TF2YD Stores > Wildwoods > Predatory - Miscellaneous> Freshwater Needlefish Freshwater Garfish Xenentodon cancila


Freshwater Needlefish Freshwater Garfish Xenentodon cancila

Category: Predatory - Miscellaneous

Size: 16-18cm

Price: £34.95 each

Discount: No discounts available

Stock: 2 in stock


Water Chemistry: Adaptable

Care Level: Expert only

Sociability: Peaceful

Diet: Special Needs

Schooling Fish: Yes


Freshwater Needlfish ....feeding well on frozen foods


Further details:

Further information can be found below:

Fish type: tropical
Male or Female Cannot be sexed
Water conditions: These fish are currently kept in water Ph 7 and Soft
Breeding: TBC
Volume Discount: No discounts available
Size: 16-18cm

Xenentodon cancila (Freshwater Needlefish, Freshwater Garfish)

A long, narrow fish with needle-like jaws. Basically silvery-green with a dark longitudinal band running along the body.

One of the many fishes called "gar" by hobbyists, this is in fact a member of the largely marine needlefish family Belonidae. Can be distinguished from the North American gar by the absence of the bony scales and asymmetrical tail typical of those fish. Unlike South American gar, which are characins of various types, needlefish do not have an adipose fin.


Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

Although predatory, this species is a peaceful, schooling fish that does best kept in small groups away from aggressive and territorial fishes. Because of its large size and stiff body it requires a wide and long aquarium. Recommended minimum aquarium size is 60 cm wide and 120 cm long, but the larger the better. This species is exceptionally sensitive to noise and other disturbances, and tends to throw itself around the tank or out of the water when alarmed. Precautions should be taken to prevent this from happening. Floating plants seem to help this species feel secure, though wild fish live in open water habitats away from vegetation.

Water chemistry is relatively unimportant as this species is found in freshwater, brackish, and less commonly marine habitats. In home aquaria does well either in neutral to alkaline, moderately hard freshwater conditions or in slightly brackish (SG 1.005) conditions.

Diet is usually considered the biggest problem when keeping these fish. Wild needlefish feed mostly on crustaceans, not fish, and in captivity the ideal diet reflects this. Live river shrimp are an excellent staple. Frozen alternatives will be accepted after a period of training. Live insects such as mealworms and crickets are another useful food item. Frozen fish such as lancefish can also be used, but these work best when thrown into a water current to elicit the feeding response. Flake, pellets, and anything on the substrate will usually be ignored.

Rarely bred in home aquaria, though possible. Known to be an egg-scatterer, the fry are small and tricky to raise, requiring ample live foods.


Fish Details:

Further fish details are shown below:

Distribution South and Southeast Asia
Temperature 22-28C
Size 40 cm in the wild, around 30 cm typical in captivity
Water Parameters Not fussy; 5-20 degrees dH recommended
Water PH 6.5-8.0