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Cat-eLog Right Arrow Mochokidae Right Arrow Mochokinae Right Arrow Synodontis  var. 

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Synodontis nigriventris  David, 1936
Common Name(s) Upside Down Catfish
Rückenschwimmender Kongowels (Germany), Vändmal (Sweden)
Type Locality Buta, Zaire.
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss - nig ree VENT riss
Etymology Synodontis: From the Greek syn, meaning together, and odontos, meaning tooth; in reference to the closely-spaced lower jaw teeth. nigri mean dark, ventris meaning belly. Alluding to the reversed counter-shading.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 100mm (3.9") SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification All species in the genus Synodontis have a hardened head cap that has attached a process (humeral process) which is situated behind the gill opening and pointed towards the posterior. The dorsal fin and pectoral fins have a hardened first ray which is serrated. Caudal fin is always forked. There is one pair of maxillary barbels, sometimes having membranes and occasionally branched. The two pairs of mandibular barbels are often branched and can have nodes attached. The cone-shaped teeth in the upper jaw are short. S-shaped and movable in the lower jaw. These fish produce audible sounds when disturbed rubbing the base of the pectoral spine against the pectoral girdle.

A common import; although occasionally confused with the similar S. contracta which has a larger head and much larger eyes.
Sexing Female is larger, plumper and with old age more pale.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Africa: Democratic Republic of the Congo.
African Waters, Congo, Middle Congo (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Show it on a map (Click the map-icon to show/hide map of species distribution)
IUCN Red List Status Least Concern
pH 6.0 - 7.5
Temperature 22.0-28.0°C or 71.6-82.4°F (Show others within this range)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Will eat the vast majority of prepared and live foods.
Furniture Over hanging structures or tunnels - either rock, wood or large broad leafed plants. These are all to provide shady places of rest while upside down. Choice of substrate is unimportant.
Compatibility An ideal catfish for the smaller aquarium. Peaceful with both its conspecifics and other residents. To get the best out of this fish it should be kept in small shoals as you would keep Corydoras.
Suggested Tankmates Any small to medium sized community fish.
Breeding In the North American Catfish Society Vol. 1 No. 1 Jan. 1996 there appeared an article entitled ''Luck In A Bucket'' by Jay and Mary Ann Angros. The authors keep some of their fishes outdoors in the summer. The catfish were placed in a five gallon bucket full of clay pots and PVC pipe from their regular tank. One author, Jay, took the bucket outside and promptly forgot about it for two days! When the bucket of fish was remembered and checked, the authors found fifty eggs in one piece of PVC. The fish were then brought back inside and placed in a tank that was completely full of crockery and PVC pipes. Sometime later this tank was broken down for cleaning and seven S. nigriventris fry were found. The spawning tank had pH 6.8 and the temperature fluctuated between 78F and 82F. The tank had about an inch of gravel over an under gravel filter. Tankmates included skunk Botia and other Synodontis spp. The fish were fed mainly frozen brine shrimp, bloodworm, and ProGreen (a mixture of green, clams, and shrimp). Based on the account above, it would seem that any attempt at spawning the USD Catfish requires, at a minimum, the following:

