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  • Source: Copyright Aqualog

Erpetoichthys calabaricus (Ropefish)

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A long, eel-like fish, greenish above and orange below. The ropefish has a number of small dorsal fins on the back, tiny pectoral fins, and no pelvic fins. It swims in an eel-like way close to the bottom except when it comes to the surface to gulp air.

Because this fish likes to jump and can slither through tiny gaps, it must always be kept in a securely covered tank.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

Very sociable, this species should be kept in small groups. It is basically nocturnal, and likes to hide in a cave or hollow ornament during the day, usually with just the head protruding as it watches things going on in the tank. Once settled in it will become active during the day and can become quite tame.

Diet in the wild consists of insect larvae, aquatic invertebrates, and small fish. In captivity bloodworms, mysids, and other small frozen foods will work well.

A nice, friendly fish that needs a little care but can be very rewarding.

Family Group: Miscellaneous
Distribution West Africa, Niger Delta
Temperature 24-28C
Size Up to 90 cm
Water Parameters Neutral water conditions preferred
Water PH 7.0

Useful sources of information:

The Aqualog "Polypterus" book by Frank Schaefer is by far the most detailed book on species of bichirs and ropefish. To buy a copy of this book click here