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  • Source: Neale Monks

Rhaphiodon vulpinus (Biara)

Similar to the fang-toothed characins such as Hydrolycus and Cynodon spp., but with a very streamlined shape and the dorsal fin located well along the back, not far from the tail fin. Colour varies, typically plain silver or golden in colour.

A very challenging species that requires a large aquarium, a suitable diet, and excellent water quality.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

A nervous, jumpy species that requires a very large aquarium with plenty of shade. Does not like bright lights! Floating plants are recommended. Water current should be steady but not too turbulent, since this species comes from slow-moving areas in rivers. It does require extremely good water quality though, so filtration should be proportional to the size of the fish and their predatory habitats.

Very widely distributed in the wild, water chemistry seems to be of secondary importance.

Wild fish feed almost entirely on smaller fish, which they catch using their huge jaws and long teeth. Maintenance in aquaria depends upon being able to feed them a suitably healthy diet; earthworms and river shrimps should be accepted by younger specimens, and with care, larger specimens may be weaned onto them. As ever, feeder fish should be avoided, particularly things like minnows and goldfish since these are fatty and contain too much thiaminase. Home-bred feeder fish such as killifish and mollies might be an option, but it is best to try and wean these predatory fish onto either frozen foods or much safer invertebrates like earthworms.

Relatively peaceful towards fish too large to swallow, it also gets along well with its own kind. Wild fish live in groups.

Family Group: Characins
Distribution South America: Amazon, Orinoco, Paraguay and Uraguay river systems
Temperature 24-28 C
Size Over 60 cm in the wild
Water Parameters Adaptable, but avoid extremes
Water PH 6.0-8.0
Water Chemistry Adaptable
Sociability Aggressive
Care Level Expert only
Diet Special Needs
Schooling Fish Yes

Shop stock

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