Tim's Tropical Fish






Upside Down Catfish

Synodontis Nigriventris

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Upside Down Catfish, Synodontis Nigriventris

There are two main species of Synodontis catfish that are identified as Upside Down Catfish.  Both of them originally come from Zaire in Africa.  One is Synodontis Contractus, which is also called the Bugeye Squeaker.  The other is Synodontis Nigriventris, so called because of its dark belly (remember that would be at the top when it swims).  They are both nocturnal, very active and very peaceful.  They have a large adipose fin.

Upside Down Catfish spend the daylight hours hiding in caves and their nights are spent swimming continually upside down.  The aquarium should have flower pots or plastic pipe for them to hide in.  A floating plant cover will help them feel secure.  They are schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least 4 - 6 whenever possible.  In the wild, they school in much larger groups.  Upside Down Catfish eat flake foods, but should be given live foods too, such as brine shrimp, blood worms, glass worms, and earthworms.

Females are broader and sometimes lighter.  Breeding is very difficult.

Upside Down Catfish, Synodontis Nigriventris   Upside Down Catfish, Synodontis nigriventris   Upside Down Catfish, Synodontis Nigriventris

Scientific Name: Synodontis nigriventris
Family: Catfish
Temperature: 22 - 26 C; 72 - 79 F
pH: 6.0 - 8.0
Size: 10 cm;  4 inches
Life Span: decades
Breeding: Difficult, Egglayer


The Upsidedown Catfish should be kept in groups of 4 or more and is compatible with Auratus, Betta (Siamese Fighting), Black Skirt Tetra, Bleeding Heart Tetra, Blind Cave Tetra, Bloodfin, Buenos Aires Tetra, Cherry Barb, Chinese Algae Eater, Clown Loach, Cobalt Blue Zebra, Colombian Tetra, Congo Tetra, Corydoras Catfish, Diamond Tetra, Dwarf Gourami, Electric Blue Ahli, Electric Blue Johanni, Electric Yellow Lab, Emperor Tetra, Fancy Goldfish, Featherfin Squeaker, Flame Tetra, Glass Catfish, GloFish, Goldfish, Head-and-Tail-Light Tetra, Kissing Gourami, Malawi Blue Dolphin, Molly, Pearl Gourami, Pleco (Common), Pristella Tetra, Ram Cichlid, Red Base Tetra, Red Eye Tetra, Rosy Barb, Rummynose Tetra, Serpae Tetra, Silver Hatchetfish, Silver Tip Tetra, Swordtail, Three Spot Gourami, Tiger Barb, Tinfoil Barb, Zebra Cichlid and Zebra Danio