• Upside-Down Catfish (Synodontis nigriventris)

Upside-Down Catfish (Synodontis nigriventris)

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The Upside-Down Catfish is an interesting, distinctively marked scavenger that is highly unique in its behavior.  As the name indicates, it regularly swims upside down in order to see predators and to feed on the undersides of plant leaves and other fish.  Additionally, it possesses darker coloration on its underside than on its back, which is quite unusual in freshwater fish.
 
The Upside-Down Catfish is a smaller Synodontis catfish.  It is suitable for many smaller community and semi-aggressive aquariums.  The Upside-Down Catfish is a peaceful predator, so it should not be housed with any animals that could potentially fit into its mouth (which is relatively small for a catfish).  Snails, as well as large Vampire Shrimp, Flower/Bamboo shrimp, and possibly large Amano Shrimp can be kept with the Upside-Down Catfish, but dwarf shrimp, microrasboras, and neon tetras may be eaten. All larger tankmates will be ignored.
 
The Upside-Down Catfish is most active at night, so evening feeding of flake foods, sinking pellets or meaty foods is recommended.  Unlike many catfish, it will often feed at the surface of the water.  This fish is often also active during daytime hours, but resting areas such as caves, driftwood, and planted areas are required.  It is an otherwise hardy and undemanding fish that can thrive as a single specimen or in a group.  Successful spawning in the aquarium has not yet been achieved or reported.

 

 
What We Like About This Fish:
  • Varied tan/brown/cream blotchy coloration with black spots
  • Peaceful disposition with any tankmates too large to be swallowed
  • Hardy and adaptable
  • Excellent scavenger and nocturnal feeder that will not bother plants
 
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS: 
  • Temperature:  72° - 82° F (22° - 28° C)
  • pH:  6.0 - 8.0 (7.6 is most ideal but not required as this is a very adaptable fish)
  • KH:  6 - 15 dKH
  • Minimum tank size:  20 gallons
 
CARE GUIDELINES:
  • Diet:  Carnivorous.  High-quality sinking pellets and freeze-dried or frozen meaty foods will be readily accepted.
  • Social behavior:  Peaceful with any animals too large to be swallowed.  Can be kept singly or in groups.
  • Origin:  Central Africa, Congo Basin.
  • Average adult size:  3 - 4 inches (7.5 - 10 cm)
  • Average purchase size:  1 - 1.5 inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm) 

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