Species group: Bichirs/Reedfish
Other common names: Reedfish; SnakeFish
Scientific name: Erpetoichthys calabaricus
The Ropefish is a member of the Birchir family of fish, and is a long, snakelike fish which is native to rivers in West Africa. Reed Fish are set apart from other modern fish by the fact that they still possess some of their archaic characteristics. They have a swim bladder that is divided into two sections, a small left and a larger right section. Both the sections lie in a position that resembles the lungs of higher vertebrates. It is actually used as an accessory breathing organ. If denied access to air supply, the Reed Fish drowns in spite of the fact that they still have operational gills. Reed fish are a pleasure to maintain with their inquisitive and peaceful nature. They are generally nocturnal. To encourage them to appear in the daytime, bloodworms, or for bigger fish, nightcrawlers may be fed.
The coloration of Reedfish is not particularly striking. The fish is dull green with a yellow belly and black spots at the base of the pectoral fins. These fish are long and snakelike with no ventral fins. The dorsal fin is divided into a series of 10 to 11 individual small finlets. The reason why they are not usually seen is that they are rarely extended.
Being predatory, they will easily attack smaller fish. Larger fish are good tank mates.
Reedfish can jump out of the aquarium. Hence, a tight fitting lid with large holes is provided. The tank should be large with a capacity of around 105.7 gallons. It may be filled with sandy substrate. Rocks and bogwood make for good décor.
Fascinating fish, stunning fish, primitive fish, little oddball, slim snakelike body
teeny tiny hole, secure lid
eel look, low oxygen content, reed fish, half slither, different swim bladder, poor eyesight