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Upside-down Catfish

Author : Efrain Silva


“What does it look like, or how does it physically appear?” “Is it big or small?” “Thin or bulky?” “Bright or dull in color?” These are all good questions people like to ask about the Upside - Down Catfish, in addition to why the heck someone thought it was a smart idea to give it this name…..but it was, and you are about to see why, my friend….

The Upside - Down Catfish swims upside - down. Yes, that’s right. And when you get a chance, search videos of it in motion on YouTube. You’ll be in for a treat!


A restricted or non - restricted diet, or perhaps something that falls somewhere in the middle (and that is not cheating)? The Upside - Down Catfish is an omnivore, and it usually likes to munch on innocent insects that pass by on the water’s surface.

They meet their untimely doom as the Upside - Down Catfish snatches them up, and into its digestive tract they go, shown no mercy when this fish is truly hungry! Dry, frozen, or raw / live, it can adapt to any fish tank foods you wish to offer it….it’s good at adapting to survive. It will not turn down a free meal.


This special guy comes all the way from numerous parts of Asia, found all over. It’s no surprise we can see it offered as a meal so often in Chinese / Japanese / Korean / Vietnamese buffet restaurants, not to mention swimming around in display pools outside or inside these buffets. Speaking of which, I used to love walking around these restaurants and seeing such fish swim by and wondering what they were called and where they came from — now I can say that I gladly know the answer!

Go to any Asian province. Or just visit a Chinese luxury buffet. You will likely run into this fish or one of its other Catfish cousins.

Roommate Situation

Would it be nice to get it a roommate? Well, seeing that it’s a peaceful kind and gets along great in communities of other fish, you might say that would not be a terrible idea, then, right? Just remember that it will show little to no mercy when viewing other smaller fish (especially very small Guppies, for example). If you want to use those smaller fish for feeding purposes, then by all means, go ahead….just remember not to keep them around it as roommates.

Also, on the other hand, keep it from super large fish. At least, keep it away from fish much larger than it. They’ll get the same idea….

Other Facts to Note

Did you also know that the female is larger and more pale than the male? Its body is also a lot more rounder and plump (no — I did not call her fat). She is even more so right before spawning birth, naturally. The females lay their eggs on cave roofs, if they find them, or something similar in feel.

To further add, they may lay up to nearly 500 eggs. The highest recorded count was 450 — impressive! So if you think you’re ready for a big tank, and some good times, then pick yourself a good school of Upside - Down Catfish, and let the fun begin!