Macrognathus aculeatus, Bloch, 1788
Origin: Thailand, Indonesia; Sumatra, Molukken, Borneo and Java.
Synonyms: Macrognathus maculatus
First import: Before 1985
Description: See picture.
Care: Sandy soil or round gravel(see picture) in which the fish will often hide, and it should be possible for the fish to completely submerge. Since the fish occur also in brackish water it may be beneficial to add salt to the water. Hardy plants(java ferns)or better floating plants, neutral well filtered water with a temperature of around 25 degrees. In larger tanks(1m) several juveniles can be kept together, although the fish may get aggressiv as they get older.
Feeding:Live and frozen food.
Size:Up to 27.5 cm.
Breeding: Feed the fish very well, the only report about the fish states pH 7.2, T=25 and dGH 39, so add a lot of salt. it may be that the fish spawn in the brackish waters where they also occur.
Sexual dimorphism: Females are larger.
Prices: Netherlands: 6€
Additional: In Channa(see labyrinthfish) the only way to get a sure pair is to keep a group of juveniles together. The two fish that will remain alive are a sure pair. If the fish are as agressiv as Mastacembelus species, this may also work in their case.
Kottelat et al(1993) report that Macrognathus maculatus is a valid species with TL=28cm and a different fin structure.
Picture references:Picture 1+2: E. Naus.
References: Staude, R. (1985): Aquarien Terrarien 32: 263-264. Baensch and Riehl(1995): Aquarien Atlas I. Kottelat M., Whitten A. J., Kartikasari S. N., and Wirjoatmodjo S.(1993): Freshwaterfishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi.
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