Synodontis nigriventris

Aquarium fish: Synodontis nigriventris (Synodontis nigriventris)
Size: 10 cm
Origin: Africa
Water temperature: 22-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 72 l

Synodontis nigriventris (Synodontis nigriventris ) -bellied spongy tooth, Opaczek (Synodontis nigriventris) – a small catfish from the Pierzastowąsidae family, which swims upside down most of the time.


Africa. Occurs in the area of ​​the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Cameroon. It lives in densely overgrown river banks.

Characteristics and disposition

Packets are small fish, up to 10 cm in length.

Like other members of the Pierzastowąsowace family, they have large eyes, large dorsal and fat fins, three pairs of whiskers and a forked tail. The first ray of the dorsal and pectoral fins is hard and sharp. These fish stay upside down most of the time. It is also reflected in their coloration – dark belly, light back, which makes them less visible to predators attacking from below. The body is also covered with numerous uneven dark brown spots.

In an inverted position, they swim more often close to objects, the bottom or close to the water surface. In this way, they also swim faster and take food from the surface easier. Interestingly, young packers, up to about 2 months, swim like most fish, with their backs up. The sex of the fish is difficult to distinguish. Adult females are larger and rounder in the abdomen.

Males are more slender and slightly darker in color. Most of them lead a nocturnal lifestyle, they swim close to the surface or on the bottom of the reservoir. They should be kept in groups of at least 3 in the aquarium . More of them are bolder, more visible and display more natural behavior. They can also make audible sounds.

Nutrition and feeding

Omnivorous and unrefined fish . They can be given dry, frozen and live foods, as well as plant-based foods, such as scalded peas, cucumbers, which they rub with the teeth of their lower jaw. Unlike most of their kind, they often pick up their food from the surface of the water, in a typical upside down position.


As they should be kept in a group, the length of the aquarium should be at least 70 cm. They prefer tanks that are not too brightly lit, with a soft, sandy base, with numerous decorations made of wood, roots and stones.

Floating plants and those with wide leaves, such as Anubiasy, Żabienice, are also desirable. They feel best in soft and slightly acidic water with a temperature of 22-28ºC. Black-and-white bendroots are recommended for social aquariums, especially in the African biotope, where they can stay with e.g. The company of all mild, similar sized fish with similar environmental requirements will be appropriate.


Reproduction in aquarium conditions is very difficult but possible .

However, there is little information on this subject. The species reproduces in the rainy season, migrates to floodplains where the change in temperature and water chemistry stimulate them to spawn. Growers recommend large changes of cooler water. The fish lay up to 450 grains of eggs in hollows in the ground or in rock caves. Ceramic pots and PVC tubes will be necessary for reproduction.

In one publication, a breeder propagated them in a tank of water that had a pH of 6.8, a temperature of 25-26 ° C, with a 2.5 cm layer of substrate and sub-gravel filtration. Critical factors for success are a good diet, drastic drops in water temperature, an acid reading of the water, and nooks and crannies for spawning. Hatching takes place after 2-3 days. After another 4, the larvae begin to swim on their own. After this period, start feeding small foods, e.g.

brine shrimp larvae or micro nematodes.


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