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Golden Cobra Snakehead

(Channa aurantimaculata)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 16"
• Minimum Tank Size: 90 gallons   • Water Conditions: 68-82° F, pH 6.0-7.5, dH 5-20
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: India   • Family: Channidae
• Species: Snakeheads   • Aquarium Type: New World Cichlid

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Species Information

Golden Cobra Snakehead native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Golden Cobra Snakehead (Channa aurantimaculata) is a species of Channidae originating from India, but now also being bred by commercial fish breeders. The moderate size and brilliant coloration has quickly made this species a popular specimen within the aquarium hobby. In terms of snakeheads, the Golden Cobra Snakehead is more likely to coexist with Cichlids, Bichir or Catfish as their max size and temperament are more manageable than larger more aggressive snakehead species like the Northern Snakehead or Red Snakehead.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Golden Cobra Snakehead in the home aquarium.

Golden Cobra Snakeheads have very few aquarium requirements as they are actually very tolerant of a wide variety of water conditions and tank decor. However, like other members of their genus they require access to atmospheric air as they breath through a primitive lung known as the suprabranchial organ. This means that they must have access to the surface in order to breath, and that they would drown if denied this access. Breathing through a lung does mean that the Golden Cobra Snakehead can tolerate low oxygen level environments as they do not utilize oxygen from the water column.

In terms of water conditions and aquarium decor Golden Cobra Snakeheads have very few specific requirements. They can live in water temperatures as low as 60 degrees and as warm as 84 degrees, but prefer water temps in the mid 70s. In terms of aquarium they simply need an aquarium large enough to allow them open swimming area and ideally some floating or taller vegetation in which to seek cover if required.

Tank mates should only include larger Cichlid species, Bichir or Catfish that are large enough to not be considered a food source. Golden Cobra Snakeheads should be able to handle their own with other aggressive fish species. Hobbyists may from time to time come across a Golden Cobra Snakehead that is too aggressive to be kept with tank mates; however, they are generally able to live in larger aquariums with other large aggressive fish species.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Golden Cobra Snakehead and provide a healthy diet.

The Golden Cobra Snakehead is a carnivorous species that will accept a wide range of meaty foods. Aquarium specimens are typically fed foods like: prawns, lancefish, silver sides, mussels and other similar items. They can also be fed feeder fish like goldfish; however, a diet of goldfish alone does not provide all the nutrition they require to maintain a healthy immune system. Feed an amount of food that the fish will consume within a few minutes and adjust feeding frequency based on the overall girth of the fish and desired growth rate.

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