the gymnarchus niloticus are a nice fish!!! I just checked out the picture. I am not sure if the high intelligence is with the whole family or just the elephant nose? several articles I read just mentioned the elephant nose by name. But, yes.. that is one nice fish. I say you should get it! Can I ask why you dont like the family in general?
Max size of the gymnarchus niloticus is 75 inches. No way im ever going to get that. In fact..I dont know what size tank that would even be able to hold that. Unless you can stunt it..thats 6.5 feet!!!
How do you rate intelligence in fish? Cichlids defend their territory. Does that make it smarter then a neon that schools? or is it Natural behavior?
Catfish arent smart? Check this out.
Syd Petricola and the multi's- When cichlids (mouthbrooders) lay eggs, the catfish will quickly swim to where the mother layed the eggs and then add its own eggs. When the parent cichlids pick up the eggs, the catfish eggs are included. As time lapses, the catfish eggs hatch first and eats the cichlids eggs as food. When the mother spits out the fry..its not cichlid fry, but catfish! On top of that, the mother cichlids TAKES care of the catfish, not realizing its not her fry. I Dont know about you, but that makes one DUMB cichlid and ONE smart catfish!
Actually, that's the way things are. It's instinct and how things were planned out. In lake tanganyika, the cookoo species of synodontids have naturally fast hatching eggs so that they can outspeed the cichlids in hatching and growth, and thus, prey on the smaller fry while getting 2 well armed, devoted guardian.
Cichlids have a highly developed social structure which would take more intelligence to conduct. Let's assume that their "intelligence" is just instinct or rather, programming. For example, compare cichlids to neons. If cichlids have a wide variety of actions which are conducted in their social structure, it would take much more memory space than would simply the bare essentials and very few added pluses which is what neons have.
Most replies i read says catfish are not very smart like swim around,my featherfin synodontis cruise around,act likes it is territorial,it chases around any black fish near its den,i got a walking catfish and its intelligence is even worse than a goldfish,it eats any thing including fish crap,it collides with anything but its respose to food is much better than an oscar.