Animal Stories - Knifefish

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Brittany - 2012-02-10
I was thinking about getting a BGKF, but I have 4 Dojo Loachs, and 3 Bala Sharks. Does anyone know if this would be a bad idea or do you think they would be alright? I dont want anyone of them to get killed.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2012-02-16
    The Black Ghost Knife is an awesome fish. They can get aggressive with their own species, and other knifefish. But would probably be okay with the Dojo's and Bala Sharks in a large enough aquarium. Both the Black Ghost and the Bala Sharks get very big, so 100 gallons minimum to start and then you'll need a larger tank as they grow.
Animal-World info on African Knife Fish
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Ito - 2011-11-29
I'm thinking about getting an African brown knife. What is the smallest tank mate that won't get get eaten? Are cherry barbs, mollies and cory cats too small?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-30
    I think they would be too small. The Knife fish can go to 12 inches and if it fit in their mouth - they will eat it.
  • Anonymous - 2012-01-14
    Cory cats might be ok because they have spines so they wont eat them
Fish Dude - 2010-05-28
I saw one of these in petsmart, and the care sheet said 20+ gallons. Is this right? Or is that way too small? Because I have a 20 gallon and think these fish are really cool.

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  • Editor's Note - 2010-05-29
    Since these guys only get to about 8-12 inches in the aquarium, 20 gallons would be fine if you go by the 1 inch per gallon rule. Since all 8-12 inches are in one fish though, you should be very conservative with it. Like if the fish actually gets to 12 inches 20 gallons would be an absolute minimum.
  • brandon - 2010-05-31
    Most likely the fish won't get to a full foot probably around 9 inches I'd say this is fine but if you want other fish you may consider getting a larger tank.
  • ryan - 2010-07-20
    I have an African knife fish and he was in my 75 gal tank, but he is very territorial so I moved him into a 10 gallon and he is doing well. So the only thing I can say is that he won't get that big in a 20 gallon tank.
  • justin - 2011-01-15
    Tha's gonna be too small. These guys can grow up to a foot.
  • david - 2011-06-15
    Tank volume determines how many fish you can keep. An initial stocking guide is one inch per 1.2 gal (4.5 l) of fish length, excluding the tail. But this applies only to "average-sized" fish (up to 1.5 in/4 cm) in normally proportioned tanks. Weight-to-length ratio rises significantly after that, and larger fish produce more weight-so a 12 in (30 cm) Oscar needs more room than 12 Neon Tetras, each measuring one inch (2.5 cm). Remember that the fish in shops will probably be juveniles. Make due allowance for growth.
  • vince - 2011-06-30
    I have a knifefish in a 10 gallon aquarium for about a month now and it is doing fine. I also have tetras, mollies, blacktail shark and 3 albino cats and so far he has not disturbed them one bit. Make sure you have somewhere for him to hide and don't expect him to come out much. Pretty much the only time I see him is at feeding time. Good luck
  • jake - 2012-01-13
    20 gallons is too small for that fish. You should never listen to the 1 gallon per inch of fish. this fish will need a 55 gallon at the least when it is little you can have it in the 20 gallon but they get big and you will need a big tank as they get older
john - 2011-12-07
I would like one of these to live with my senegal bichir who is TEMPORARALY in a 5 gallon tank and I plan on moving him to a 20 gallon tank and as a friend for him. would this be idea? Fish that i am thinking for the 20 gallon are a pair of firemouths,this fish,senegal bichir,feeder guppies,and a fish called the bornean leaffish.these are fish that i want to put in, but not all.

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  • Nick - 2011-12-29
    I would not house one in that small of a tank, neither would I house firemouths or bichirs in that size tank. They all get too big for a 20g, I would instead go for a 75g
  • jake - 2012-01-13
    Most of these fish need 55 gallon and up 20 gallon maybe as a temperary tank but the firemouths will get 7 to 12 inches and the knife fish with range from 6 to 9 inches so you can keep them in a 20 gallon untill they are about 3 or 4 inches then move to a 55 and up if you have the bichir for a while it will get huge
osama - 2008-11-01
Can I put the african knife fish with cichlids family fish?

