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An interesting oddball which mostly swims upside-down! Feels more secure if it has some hiding places such as plant matter or driftwood. Prefers to swim in mid-water rather than near the substrate. Best kept in small groups with other peaceful types. These freshwater fish spend most of their time swimming upside down! 

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Features of Upside Down Catfish:

  • The fish have semi-transparent fins that are equipped with sharp rays
  • The body of the fish is covered in splotches of brown and accompanied by black spots
  • These fish swim upside down regularly
  • Grows up to 20cm
  • Care level: Beginner


The Best Aquarium Size:

The minimum tank size for Upside Down Catfish should be at least 40L. However, if you want to set up a community tank, you have to increase the tank size. 

Suitable aquariums to consider:

After an Aquarium for your fish? Browse Aquarium Tank Selection here.


Tank Mate Compatibility:

Upside-down catfish are good community fish. A peaceful species, they can be combined with many other species successfully.

Some great tank mates include:



Algae wafers, flake and sinking pellets are a great to feed them every day. This food will ensure that they’re getting their essential nutrients. Live blackworms, frozen bloodworms, Brine shrimp and Daphnia are all great additions to supplement the diet.

Check out our extensive range of aquarium fish foods.

Upside Down Catfish Tank Setup:

Aquarium Filtration

Water quality is vital, so an excellent filter is essential. As they grow large, they can be heavy waste producers. An appropriately sized canister filter is a good choice as you can pack in with biological media. Make sure the filter suits for the tank size.

Here are some great aquarium filters to consider:

Shop our comprehensive range of aquarium filters here.

Aquarium Pump

This catfish also typically prefers a relatively strong current. This can be achieved by using powerheads or a spray bar water return attachment on a canister filter

Aquarium Heater

Upside Down Catfish enjoy temperatures between 23 - 27° C. Aquarium heaters not only heat the water to the desired temperature, but they stabilize the temperature and ensure consistency. A thermometer is recommended to monitor the water temperature.

Get yourself an aquarium heater here.

Aquarium Plants

To mimic their natural habitat, we recommend to add some aquatic plants to your aquarium. Aquarium plants will also uptake nitrates as fertilizer, assisting the removal of nitrates in the aquarium. Upside Down Catfish are very sensitive to nitrates.

Interested in Live Plants for your aquariums? Click here 

Aquarium Decorations

They love driftwood. Also needs lots of hiding spots to feel safe in an aquarium environment. Add ornaments such as: Driftwood, Big Rocks, Caves, Tubes, and Pipes. 

After more nice quality decorations? Check our Aquarium Ornaments.

Aquarium Lighting

Upside Down Catfish have no special lighting requirements. Standard aquarium lighting is suitable. Ensure some shaded areas in the aquarium for fish to retreat to. 

Aquarium Substrate

Upside Down Catfish swim at all levels of the aquarium. Aquarium sand, and gravels of all grades are suitable for this species. 

A variety of Substrates are available at Coburg Aquarium. 

Additional Information

Customer Reviews

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Fish Keeping Snapshot :

Preferred Water Parameters :

Aquarium Set-up Service:

Our design team enables us to create the tank you desire, install your tank where you wish to and provide a maintenance service to ensure everything runs smoothly. We can create almost any aquarium from the small home aquarium to large commercial aquariums for offices, hotels or restaurants. Coburg Aquarium, Australia's leading aquarium shop.

Please contact us for custom tank services.

Customer Reviews
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Filter Reviews:
Tori S.

Upside down catfish

I love this little guy. Its been such an asset in the tank. The kids love watching it. 100% one of the top 3 fish we have in the tank.