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Channa asiatica (Asian Snakehead, Small Snakehead)

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An attractive and small snakehead species that works well in community tanks with fish too large to be considered food. Basic colouration is greenish-brown, but with numerous silvery-blue speckles on the face and flanks, and a prominent eyespot on the caudal peduncle.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

Very easy to keep. Does best are low to middling water temperatures, but is otherwise not fussy and tolerates a broad range of water chemistry conditions. An obligate air breather, so will need to be able to swim to the surface of the tank easily to gulp air. A notorious jumper, so not suitable for uncovered aquaria.

Feeds on all sorts of meaty foods. Suitably chopped pieces of seafood and white fish fillet (such as tilapia) makes a good staple diet. As with all carnivorous fish, take care to ensure thiaminase-rich foods, such as prawns and mussels, are kept to a minimum. Newly purchased fish may prefer earthworms and river shrimps, but once settled, this species eats frozen foods happily. Does not need feeder fish.

Family Group: Snakeheads
Distribution East Asia; possibly introduced elsewhere
Temperature 22-25 C
Size 20 cm, often smaller
Water Parameters Adaptable, but avoid extremes
Water PH 6.0-8.0
Diet Special Needs
Sociability Peaceful
Schooling Fish No
Care Level Easy
Water Chemistry Adaptable