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Upside Down Catfish -Mystus is native to Myanmar and is also known as the Asian Upside Down Catfish. 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 Mystus Upside Down Catfish:

  • The fish have semi-transparent fins that are equipped with sharp rays
  • Dark brown to black body with some irregular small silver to white spots
  • These fish swim upside down regularly
  • Grows up to 30cm
  • Care level: Beginner


The Best Aquarium Size:

The minimum tank size for Mystus Upside Down Catfish should be at least 400L. These fish grow up to 30cm. 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:

Mystus Upside Down Catfish are good community fish for medium to large species. They are territorial towards their own kind so are best kept as a single fish in the aquarium, or in a very large aquarium with plenty of space for territories to form. It will snack on small fish.

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 blackwormsfrozen bloodworms, Brine shrimp and Daphnia are all great additions to supplement the diet.

Check out our extensive range of aquarium fish foods.

Mystus 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.

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 high capacity canister filter. Increasing water agitation enhances water oxygenation in the aquarium too.

Aquarium Heater

Mystus 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. Mystus Upside Down Catfish can be sensitive to nitrates.

Interested in Live Plants for your aquariums? Click here 

Aquarium Decorations

Some decorations that creature caves and structure to hide amongst is essential, however this species does not have specific requirements. Just ensure caves are large enough to accommodate this large growing catfish. 

After more nice quality decorations? Check our Aquarium Ornaments.

Aquarium Lighting

Mystus Upside Down Catfish enjoy a more shaded environment with dimly lit lights. This can be achieved with LED lighting that is adjustable, or with regular lighting and floating plants that create shade. 

Aquarium Substrate

Mystus Upside Down Catfish swim at all levels of the aquarium, although prefers the middle water column.. Aquarium sand, and gravels of all grades are suitable for this species. 

A variety of Substrates are available at Coburg Aquarium. 

Additional Information

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.