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  • Katie - 2010-03-05
    I probably wouldn't. A lot of the cichlids will pick on the knife.
  • Robert - 2010-03-21
    I would say probably not, my sister had a oscar in with her knifefish and the oscar tried to attack it. But im not quite sure other cichlid species would do this but i probably wouldn`t try it.
  • nate - 2010-04-21
    Yes I keep mine with my oscar fish and they get along great!
  • Shawn K - 2010-06-17
    My vote is maybe...Depends on the aggression level of your type of Cichlid, I had a Salvini and it straight up attacked and chased my knife for 2 days before I ditched the Salvini...I later found this is a more aggressive species of cichlid. If you have Kribensis or yellow labs (2 of the more agreed non-psycho cichlids) it'll probably be OK.
  • demetris - 2010-08-25
    It's recommended not to but I have one with 2 jack dempseys, 1 albino tiger, 1 parrot blood, a bichir loach, and a striped peacock eel in a 75 gal tank and the only ones that bother each other are the dempseys and the parrot over dominance of the tank but they don't bother the knife fish.
  • zack - 2010-10-05
    Yes I got several cichlids with my clown knife and they all get along pretty good.
  • Andrew - 2010-12-30
    YES! I have a african knifefish with 3 african cichlids and they get along just fine. The cichlids will occasionally chase it around but most of the time they leave each other alone. And the knife even chased the cichlids around for a while too! Great and cool fish.
  • Kevin - 2011-11-21
    I have a (fairly large)African knife fish in with about 15 peacock ciclhids..they seem to get along
  • Bill Lacks - 2011-11-21
    I got 2 knife fish 1 jack dempsy and red devil in a 55 gallon tank they get along good so far.
  • jake - 2012-01-13
    Cichlids are tricky fish. You never know what will happen to your fish unless its a betta or guppy or somthing like that. Also it depends on what cichlids African or American. African might tare the thing apart or they might never bother the fish at all. American cichlids get big. They would have to be around the same size as the knife fish so the oscar, jack dempsey and other American cichlids will not beat it up or eat it
Fish Dude - 2010-10-29
Hello I've got a question, I'm getting a 55 gallon tank. And I already have fish in a 30 gallon that I want to move to the bigger one. But I need to know what won't be eaten by the knife fish. I have already know for sure that my neon tetras and zebra danios would be instant food, but what about glass (ghost) catfish, a bristlenose pleco and a clown loach? And one more thing, I'm also interested in Spotted Climbing Perch (or African Bush Fish, whatever you want to call it). Can it live with the knife fish and the other fish described above? Thanks!

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  • justin - 2011-01-15
    It will eat anything small enough to fit in its mouth... I also have clown loaches with my brown knife and they look great together!
  • wendi - 2011-03-28
    We have this fish with Neon Tetras and he has never done anything to them.......He is gentle, sweet and AWESOME to watch! He has never attacked any of our little I think it just depends on the temperament of the fish. :)
  • david - 2011-06-15
    I had a Leopard Bushfish with an African Brown Knifefish and the Leopard Bushfish pestered it nonstop. I eventually had to bring the Leopard Bushfish back to the lfs.
  • jake - 2012-01-13
    if the glass catfish is bigger than the tiny ones at petsmart they will most likely do fine and your pleco will be ok. clown loach with be fine to and they get well over 5 inches the perch will be fine for a wile but it might get very big over time
Animal-World info on Clown Knifefish
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carmine - 2012-01-03
I have had a clown knife fish for three years now and today found eggs in the tank. It is the only fish in the tank. Is this possible? I would think that they are infertile since there is no male fish. They are round clear balls with white membrane in them. I guess what I'm trying to ask is; they are eggs right?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-03
    My guess based on your description is that they are eggs. However, you are right, they would be infertile. Females can lay eggs and do not need a male to do this. The eggs are just infertile. Think about chickens - they just lay eggs. With no rooster - they are just infertile eggs but the chickens will sit them anyway but no baby chick in there.
  • carmine - 2012-01-03
    Thanks, that's what I thought.
  • Alex Burleson - 2012-01-04
    If it is the only fish in the tank, your best bet is that they came from the Clown Knife Fish, in your aquarium. However, if you have invertebrates such as shrimp, or crabs in the aquarium you can assume the eggs are from them. Knife Fish, are not commonly bred in the home aquarium. If they are from the Knife Fish, they are therefore, sadly infertile and will not hatch.
Collin - 2009-08-17
Just a side note to what I read on the comments. I had a Clown Knife Fish that was 14 inches long and its favorite food was 2 inch gold fish. I would be careful with the choice of small tank mates.

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  • steve - 2011-01-24
    Hi there I've just bought 2 clown knife fish about 4 inches they have cleared my tank guppies etc I've now done my research and knos a bit more about them. I've got 2 spotted puffers left in the tank with them they don't seem to bother each other do you think I should separate them? thanks steve
  • John - 2011-12-15
    Clown knife fish will eat anything that can fit in their mouth. so anything smaller don't.. And clown knife fish is not a community fish, BUT you can put them to any fish that is bigger than them, Some people put Arowana or Oscar as a tankmate.
Animal-World info on Black Ghost Knife Fish
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samiran roy,india - 2011-11-04
I have a BGK which i bought when it was about 2 inches a after a six month period it has grown to around 7 and a half inches and has consumed lots of pellet food in the process.

Chad H. - 2010-09-13
I have a 55 gallon aquarium that houses 2 Clown Loaches, 3 Tiger Barbs, 1 Pleco, 1 Khulli Loach, & 1 Blind Cave Tetra. I am fascinated by the Black Ghost Knife fish....would it be a good addition to my tank? I have 3 caves for hiding space and will add more if needed.

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  • jake - 2011-10-12
    Be careful with the tiger barbs. I have 3 in my tank (plus other fish). I put in 2 bgkf, one of which didn't have all the white on its tail, just a white tip which the tiger barbs bit whenever it was out..... sadly it died not long after. In saying that however, the other bgkf is doing extreammally well!

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