Upside-Down Catfish

Upside-Down Catfish -- synodontis nigriventris
© Aaron Norman

Scientific name: Synodontis nigriventris

As its common name implies, the Upside-Down Catfish will swim upside down. One theory accounts for this unusual behavior as a feeding strategy. In the wild, it often grazes on the underside of submerged branches and logs, and swimming upside down makes these areas more accessible. Although it can be kept alone, it does much better when several are together. Like most catfish, it tends to hide during the day and become active at night, so adequate hiding spaces must be provided.


The Upside-Down Catfish grows to 3.5 inches and does well at a water temperature in the range of 72º to 82º Fahrenheit, with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5, and water that is moderately soft to mildly hard. All flake and freeze-dried foods are eaten; they should be offered at night.