Ropefish Aka Reedfish (Erpetoichthys Calabaricus)

Ropefish Aka Reedfish (Erpetoichthys Calabaricus)

Ropefish Aka Reedfish (Erpetoichthys Calabaricus)

Ropefish Aka Reedfish (Erpetoichthys Calabaricus)

Ropefish Aka Reedfish (Erpetoichthys Calabaricus) If you love reptiles, this fish is for you. It is the most snake-like freshwater fish there is. Everything about it, from its scales to the way it holds its head up as it slither-swims through along the bottom of the tank to the shape of its mouth calls to mind a smiling, friendly serpent. Of course, it is not closely related to reptiles at all. Instead, the ropefish is related to the birchir. Personally, I like the look of this fish more than the birchirs, but they are not as popular as their cousins. There are probably two reasons for this. The first is that they are quite difficult to convince to spawn in the aquarium, although that has been recently accomplished. The other is that these fish are escape artists and are able to exit the tank, in some cases never to be seen again. They have a swim bladder that has evolved to allow them to breath air and they can survive a considerable length of time outside of water. In fact, they may drown if they do not have access to air. Like the lungfish, birchir, and newts baby ropefish are born with external gills that are soon reabsorbed. As adults, you should house them in a 150 gallon, 550 liter tank but of course juveniles can be raised in smaller spaces. These fish grow quite slowly, but they live a long time under the right care. They have been known to live around 20 years in home aquaria and do not seem to be capable of reproduction until they are at least 10 years old. You can keep them with peaceful fish that are too large to swallow but nothing that is too boistrous and speedy as they may outcompete the ropefish at meal times. Ropefish are generally nocturnal but will adapt to your feeding schedule.
Origin: Western Africa
Size: Generally 30cm/ 12 inches. There is a single record of a wild specimen measuring 3 times that length.
Temperature: 23-30°C/ 73-86°F
Feeding: Prefers to eat live and frozen food items. Although some learn to eat cichlid pellets, that is very rare and they never learn to recognize flakes as food.
Habitat: Give your ropefish a heavily planted aquarium with tangles of driftwood or tree roots that it can hide in and explore.
Breeding: Rare but possible. You need a heavily planted tank. Males can be distinguished from the females by their thickened anal fins. The pair perform a graceful dance and deposit eggs among the plants. The babies hatch with a large yolkdac still attached and they live off that for 2 weeks before needing to feed.

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