The difference between “foodfish” and “ornamental fish” is often hard to tell. For example, who in Europe would term the zebra barb (Danio rerio) a foodfish? Nevertheless hundreds of thousands of these tiny animals are collected daily in India, become dried and are sold as a spice. On the other hand young examples of attractive foodfish can be found quite regularly in the ornamental fish trade, because fingerlings are easily available in large numbers due to the aquacultivation of these species.
An example of the latter category is Sillaginopsis panijus that can reach approx. 40 cm total length and is subject of an important commercial fishery. This fish belongs to the family Sillaginidae that contains only 30 species. There is no accepted common name for this family, fishbase suggests “smelt-whitings”.
Sillaginopsis panijus is a very attractive aquarium inhabitant, for it is a restless swimmer of a somewhat sharky appearance and the always erected dorsal spine is a real eyecatcher. The fish inhabits in the wild muddy regions and is anything but demanding. However, only juveniles live in pure freshwater, larger fish and adults should be kept in brackish or marine water. The species is a peaceful omnivorous that should be kept in schools (5 or more specimens).
Sexual maturity is reached at about 12 cm total length. The presumably males can be recognized even at a much smaller length (around 5 cm) by the much longer head and dorsal filament. Still Sillaginopsis panijus is an absolute rarity in home aquaria and it will be an interesting experience to discover the life history of the species under aquarium conditions.
For our customers: the fish have code 455201 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Lexicon: Sillaginopsis: means about “similar to a small Sillago”; Sillago is another genus of the family Sillaginidae. panijus: after the Bengal name of the fish.
Suggestion for a common name: Longfin surferfish
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer
|Angaben zum Tier|
|Herkunft||Indien / India|
|Verfügbare Größe in cm||5-6|