Chitala blanci

19. June 2023

The Asian clown knifefishes with a well-developed dorsal fin were formerly grouped in the genus Notopterus. Currently, the genus Notopterus contains two externally indistinguishable species, N. notopterus and N. synurus, while the high-backed species have been transferred to the genus Chitala.

From the genus Chitala we currently have the very attractive species Chitala blanci in stock. This knifefish, which can grow to about 120 cm in length and is a magnificent species for large aquariums, originates from the Mekong River drainage in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. Chitala blanci prefers to live in strongly flowing sections of water and avoids still water and swamps.

Chitala species are predatory fishes that need to be fed with strong (frozen) food. Of course, small fish are also eaten. The sexes cannot be distinguished externally. Among themselves and towards fish that do not come into question as food, Chitala are peaceful. At breeding time, pairs are found spawning on rocks, roots, etc. and guarding the spawn. 

All Chitala species have auxiliary respiration with which they can get air at the water surface. This allows them to still survive in very low oxygen water, making them sought after market fish in their native country, even though their flesh has many small bones. The meat is scraped around them, pressed through a sieve and made into meatballs.

For our customers: the animals have code 439005 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer