Upside-down catfish - Synodontis nigriventris
Scientific name: Synodontis nigriventris
Common name: Upside-down catfish
Usual size in fish tanks: 9 - 10 cm (3.54 - 3.94 inch)
Recommended pH range for the species: 6 - 8
Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 12°N (71.43 - 214.29ppm)
0°C 32°F30°C 86°F
Recommended temperature: 22 - 26 °C (71.6 - 78.8°F)
The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning
Where the species comes from: Africa
Temperament to its own species: peaceful
Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful
Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels
Upside-down catfish originate from Zaire and the Niger river basin. They are also to be found in the water ways of Cameroon and both of the Congo republics.
Expected life span is 5 and more years.
Synodontis nigriventris are best kept in small schools and hiding places should be provided in the tank. They are a very peaceful fish and they love to browse on the underside of broad leaved plants. They are one of the smaller catfish species, adults will only grow to a maximum size of 3.75 inches and they have adapted to being at excellent swimmers while upside down, this characteristic has also given them body markings to reflect this as they have evolved over the years. Their belly colouration is darker than their topside which is opposite to most species of fish that tend to have a darker top side. They tend to avoid the middle areas of the water column, feeding from the top surface in the wild and they will also explore the bottom of the aquarium, still in the upside down position.
The upside down catfish is classed as a peaceful species so are suitable for a community set up but do not keep these with aggressive species or they may become timid and shy, hiding away a lot in the daytime when the other tank mates are more active.
Food and feeding
In the wild, Upside-down catfish eat insects caught on the water surface and supplement their diet with algae. In the aquarium they adjust to flake and frozen foods easily but include live or frozen foods as well. It may be best to feed the upside down catfish in the evening when they are at their most active.
Females tend to be larger than the males but have a duller coloration. They have a plumper outline as well.
Condition the parents with plenty of live food to get them into spawning mode. Clay pots on their side or lengths of PVC piping should be added to the tank as this will provide them with spawning sites. The eggs should hatch after 2 days and the fry will become free swimming 3-4 days later. At this stage they can be given newly hatched brine shrimp.
The fry will not take on the swimming style of their parents until they are approximately two months of age but will swim normally until this age.
Bought by aqua-fish.net from jjphoto.dk. Also thanks to Ala!