Erpetoichthys calabaricus, (J. A. Smith), 1865
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.
Sexual dimorphism:Males have 12-14 rays in the anal fin, females 9.
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)
All images, information, text, and other information/items in this site © Aquaworld website as described in the Berne convention.