Parachanna obscura, Günther, 1861
Origin:West and central Africa.
Synonyms:Ophiocephalus obscurus, Parophiocephalus obscurus, Channa obscura
First European import: 1908
Description: See pictures
Care: Parachanna obscura need to be able to hide, preferably in large holes. Slightly acidic water, high temperature,and a dark soil. Keep them in a well filtered large tank, minimal 100 cm.
Temperature: 25-29 degrees
Feeding: Juveniles will eat live and frozen food. Older fish will only accept meat and live food such as worms and fish. A german breeder fed his couple troutpellets.
Size:Up to 35 cm, usually smaller in tanks.
Breeding: The fish can breed if they are approx 10-12 cm. The eggs float, and are kept and protected in a large cave if available. Else the eggs will float freely at the surface. The eggs are ferociously protected by both parents, and will hatch in 2-3 days. The fry are protected by the parents for a long period until they are 1-1.5 cm large. The female occasionally feeds the fry with a bunch of infertile eggs.
Sexual dimorphism: Females are larger and more plump than males. The only way to get a breeding pair is to keep 6 juveniles together in a tank. Four of them will die as soon as a pair is formed(around 8 cm)
Prices: 20€ in the Netherlands.
Additional:Do not try to keep them together with other fish. They will attack full grown brochis splendens, plecos are left with no finnage, even snails are eaten.
In the left picture you see a snakehead up front with it's mouth half open, and on the right a detailed picture of the head.
Picture references:Picture 1: E. Naus. Picture 2: E. Naus
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