently had to decommission my large tank and downgrade to a much smaller one 5ft > ~2ft. The only fish I felt comfortable keeping (due to the smaller tank) were my Transcriptus juvies and Petricola. The Transcriptus are happy as Larry but the Petricola have been behaving a little odd…



I rarely see them cruising the tank these days, and they seem more interested in burying themselves in a group huddle under the rocks.



I have five of them and they must now be 5+ years old and are around the 8cm mark (and they appear to me of breeding age/size).



I am wondering if this behaviour has anything to do with the smaller tank and if I should be looking at passing them onto someone who can provide a more spacious and comfortable home?



Alternatively, could this behaviour be due to the fact I am mostly only observing them during the day and they are most active at night (I know they must be somewhat active at night as I regular wake to find a good volume of sand stirred up and moved)? OR, could it be that they were more comfortable cruising around in the larger tank as there were a lot more rocks and caves for them to move but remain hidden?



Am hoping someone with more experience with these catfish can provide some advice as I’d hate to keep them in the current tank if they’re not happy.



Cheers,



Bede


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Mate, that tank is a fine size for your petricolas.

The fishes shelter normal place in your old tank,, did you recreate the fishes hide shelter in your new tank ?, like a hollow rock or whatever they use to have ?,,, as that helps with them feeling safe from familiarity.

But just be patient, it takes a very long time for petri to feel happy and safe/comfortable, eventually they'll start day time frolicking again.

They're just taking the safe approach and being active in dark hours.

The more often you can keep tank darker the closer to them getting use to will be.... :)

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Phew! Because my daughters love them and would be devastated if they had to go haha.

No, to be honest I've been a bit slack with setting up some new caves. And to be even more honest, I didn't realise the Petricola would miss them so much. I got rid of most of my mbuna so haven't given too much attention to the rock work.

Thanks heaps for the info though, I'll make sure I add some additional rocks, and create some caves and dark spaces over the weekend :)

Cheers,

Bede

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How long since you put them in the 2ft?

It's probably a combination of this and reducing the tank mates to just the julii along with what Buccal has pointed out above.

They would probably be fine. They just need a little time to adjust to the new environment.

You could try feeding sinking pellets into an open area of the tank to encourage them to venture out. Mine come out as soon as a pellet hits the water - They must be able to sense to food pretty well...

Cheers

Joel

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Hi Joel,

Probably two months now, but then around three weeks ago I set up the tank they're currently in which probably would have unsettled them again.

About a week ago now though I added a few shellies and some xenos so they've got a few more tank mates now.

And I've actually been using that sinking pellet technique, which works occasionally, but I think they're waiting til night to bottom feed.

Thanks for your reply :)

Bede

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