Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: Yes
General Description: The Upside Down Synodontis Catfish is found in densely vegetated rivers in the Republic of Congo and Cameroon in Africa. Synodontis is the genus of catfish that are found across the continent of Africa, with more than 120 species described including the Upside down catfish. Named accordingly for its unique behavior in which it spends more than 90% of its time inverted, the Upside down catfish has been a favorite in the hobby for decades! Upside down catfish are overall brown in color, with lighter brown markings that can be quite variable among individuals. Popular for scavenging, this species will also spend a lot of time at the surface of the aquarium feeding. This catfish is relatively peaceful with similarly sized tank mates, reaching an adult size of approximately 4″. Upside down catfish are very social, preferring to be kept in groups of 3 or more individuals and this dynamic will also encourage outgoing behavior. A single individual is usually cautious and withdrawn.
Diet Requirements: Upside down catfish are omnivores. A diet made up of various high quality vegetable based and protein based flake foods, algae, floating or sinking pellet foods and bug bites are ideal, in addition to offering frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp and other freshwater mixes. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish.
Care Requirements: A minimum 20 gallon aquarium is ideal for a single Upside down catfish, though a group is preferred and this would require 55 gallons or more. This species should not be introduced into a biologically immature aquarium, as it is sensitive to nitrite and ammonia. The aquarium should be aquascaped with rocks and driftwood for coverage and places to hide, in addition to vegetation (artificial or live, but live is preferred); some floating plants are appreciated to diffuse the lighting. Catfish require a sandy to fine substrate; too coarse of a substrate could cause injury to their barbels. Like other catfish, the Upside down catfish is an opportunistic scavenger, making them very beneficial to have to forage for extra food of all kinds that has fallen to the substrate. Given their size and temperament, Upside down catfish rarely conflict with other fish but can be easily bullied by more aggressive species, including other catfish. While this catfish comes from Africa, they are not found in Lake Malawi and therefore do not mix well with cichlids from this region because they are often too belligerent for Upside down catfish. This species would do well with dwarf cichlids, angelfish and larger tetra species for example. Recommended water conditions, 74-78° F, KH 5-20, pH 6.0-7.5.
Purchase Size: Medium: 1-1/2” to 2”; Large: 2-1/4” to 3-1/4”; XLarge: 3-1/2” or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.