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Channa quinquefasciata (Kerala 5-stripe Snakehead, Marble Snakehead)

Brown with speckles on its flanks. Five oblique bands on its flanks. Fins are dark and edges with white. Possibly a variety of Channa gachua or at least closely related to it. This species is also not traded very often.

This species is relatively straightforward in its needs and a good species for aquarists looking to keep snakeheads for the first time. Very reasonably priced, this species is a good choice for anyone just starting to keep Snakeheads. Channa gachua has been bred repeatedly in aquariums. Despite being widely distributed across Asia, most specimens sold in the UK originate from India.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

An aquarium upwards of 200 litres is recommended. Water current should not be too turbulent, but the filter needs to be appropriate to a medium-sized carnivore with a good appetite. Water chemistry not critical, but soft, slightly acidic conditions reflect its natural habitat best. A canopy of floating plants and plenty of bogwood will create the right sort of shady environment this species likes. pH: avoid extremes but another species that looks and acts its best in softer water

As with other snakeheads, this species prefers live foods such as earthworms and river shrimps. Wet-frozen substitutes will be taken including prawns and tilapia fillet, the latter being thiaminase-free and therefore an excellent staple.

Gets along with fish of about equal size, but shouldn't be trusted with substantially smaller fish. Territorial and best kept as a single specimen or a mated pair.

This species is a mouthbrooder, the male carrying the eggs and fry. It is fairly easy to breed.

Family Group: Snakeheads
Distribution South Asia
Temperature 20-25 C
Size Around 20 cm
Water Parameters Adaptable, but avoid extremes
Water PH 6.0-8.0
Diet Special Needs
Schooling Fish No
Care Level Easy
Water Chemistry Adaptable

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