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Erpetoichthys calabaricus, (J. A. Smith), 1865
Common name

Origin: Nigeria and Cameroon, occurs in abundance in the Nigerdelta. The fish can be found in a variety of biotopes, and even occur in brackish water.

Etymology: Calabaricus(L.); from Calabar.

Synonyms: Calamoichthys calabaricus, Calamichthys calabaricus, Herpetoichthys calabaricus

Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) Order: Family: Polypteridae

First European import: Germany, 1906, by F. Schneising.

Description: See pictures.

Care: Require larger tanks, 100 cm minimum, and are best kept in species tanks. In such an aquarium it is possible to keep a group of 4 of these fish. The tank should be setup with a sandy soil to prevent damage and fungus of the underside of the fish. Lots of hideouts should be created with plants and driftwood. The fish are mostly active in the evening and in the night, and to observe their behaviour it may be advisable to have 8 hours of fluorescent light during the day, and to have a small additional light burning for 5 hours in the evening.

Temperature: 22-28 °C

Feeding: Predator, live small fish, shrimp and similar. Meat, Earthworms, fishmeat, clamps.

Size:Up to 40 cm.

pH: 6.0-7.5

Breeding:Unknown

Sexual dimorphism:Males have 12-14 rays in the anal fin, females 9.

Prices:15-20€

Additional: Not for the average community tank! Specialists only, the fish can reach a respectable age(more than 15 years).

Picture references:All pictures E. Naus

References:Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.(click on the link to buy this book)

 

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