Since some time we can offer a very interesting knife-fish species of the genus Rhamphichthys, which we receive as offspring from Indonesia. Rhamphichthys are attractive fish, but they require strong nerves from their keeper, because they rest lying on their side and look like dead at first sight. But they are very happy, only sleeping. Apparently they can rely so much on their camouflage coloration that they can really lie around everywhere. Since they are twilight and nocturnal animals that rest during the day, this can be quite disturbing for the worried keeper!
In contrast to many other weakly electric fish species – to which Rhamphichthys belongs – which are usually quite quarrelsome with each other, Rhamphichthys like to cuddle and are looking for the physical closeness of conspecifics.
There are 8 currently recognized Rhamphichthys species, which look extraordinarily similar. Since we do not know the original origin of the bred animals, we keep the name Rhamphichthys rostratus for the time being. This species has a wide distribution in South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, the Guyana countries, Colombia and Uruguay. It grows to a maximum length of 100 cm, although such dimensions are probably very rare. Realistically, one must presumably proceed from approximately 50 cm in the aquarium, however, they need a very big aquarium in any case on a long-term basis. At present our animals are 15-20 cm long.
As the wide distribution already suggests, hardness and pH-value do not play a significant role for this species, the water temperature can be in the range of 22-28°C. Soft sandy ground, in which the animals can dig in, is highly recommended. In our facility they eat living Tubifex and frosted mosquito larvae. With their small, tubular mouth they are hardly dangerous for other fish.
For our customers: the animals have code 287403 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer