Knifefishes are found in Africa, Asia, and South America, with Old World and New World species not closely related. As aquarium fishes, knifefishes are particularly attractive because their elegant swimming style, created by the long anal fin extending over the belly and tail, is fascinating to watch. Like ghosts, the animals glide forward as well as backward through the water.
We currently have a very rare imported knifefish in the stock. Brachyhypopomus brevirostris is a species that grows to about 20-40 cm in length but only as thick as a thumb. It is a representative of the family Hypopomidae. B. brevirostris is widespread in South America, our animals come from Peru. Males and females clearly differ in head shape, males also grow larger and in uninjured specimens they also have a small caudal fin, which females lack. However, in their native habitat, many fish apparently specialize in biting off part of the tail of knifefish. Therefore, South American knifefishes are the only fishes that can regenerate the tail including the spine.
Among themselves Brachyhypopomus are pleasantly peaceful. They are small carnivores, easy to feed with frozen and live food. Like all South American knifefish, they possess a weakly electrical organ that they use much like bats use their ultrasound. This allows South American knifefish to move in complete darkness without ever bumping into anything.
For our customers: the animals have code 210803 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer