Upside Down Catfish (Synodontis Nigriventris)
The Upside Down Catfish, also known as the Blotched Upside Down Catfish, is a unique and popular species native to the rivers of Central Africa. This fish is known for its peculiar behavior of swimming upside down, a trait that allows it to feed off the water's surface with ease. They are small in size, typically reaching a maximum length of about 4 inches, making them a suitable choice for home aquariums.
Upside Down Catfish are peaceful and social creatures. They prefer to be kept in groups of at least 5, which helps them feel more comfortable and reduces stress. They are compatible with similarly peaceful fish of the same size. Dwarf Cichlids, Kribensis, African Butterfly Cichlid, smaller Elephant fish, and Congo Tetras make excellent tank mates. However, they should not be kept with significantly more aggressive species, as the sharp barbs on their bodies can harm other fish.
In terms of diet, Upside Down Catfish are not picky eaters. They enjoy a mix of sinking catfish pellets, and frozen foods such as bloodworm, daphnia, white mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, and Mysis shrimp. They also appreciate a varied diet, including cucumber, zucchini, shelled peas, and occasional algae wafers. Take care not to overfeed these eagerly hungry fish because they are susceptible to bloating. Feeding them at nighttime aligns with their nocturnal behavior.
The ideal tank setup for Upside Down Catfish should mimic their native river environment. A strong water flow, achieved by a powerful pump or filter, is essential as they are used to river currents. The tank should include caves, water-worn rocks, and plenty of plants, as these fish feed off the underside of plant leaves, rocks, and caves. Broadleaf plants such as Java Fern, Anubias, Amazon Sword, Nomaphila Siamensis, and Ludwigia make excellent choices. Caves should be large enough to accommodate their active nature and social habits.
A 30-gallon tank is recommended, providing them with ample room to roam and swim. The water parameters for Upside Down Catfish should have a temperature range between 74-79°F (23-26°C). The pH level should be between 6.0-7.5, and water hardness at 4-15 dGH. Regular checks on water parameters are necessary to ensure no slight changes in the pH balance, as this can be detrimental to the fish.
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.