African Reedfish or Ropefish – Erpetoichthys calabaricus
Native to: Benin, Cameroon, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo
The Ropefish is a species of freshwater fish in the Bichir family. It is the only member of the genus Erpetoichthys. It is native to West & Central Africa. The Reedfish have a pair of lungs as well as gills, allowing it to survive in very oxygen-poor water. It is threatened in nature by habitats lost through palm oil plantations and urban development.
The reedfish reaches a max length of 37 cm (15 in). It has an eel-like, elongated body without a trace of a vebtral fin. The long dorsal fin consist of a series of well-separated spines each supporting one or several articulated rays and a membrane.
The reedfish inhabits slow-moving or standing, brackish or fresh, warm water at temperatures of 72–82 °F.
Reedfish are not common so they are not always available, but you will find they are inquisitive, peaceful, and have some “personality”. Since they have a peaceful nature, other fish may “bully” a reedfish, despite its large size, especially in competition for food or space. Although nocturnal, reedfish will sometimes come out during the day, and this can be encouraged by daytime feeding of bloodworms.
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