The Rainbow Snakehead (Channa bleheri) is without doubt one of the most beautiful and colorful snakeheads and with usually 12-15 cm total length (sometimes a bit more) it stays quite small. It originates from the north of India and belongs to the few Channa species without ventral fins. Since 2007 a very similar, also colorful and small remaining snakehead from the same region is known. It was unclear for a long time whether this fish, called “Chocolate” or “Flame Fin”, represents a color variant, geographic locality form or independent species. Then in 2019, it came to be described as a species in two ways, as C. amari and as C. brunnea. The name C. brunnea was published first and is therefore valid.
The most important difference to C. bleheri are the intensely red-orange, in some animals also quince-yellow colored, striped pectoral fins. There are further details, but they need not be of interest here. Concerning care and breeding C. bleheri and C. brunnea do not differ. Both are not mouth breeders, as one might suspect, but guard the spawn in the form of a raft on the water surface.
Both species are very calm, one could also say: sluggish animals, which can become fat very quickly. So you have to feed them sparingly, preferably with insects. They are also half cold water fish. Without hibernation for several weeks at 12-15°C the animals will get sick and will not live long. Otherwise, they are mostly comparatively (!!!!!) peaceful snakeheads that can be enjoyed for years.
For our customers: Channa brunnea has code 409068 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer