We have the probably most beautiful of all snakeheads once again available in limited numbers. This species grows up to 50 cm long in the aquarium, but normally they reach only 20-25 cm in the wild; our currently stocked fish are 14-18 cm long. The species is endemic (i.e. only found there) in northern India. They are mouthbrooders in the male sex.
For breeding, which is quite possible, the distinct annual rhythm of the fish must be taken into account. A hibernation at reduced temperatures, shortened photoperiod (i.e. the time when the tank is illuminated, it should be only 6-8 hours during hibernation or omitted altogether, depending on the location of the hibernation tank; in nature the animals hibernate in caves, there it is always gloomy) and without food. Feeding is the critical factor. Animals fed all year round become obese, animals that are too lean do not hibernate well; in both cases the sexual organs are degenerated, the animals then cannot reproduce.
The sexes differ in color and head shape, but these differences are of limited use, since by no means every male and female together form a harmonious pair; in this species the females are often very dominant. In case of serious breeding intentions, the acquisition of a group of specimens from which pairs can be formed is therefore strongly recommended.
For our customers: the animals have code 409013 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer