Tag Archives: upside-down catfish

Synodontis nigriventris

10. July 2020

The most popular squeaker catfish (Synodontis) by far is the upside-down catfish (Synodontis nigriventris) from the Congo. It is not the only species of the genus that often (by no means always) swims on its back, but it remains small (under 10 cm) by squeaker catfish standards and is one of the most peaceful representatives of this genus. It is important to keep it in groups of preferably more than 10 individuals, because the species is very social. Among each other these fish even communicate with creaking noises, which they also make loudly protesting when you catch them and lift them out of the water with the net. 

The big eye indicates it: these catfish like it twilight. The aquarium should therefore not be lit too brightly, otherwise the fish will hide.

Concerning food and water values, upside-down catfish are unproblematic, they eat any usual fish food and feel comfortable in any tap water suitable as drinking water. The water temperature should be between 22 and 28°C. There are hardly any external sex differences. In animals of the same age the females are bigger and fuller from the time of sexual maturity (with 5-6 cm length). Upside-down catfish spawn hidden, they are free spawners, these fish practise no brood care.

For our customers: the animals have code 183402 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Synodontis batensoda

26. June 2017

There does exist a good number of species of Synodontis that tend to swim upside down. The best known species is without any doubt the upside down cat, Synodontis nigriventris from the Congo. Now we were able to import the very rarely offered Synodontis batensoda from Nigeria, which shows a similar behaviour.

It seems to be quite unimportant for the fish in which position it swims actually. But one can see from the very dark coloration of the belly that the upside-down postion is very often used. Species of fish with a “normal” swimming behaviour have light bellies, so they do not contrast much with the sky. Many predatory fish hunt from below, so this coloration is necessary.

S. batensoda attains usually a length of about 25 cm (maximum size recorded is about 50 cm) and should be kept in larger aquaria. The species is quite social and should be never kept alone. S. batensoda will eat small fish, but is usually very peaceful against larger, other species. Formerly S. batensoda was placed in the monotypic genus Brachysynodontis.

For our customers: the fish have code 103003 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer