Black Ghost Knifefish
2 likes Knifefish
(Apteronotus albifrons) Moderate Peaceful 18" 125 gallons 75-84° F, KH 0-25, pH 6.0-7.5 Carnivore Northern South America, Amazon Apteronotidae Knifefish Ancient-Fish The Black Ghost Knifefish (Apteronotus albifrons) is found widely distributed throughout the streams and rivers of the northern portion of South America. They are most commonly found in fast flowing jungle rivers and streams, but also move out into the flooded forests during the rainy season. They use their thin elongated body to move in and out of tree roots and dense vegetation, where they look for insects, insect larvae and small worms on which to feed. Black Ghost Knifefish are considered somewhat shy compared to most Cichlid species that inhabit the same Amazonian water ways. Hobbyists should keep Black Ghost Knifefish with tank mates that are not too boisterous or aggressive. Discus, Geophagus, Severum, Angelfish, peaceful Catfish, peaceful Cichlids and larger (6 inches or more) community species make good tank mates. An ideal aquarium setup for keeping a Black Ghost Knife would be a 6 x 2 foot aquarium with sandy substrate, tree root, tall plants, moderate water flow and diffused lighting. Tank mates should be large enough to not be considered a food item, which is means they should be larger than 6 inches if kept with an adult Ghost Knife. Black Ghost Knifefish do well in fairly heavily planted aquariums and aquariums with tree root structures large enough for them to swim through. Ideally the aquarium should also have open swimming areas and areas of plants and root structure where the bright aquarium lighting is diffused. This will give the Knifefish a place to retreat to when it feels threatened or simply would like to escape the bright aquarium lighting. A wide variety of tank mates ranging from peaceful Cichlid species to larger community species can be kept with the Black Ghost Knifefish. Hobbyists looking to keep multiple Black Ghost Knifefish should have a larger aquarium (180 gallon or more) in order to have enough territory for multiple specimens to coexist peacefully. In a large aquarium, 4 or more specimens will be easier to keep than a pair as aggression will be spread out amongst the group instead of a single dominant specimen picking on a weaker one. As with other river fish species, clean water and low nutrient levels is critical to the long term health of this species. Due to the large size of this species, a quality canister filter or wet dry filter is recommended along with periodic partial water changes. Black Ghost Knifefish (Apteronotus albifrons) are carnivores that prey mostly on insects and small worms in their native habitat. Aquarium specimens can be fed both live and frozen blood worms, tubifex worms or other similar meaty items. They can also be converted to eating other meaty foods like prawns, krill, earthworms, crickets etc. Some hobbyists have had success in getting them to eat commercial dry foods like pellets and sticks. They should be fed daily an amount of food that they will consume with a few minutes. It is best to vary their diet so that they receive all the vitamins and minerals that they need in order to maintain a healthy immune system.
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Needle Nose Gar
1 like Gar
(Xenentodon cancila) Moderate Aggressive 12" 75 gallons 72-82° F, KH 8-15, pH 6.8-7.4 Carnivore Southeast Asia Belonidae Gar Ancient-Fish Needle Nose Gar (Xenentodon cancila) are found throughout the tropical jungles and rural areas of southeast Asia. They are typically found in slow moving river tributaries and streams where they use the cover provided by overhanging or floating vegetation to ambush small fish, insects and amphibians. Needle Nose Gar are found both in freshwater and brackish water; as well as, coastal waterways that fluctuate between freshwater and brackish water depending on the tidal flow. They are found living in social groups in the wild, and will do much better in the aquarium environment if they are kept in small groups of 3 or more individuals. Hobbyists with very large aquariums (220 gallons plus) often keep groups of 6 or more Needle Nose Gar successfully. Needle Nose Gar do have sharp teeth that can inflict a nasty cut if provoked, thus hobbyists should be careful when working inside an aquarium housing these fish. Needle Nose Gar do best in aquariums of 75 gallons or larger. Their long bodies and ability for quick bursts of speed means that they will need an aquarium with at least 4 feet in length and 1 1/2 to 2 feet in depth (front to back). The ideal aquarium setup for this species will contain some floating plants or plants that grow to the surface along with plenty of open swimming area. Moderate or filtered lighting is ideal, with low to moderate water currents. Be sure to cover the aquarium as is the case with most top water species, the Needle Nose Gar is prone to jumping from out of an open top aquarium. Tank mates should include other large fish species that are too large to be considered as food. Other large ray-finned fishes, most Cichlids, Catfish and other similarly sized semi-aggressive to aggressive fish species typically make good tank mates for a small group of Needle Nose Gar. They are aggressive feeders that once established in the aquarium will compete with most any other tank mates for food. The Needle Nose Gar is a carnivorous species that feeds on a variety of meaty foods in the wild. Their typical prey consists of small fish, crustaceans, insects and amphibians. They use their sleek body and sharp teeth to knife through the water and spear their prey before swallowing them whole. Hobbyists should feed either live feeder fish, ghost shrimp, crickets, tadpoles, etc. or other similar items. If not feeding live foods, be sure to use a feeding stick or tongs to feed Needle Nose Gar as they will strike quickly and can inflict a nasty cut if fed by hand.
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Florida Gar
4 likes Gar
(Lepisosteus platyrhincus) Moderate Semi-aggressive 34" 180 gallons 68-84° F, KH 8-20, pH 6.5-7.8 Carnivore USA, Florida, Georgia Lepisosteidae Gar Ancient-Fish Florida Gar (Lepisosteus platyrhincus) are found in both Georgia and Florida in the southeastern United States. Their natural habitat consists of streams, river drainage ditches, lowland streams, canals and lakes. They prefer calmer waters with plenty of vegetation and floating sticks and other debris. Florida Gar are typically found in areas with shallow calm water, dense vegetation and sandy or muddy substrates, as this environment is ideal for ambushing prey. Florida Gar are often confused with Spotted Gars, but are distinguishable from each other primarily by their snout length. The distance from the front of the eye to the back of the gill cover is less than 2/3 the length of the snout in the Florida Gar, while it is more than 2/3 of the length in the Spotted Gar. Also the Florida gar lacks bony scales on the throat area. The elongated snout with the nostrils located at the tip is an ideal adaption for the Florida Gar as it allows them to float motionless at the waters surface to mimic a stick floating in the water. Since they can breath with either their gills or a special lung like air bladder the gar can survive in hot, stagnant waters that might not have sufficient oxygen for most other species of fish. Florida Gar will appreciate an aquarium with a habitat similar to their native habitat. Ideally the aquarium should have low to medium water currents, plenty of vegetation and a sand or mixed sand and gravel substrate. Lighting is not critical, but they will appreciate areas of the aquarium with filtered lighting either by floating plants or tree root. Young Florida Gar can be raised up in smaller tanks like a 55 or 75 gallon and then transferred to a larger aquarium as they grow. Adult specimens living in an aquarium will reach somewhere between 24 to 36 inches in length, which means that a 180 gallon aquarium should be considered an absolute minimum tank size for this species. Ideally they should be kept in an aquarium somewhere between 300 to 450 gallons with a wide long foot print and shallow depth. The Florida Gar is not aggressive towards other large fish that it does not see as food, thus their tank mates should consist of other large fish species with a peaceful to semi-aggressive temperament. Florida Gar will most often not fair well in aquariums with very large aggressive Cichlid species like Peacock Bass, Flowerhorns or Managuense as they cannot compete with these ultra aggressive fast swimming species. In the wild young Florida Gar feed mostly on insect larvae and small fish, while adults prey on fish, crustaceans and larger insects. Florida Gar are ambush predators that will float silently near the water surface disguised as a stick or log waiting for unsuspecting prey to get too close and then they snap their head sideways and grab the prey with their sharp teeth. They will need to be fed a variety of meaty foods like fish, prawn, shrimp or crickets in the home aquarium. Hobbyists may find that it takes some time before this ambush predator will adjust to aquarium feedings, but they have strong appetites and with a little persistence should be able to adjust to aquarium life. Florida Gar have strong appetites and grow quickly; therefore, their growth rate and food intake should be monitored closely at first in order to determine the ideal amount of food and feeding frequency to keep them healthy and control their growth. A good starting point would be to feed them 2 to 3 small meals 6 days a week, while monitoring their overall girth until a feeding regime can be established. Florida gar spawn mostly during the months of April and May, but spawning occasionally lasts into the late summer months. The female spawns by distributing her adhesive eggs in shallow pools, weedy backwaters, or shallow areas near the bank river bank. The eggs are greenish-colored and are fertilized by two or more attending males. The newly hatched larva has an adhesive disc on the front of the blunt snout, which it uses to attach itself to gravel or vegetation. The larva remains attached until reaching an approximate length of about 1 inch. As a juvenile, the gar has a fragile fin that extends along the upper edge of the tail and vibrates constantly. The fin is lost during the first year of life. The young grow rapidly feeding on zooplankton and tiny crustaceans that they find in the substrate near the waters edge.
2 likes Bowfin
(Amia calva) Moderate Aggressive 36" 180 gallons 59-75° F, KH 3-15, pH 6.0-7.5 Carnivore United States, Canada Amiidae Bowfin Ancient-Fish The Bowfin (Amia calva) is one of the more interesting and sought after North American fish species amongst aquarium hobbyists. Their ancient lineage combined with a sleek body, many teeth and aggressive demeanor make them a sought after specimen for hobbyists running larger temperate water aquariums. Ancestors of the Bowfin date back to the Jurassic period, where they were once widespread over multiple continents and even in brackish and saltwater environments. Today the Amia calva Bowfin is the only remaining member of this once abundant group of fish. The Bowfin is considered a "transitional" fish species that shares traits with both its ancient relatives and more advanced bony fish species. The Bowfin has a largely cartilaginous skeleton; however, like the more highly evolved bony fishes, the Bowfin also has vertebrae that are amphicoelous (concave at each end). The Bowfin has a highly developed swim bladder that allows it to gulp air at the waters surface, which is a definite advantage in low oxygen conditions. Like sharks, Bowfin have retractable teeth that remain hidden when the mouth is closed but are exposed when the fish is biting down. The Bowfins skull also flattens out to allow them to swallow flat-bodied fish species like Sunfish and Crappie. Bowfin are generally found living in heavily vegetated rivers, backwaters, swamps and lakes throughout the eastern half of the United States and Canada. They prefer an aquarium setup that has moderate water currents and plenty of both rooted and floating vegetation, some rock piles and open swimming areas. Their sleek body shape enables them to easily swim in and out of heavy vegetation without issues. Bowfin can reach upwards of 3 feet in length, thus adult specimens will require aquariums of around 450 gallons or larger. Younger specimens can be started in much smaller aquariums and moved to larger tanks as they grow. Moderate feedings and cooler water temperatures will slow their growth rate, with young specimens being able to live in aquariums of 180 gallons for more than 5 years without space issues. Bowfin are a temperate fish species that prefer water temperatures between 65 and 72 degrees. Tank mates should include only larger temperate water species that are large enough to not be considered food for the Bowfin. Most hobbyists keep Bowfin in a species only aquarium due to their overall aggressiveness and ability to consume very large prey. Wild Bowfin consume a variety of meaty foods including: fish, crayfish, frogs, worms, insects and other similar prey. Aquarium specimens will readily consume feeder fish, ghost shrimp, crickets and other live feeders. Once acclimated to aquarium life, Bowfin will eagerly approach the waters surface in anticipation of their next meal. This is an ideal time for hobbyists who wish to ween their fish from live foods to begin feeding prepared foods. Meaty items like shrimp, prawns, mussels, beef hearts and other similar items are ideal to start with, they the Bowfin can be further transitioned to large pellet commercial foods. Young Bowfin should be feed 2 times per day an amount of food that they will consume within a few minutes. Adult specimens can be fed less frequently if slower growth is preferred.