Upsidedown Catfish PDF Print E-mail
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General information - As its common name implies, the Upside

Down Catfish will swim upside down. There are a few theories about

this unusual swimming behavior; some say that the Synodontis

nigriventris swim upsidedown because it just wants to graze the

underside branches or to eat mosquito larvae that congregate at

the water’s surface. Another theory accounts for this unusual

behavior as a defense strategy. The Upside-Down Catfish has

light brown colored body covered with dark brown blotches.

Synodontis means “dog-toothed" while nigriventris means


Common Name - Blotched upsidedown catfish     

Scientific Name - Synodontis nigriventris 

Family - Mochokidae 

Origin – Africa, Zaire   

Size – About 4 inches (20 cm) 

First discovered – David, 1936 

Synodontis nigriventris (upsidedown catfish)

                                                                                   Photo by:Arnon Reisman

Nutrition - Lots of people keep the Upside-Down Catfish on their clean-up crew. It has a great tendency

towards meaty food. Dried commercial food, frozen and live food Is welcomed  

Behavior – peaceful   

Maintenance and care – Should be kept in a 25 gallon tank size and up. Decorate its tank with woods,

rocks caves and other hiding places.The upsidedown catfish should be kept with other Synodontis Catfish, 

Elephant Noses, and African Black Knife Fish. It also can be kept with African cichlids.  

Water Parameters – Temperature: 72F-82F, PH: 6.5-8, DGH: 4-15 

Breeding - There have been a limited number of successful spawning in an aquarium. The eggs hatch in

approximately two days, fry will feed of the yolk sac, upon the fourth day the fry are ready to eat hatched

brine shrimp.