The Upside Down Catfish (Synodontis nigriventris)

Upside Down Catfish

The Upside Down Catfish (Synodontis nigriventris) is also known as the Blotched Upside Down Catfish. They are an interesting catfish that begins swimming upside down at around 2 months of age. They are very active, peaceful and nocturnal native to Zaire and the Niger River basin in Africa. As the name implies, these type of fish prefers to spend most of their time in the upside-down posture.

The Upside Down Catfish (Synodontis nigriventris) is a member of the Mochokidae family. It is among the smaller Synodontis catfish and is a nontransparent color with many black spots and markings. The other species of the same genus are also called as Upside Down Catfish, namely Synodontis Nigrita, Synodontis Contracta, Synodontis Aterrima, and many more.

The name Dwarf Upside Down Catfish is also used for small species of these catfish genus Synodontis. They reach an adult size of only 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10 cm). Like other members of the Mochokidae family, they have big eyes, a big adipose fin, a forked tail and 3 pairs of barbels. These type of fish are known for their enjoyment of swimming upside down, as well as grazing the bottom of the aquarium for food.

The Upside Down Catfish belly is darker in shade compared to the back side of these fish, and the upper body parts are somewhat lighter. This assists the catfish to get away from the predators, as the light body color is not noticeable when the fish swims inverted and the predator looks upwards.

The Upside Down Catfish are often found near covers such as driftwood, plants or caves. They do well in groups of 5 or more individuals. The approximated lifespan and age of sexual maturity for Upside Down Catfish is unverifiable. Lifespan approximates range between 5 and more years.


How To Take Care Of Upside Down Catfish?

How To Take Care Of Upside Down Catfish

Do you know how to take care of Upside Down Catfish? The Upside Down Catfish is a peaceful, schooling fish that grows to around 4 inches (10 cm) in length and is preferably suited for a community aquarium with other species of a similar size fish species with similar water requirements. To bring a natural effect, you could add currents in the water. They could adjust to the water having high levels of nitrite; therefore the regular water change is advised.

The Upside Down Catfish requires a 30-gallon tank with lots of tank mates and prefer densely planted tanks. This types of fish is a social fish best kept in groups of 5 or more. We suggested companions: Hemichromis, Corydoras, Pelvicachromis, African and South American tetras, Angelfish, Barbs, Danios, Gouramis, Rasboras.

A dimly lit fish tank with a soft substrate appropriates for these Upside Down Catfish. They do enjoy a planted aquarium with pieces of driftwood, twisted roots, rocks for hiding. Broad-leaved plants such as  Echinodorus or Anubias and floating vegetation are also suggested as the catfish prefer to roost under these.

The Upside Down Catfish is a freshwater species, mostly seen in the niger river basins. In your home, try to give an environment similar to their habitat. The water conditions must be frequently checked. The pH level needs to be between 6.0 to 7.5, and the temperature level must be at least 22°C  to 26°C (72°F – 79 °F). This types of fish prefer water hardness between 4 to 15 dGH.


The Diet Of Upside Down Catfish

The Diet Of Upside Down Catfish

The Upside Down Catfish is an omnivore and not picky eaters, they will be adept at virtually any diet presented. You can offer varieties of food to these fish, however, it must be nutritious and healthy. In the aquarium environment, they adapt easily to all types of foods, from dry to frozen or live. They should be provided freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and sinking catfish pellets, plus a high-quality flake food.

In the wild, the Upside Down Catfish prefer eating debris of vegetables and filamentous algae. So you should include plenty of fresh vegetable such as zucchini, cucumbers blanched lettuce and shelled peas. They also like to eat many live foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, tubifex worms, earthworms, insect larvae and terrestrial insects. These fish have been known to feed in their upside down position from the water’s surface of the tank and to graze along the underside of wood and plant leaves. Feed them a few times in small quantities to avoid food wastage.


The Breeding Of Upside Down Catfish

The Breeding Of Upside Down Catfish

The Upside Down Catfish have been bred successfully in the aquarium but breeding is very difficult. Presently, the only a limited number of successful spawnings has occurred in the home tank. Since these fish tend to breed throughout the rainy season, migrates to flooded areas, changes in the temperature level, as well as the chemistry of the water, are probably to induce spawning behavior. We consequently recommend that a large water change with cold water might be a good place, to begin with inducing the fish to breed.

Female Upside Down Catfish is larger, paler in coloration, and have a plumper more rounded body, especially when ready to spawn. They prefer cave spawning. Offer an overturned clay flowerpot or 2 or some PVC pipe as a possible spawning place. Conditioning with live foods as well as softening the water to mimic spring rains will increase the chances for success. Since these catfish are difficult to breed, your ideal chances of a successful spawning might be to buy a group of these catfish and to allow them to pair off naturally.

Obviously, approximately 450 eggs may be laid on the roof of the cave and the fry is free swimming after 4 days. After 2 months, the fry change from spending all their time swimming like typical fish, to the standard swimming position of the Upside Down Catfish of regarding 50% upside-down, 50% right-side up. If you procure to get this catfish to spawn, we recommend that freshly hatched brine shrimp or microworms would great first foods. AnimalsUpside Down CatfishHow To Take Care Of Upside Down Catfish?,The Breeding Of Upside Down Catfish,The Diet Of Upside Down Catfish,Upside Down CatfishThe Upside Down Catfish (Synodontis nigriventris) The Upside Down Catfish (Synodontis nigriventris) is also known as the Blotched Upside Down Catfish. They are an interesting catfish that begins swimming upside down at around 2 months of age. They are very active, peaceful and nocturnal native to Zaire and the Niger...It's all about things you do not know about monkey, eagles, guinea pig, puppies and many more.