Cookies seem to be disabled in your browser, therefore this website will NOT work properly! Please, consider enabling Cookies in order to maximise your user experience while browsing.
Recent discussions at Aqua-Fish+
  1. TheFishWorks at A guide on growing aquarium plants with FAQ, forum and species on
  2. Salviashaman at A guide on caring for Congo tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus) on …display more of the recent discussions
  3. Salviashaman at A guide on setting a South American blackwater stream biotope aquarium on
  4. Figureguy at Chemistry of Aquarium Water with FAQ on
  5. Jackson20 at A guide on feeding aquarium fish frozen foods on
  6. Senator Wisdom at Bloodfin tetra (Aphyocharax alburnus) on
  7. CayceR at A page and forum devoted to keeping Blood parrot cichlids on
  8. Ness at A guide on raising African Dwarf Frogs with pictures and forum on
  9. Terry Mitchell at A guide on breeding, feeding and caring for L333 Pleco on
  10. Terry Mitchell at A guide on breeding, feeding and caring for L333 Pleco on
Upside-down catfish - Synodontis nigriventris

Upside-down catfish - Synodontis nigriventris

Scientific name: Synodontis nigriventris

Common name: Upside-down catfish

Family: Mochokidae

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.

Short description

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 from Also thanks to Ala!

Upside-down catfish, picture 1 Upside-down catfish, picture 2 Upside-down catfish, picture 3

Did you know?

Please, verify whether your login and password are valid. If you don't have an account here, register one free of charge, please. Click here to close this box.

You have been logged out successfully! This box will close automatically!

Something went wrong during processing your message, please try again!

Your message has been sent, thanks a lot!

Page has been saved, refresh it now, please!

The page has been created, you will now be redirected!

URL already exists!

Path to the photo is not unique!

Really delete this page from the database?

The page has been removed successfully, you will be redirected now!

The page couldn't be deleted!!

Unfortunately this page doesn't allow discussion. Please, find any other page that fits your area of interest as over 99% of our pages allow discussion. The reason why no discussion is allowed here is this page is too general. Thanks a lot for understanding! Click here to search, please!

Really delete this comment from the site?

Really delete this image from the site?

Really delete this image from the site?

Selected comment has been removed successfully!

Selected image has been removed successfully!

Either login or email address is required

Account has been recovered, please check your email for further instructions