A well-rounded high quality diet
Drastic temperature drops to initiate spawning
Soft acidic water
Suitable spawning sites
Jump to next section Further Information
References Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr.v. 28 (no. 3) - pp417
Registered Keepers (1) TP (k: 15), (2) Birger (k: 15), who also notes: "Have added a mature "Zebra Kutu" to my group.", (3) synoguy (k: 6), (4) snowball (k: 6), (5) walkinjay81, (6) caudalis (k: 6), (7) Oliver D. (k: 10), (8) CptnSpaulding, (9) amergim, (10) Travis_Conklin, (11) VirgoWolf, (12) Jackp1ne, (13) Marsdinho, (14) Igowoof, (15) Slimlim, (16) teknikAL (k: 2), (17) k1ttyme0w (k: 3), (18) amcmaster, (19) Gopherboy (k: 3), (20) titch2007 (k: 10), who also notes: "always wanted to keep but never had an appropriate set up for them to be happy!!! yet again bought five, hoping to add another 2-3 and trying to encourage them to spawn also!!! they are very secretive fish, but if mixed with suitable tankmate and fed", (21) GoGoCactus, (22) Dave Rinaldo, (23) unblinded, (24) mouseninja, (25) obik101, (26) lizimal, who also notes: "Dec 08 - 2 others mysteriously vanished, only original UD left. New UD Cats - 03/14/08 - $5 each name: Claude. Zebra kutu colour form. ", (27) Chrysichthys (k: 5), (28) Lightbringer (k: 3), (29) pirate monkey (k: 5), who also notes: "What funny little creatures! they make me smile just thinking about them. I haven't managed to get them to eat from surface yet.", (30) jippo (k: 12), (31) didjman89, (32) LUISGOREY, (33) theonetruepath (k: 8), who also notes: "Three are 'Zebra' form", (34) griffl (p: 4, k: 4), who also notes: "Added second which play together everyday.", "Really cool fish. Had to replace the one I lost.", (35) Plunt, (36) synodontisjack, (37) San (p: 2), (38) loachy_406 (k: 3), who also notes: "i have two dark ones and a 'grey' one. They are now becoming a lot braver and search for food with everyone else when the light is off. They tend to swim 'upside up' when they feed.", (39) Upsidedowner (p: 2), (40) joe.juice13 (k: 3), (41) Mariea, (42) norfolkgarden (p: 2, k: 7), who also notes: "Ecellent personality! Constantly playing in the filter outflow or exploring the tank. Ecellent personality! Constantly playing in the filter outflow or exploring the tank.", (43) nmonks (k: 3), (44) iam1ru12 (k: 5), (45) AimsPink, (46) tjcher, (47) doesdavid (k: 6), (48) Dongjin-Kang, (49) seds (k: 4), (50) smegforbrains, (51) ali12345 (k: 4), (52) unkaface, (53) kiwiplymouth, (54) reneb, (55) fischkringli, (56) synofreak, (57) andy75, (58) Nick44 (k: 3), (59) Mike C (k: 2), (60) ariefputranto, (61) judeblackburn (k: 3), (62) corymkl, (63) badtaz30, (64) Caracal (k: 9), (65) Komolaj1 (k: 3), (66) astinus, (67) naturalart (k: 4), who also notes: "Partly bought them to relax my S.alberti and it did the trick. Now on the search for a female.", (68) elle_1313, (69) ayrtoninst, (70) LowClassCC, (71) pickles4601, (72) Viktor Jarikov, who also notes: "very elusive, fast, very good unfussy eater; true to his name; has not grown much unlike others", (73) Wallace (k: 3), (74) stuart264, (75) oli (k: 4), (76) Bijn (k: 5), (77) d3n2 (k: 2), (78) chubbikins (k: 5), (79) alpha (k: 6), (80) tijani, (81) NC24, (82) fishmanbill (k: 2), (83) Mezel (k: 4), who also notes: "I got 4 of these, read about them for a long time. Just love watching them swim. They get along very well with my feather fins.", (84) N0body Of The Goat (k: 11), (85) ad8, (86) GoldenFeather, (87) Buddiechrist, (88) JamesStuddart (k: 4), (89) arapaimag (k: 8), (90) Draco Spectrum, (91) Starfish42, who also notes: "My oldest fish! Originally had 2, but the other died years ago. Just how long can these live?", (92) TheInfamous, who also notes: "Usually stays around the filter away from the other fish, but very cool.", (93) ilikefishme, (94) GreenSynoMan, (95) Katherine, (96) clydeboy (k: 2), (97) Catfish freak, (98) Bruton, (99) scalvinfish (k: 5), (100) transporter42 (p: 2), (101) jimlaroche83 (k: 3), (102) lasteeves (k: 5), (103) cochito, (104) mamoo (k: 4), (105) wirikwiri, (106) guardianfyre, (107) lazymonsterboy (k: 2), (108) merit, (109) mg7454 (k: 5), who also notes: "I was so happy to find these guys! I love watching them play all day around their favorite pieces of Mopani driftwood (which are standing in the corners of the aquarium). They are somewhat active all day; and at night, when I turn on the lunar LEDs in white & actinic blue, they zip around and play all over the aquarium. They are so much fun! The water parameters are 79 degrees, soft and pH is 6.8. I give them Hikari frozen blood worms every day, and they have some of the Aqueon tropical fish flakes I drop in for all of the fish in the aquarium. They also love Hikari algae wafers, they steal them from my Pleco when he's not right on the wafer!", (110) Sam (k: 6), (111) miguel mitchel (k: 2), (112) dbl_dbl, (113) FerocactusLatispinus (k: 4), who also notes: "Moe, Larry, Curly, and Shemp. Curly is the largest, chunkiest one, and is the DOMINANT conspecific (he's also a real bully). He and Moe seem to be the only ones growing at all. With their little beards, they're all probably the cutest of the cats in the tank!", (114) linuxrulesusa (k: 3), (115) Catfishfingers, (116) rizla75, (117) p44236, (118) Mikey1973 (k: 2), (119) Ecrevince (k: 5), (120) Amneris3 (k: 4), (121) Sean B, (122) Divinehammer, (123) Tamcon83, (124) camillajakobsen93 (k: 3), (125) lilu, who also notes: "Fairly shy, hides in the caves or among the plants during the day. Comes out after dark to eat. Very peaceful.", (126) thecameraguy (k: 2), (127) bekateen, (128) chalamala, (129) mizner13, (130) Mol_PMB (k: 6), (131) rcbows (k: 2), (132) Johnny579, (133) thijs.

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Breeding Reports (1) Amneris3 (b: 33).
Articles
Article - CotM 1999 April
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Last Update 2014 Apr 06 10:01 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)


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