Reef to Rainforest: Discovering Tropical Species, Places, Nature


From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Jump to: navigation , search
Erpetoichthys calabaricus - Smith, 1865

Enthusiasts love this species, but it will eat small fishes and is an accomplished escape artist.

[edit] Overview

This West African snake-like fish grows quite large—almost 3 ft. (90 cm) and, because they are able to leave the water for short periods, are known escape artists. Most end up dead on the floor unless the aquarium top is carefully covered.

Not a good community aquarium fish by any measure, but a candidate for a species aquarium set up to keep it contained. Does best in groups of 3 to 5 or more. While it will hunt down and eat all small fishes in an aquarium, it is not aggressive toward humans. Can be kept with bichirs (Polypterus spp.), to which it is related.

Family: Polypteridae

Other common name(s):

  • Ropefish
  • Snakefish

Native range:

Habitat: Slow-moving shallow waters. Be sure to provide sunken driftwood, rock, and/or large plantings to give this species places to hide.

Maximum length: 90 cm (35 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 265 L (70 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (295 K, 72 °F) - 28 °C (301 K, 82 °F)

General swimming level: Bottom.

[edit] Feeding

Carnivore. All manner of meaty foods will be taken.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

Will rid a tank of all smaller fishes and snails. Needs tankmates considerably larger than its mouth.

[edit] Special Care

Cover the tank well, including all edges and openings for filtration equipment, airlines, and heater cords. If a Reedfish is found outside the tank, it may revive if placed back in the aquarium. They are able to survive several hours out of water.

[edit] Breeding/Propagation

Not reported.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: JJ
Text credit: KW
Facts about ReedfishRDF feed
Common name Reedfish  +, Ropefish  +, and Snakefish  +
Family Polypteridae  +
Genus Erpetoichthys  +
Image credit JJ  +
Maximum length 35 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 70 gal  +
Native range Nigeria  +, and Congo  +
Reference 101 Best Tropical Fishes  +
Specific name calabaricus  +
Swimming level Bottom.  +
Text credit KW  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 295 K (22 °C, 72 °F)  +
Water type Freshwater  +