Animal Stories - People Talking About Knifefish


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Josh - 2011-03-25
What is the smallest fish that can be kept with african knife fish without getting eaten? Will they eat normal flakes?

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  • david - 2011-06-15
    Experiment with foods and tankmates until you know.
  • kg - 2011-06-17
    You should be fine with most fish. At first they are very timid, but they eventually become more active as said in the article. Mine lives happily in a peaceful 150 gallon aquarium. He is alongside guppies, mollies, upsidown cats, tetras, platys, black ghost knife, gauramis, rasboras, plecos, suckers, boatias, and a betta. My advice would be that they can be kept with anything as long as the take has ample room and he is fed well. They will eat flakes, but they sure do love bloodworms. - kg
  • Vitaly V Kravets - 2011-07-18
    Nothing that would be small enough to fit in its mouth like neons or guppys. I would recomend to have it on a blood worm diet or even earth worms that are smaller that you can cut up into chunks work,they like meat! Good luck
  • Dylan - 2011-08-26
    My knife fish lives peacefully with guppies mollies platties a gold dojo loach gouramis and a few others in a 50 gallon tank. They are territorial but as long as you keep him well fed he won't bother little guys. Also mine loves earth and blood worms however you can train it to eat flakes or pellets by putting a little garlic juice on them, they love garlic, garlic is generally a flavoring in fish foods. They like meaty foods because they are predators so I would stick with some sort of edible worm
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Animal-World info on Black Ghost Knife Fish
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Marianne Tacliad - 2011-07-20
i just bought my black ghost knife about 3 weeks ago and I put him with my 7 wagtail platys, 5 zebra danios, 5 cory cats, 2 albino red-tailed shark, 1 betta and 5 black mollies including 2 of its fries. I read in some comments that they eat other fishes especially smaller ones, but mine doesn't. He's very gentle to his tankmates and he eats feed granules (with spirulina algae and shrimp enzyme) more than bloodworms (funny, considering they're carnivorous) especially if the granules sink to the bottom like rain. He comes out of his house (he usually stays inside the nipa hut-like ceramic decor) and catch the falling feeds with his mouth. The only thing he murders is the cabomba plant. My mom saw him twice with the plant in his mouth running around the tank like a torch bearer. She says it's hilarous. I wish I caught it on cam so I can upload it.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-20
    I sincerely hope you have one absolutely totally enormous tank because that is a whole lot of fish and just based on 1 inch per adult size needing a gallon. You say the Black Ghost Knife doesn't eat the other fish. The sentence is a little off. The Black Ghost Knifefish HASN'T eaten any other fish "YET" It will. The Black Ghost is going to go about 20 inches and anything he can get his mouth around, he is going to eat. You might want to re-think your tank and community and separationa and size of tank for the others. So good news is the Black Knife HASN'T eaten any of the other fish "YET"
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Zardo - 2011-05-23
Hey I have a black ghost knife fish, his tail is different to the one shown but I think it's nothing. How do I get him to not hide behind my Fluval 2 filter? Is it ok to feed him dead crickets? Please respond. Thanx

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-24
    Yep it is OK. The documents say wingless crickets and you purchase them.
  • taxman - 2011-07-11
    I have ghost fish in a "L" shape tank. 1 is "odd" shaped due to being injured several times as a youngin. 2 larger ones now about 11 and 12 inch respectively - "Hunchback" only about 6 inches (if I could straighten out) - so your "different tail" could be due to injury or variation to breed. Put more places for GK to hide and will be more likely to leave filter alone - glass pipes work well - can see them, but they think they're hidden - also too much light will send them looking for cover. Re crickets - I have fed mine crickets that have gotten into house, flies, even the occasional moth. I've been keeping GK's for over 15 years and only lost 1 (approx 15 inches) after moving house and using a temporary filter - that died while I was at work. They've all started from less than 2 inches; when purchased.
    Hope that gives you some assistance and reassurance.
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Animal-World info on Clown Knifefish
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scollinz - 2011-06-27
I have a 13 inch Clown Knife fish I am looking
to sell. If interested, email me and I can send you pics. Great fish and loves to eat!

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Animal-World info on African Knife Fish
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david - 2011-06-12
I have an African Brown Knifefish in a 20 gallon tank with a Leopard Ctenopoma and two African Butterflyfish. The tank is planted with three Amazon Sword Plants, four Egyptian Lilies and about 7 Java Ferns. All the fish in the tank are 3.5 inches long. I know this setup is too small in the long term but I am saving up for a larger 55 gallon.

All the fish in the tank get along relatively fine. The Butterflyfish will occasionally chase each other around but the Leopard Ctenopoma and Knifefish never get involved in the top-level disputes. The Ctenopoma and Knifefish do occasionally squabble but never leave any marks on each other. It is basically just a chase around the tank and after about one lap they go their separate ways. I am not overly concerned about this as MINOR squabbles should always be expected in community tanks.

Anyway. the African Brown Knifefish is a very delightful occupant of my tank. Feed him a mixed diet of bloodworms, brine shrimp, beef heart, rosy red minnows, ghost shrimp, apple snails and the occasional earthworm. I almost never see him during the day except when I am cleaning the tank. But when the lights are off he comes out for all to see! I strongly recommend this fish.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-13
    These guys are going to get a lot bigger and the squablles are going to be fights and someone is going to get hurt. I would think the Knifefish would think the butterfly fish is food as he is going to go about a foot long. I mean that's how you catch bass.
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-15
    Whoops sorry, I know it is the mouth size but got the fish bass awkwards there. Thank you for explaining though cuz I will try and keep it straight. I like the butterfly fish. Enjoy
  • david - 2011-06-15
    I am going to bring the Leopard Ctenopoma back to my lfs, as the squabbles turned into biting yesterday.
  • david - 2011-06-15
    Actually, it is the Leopard Ctenopoma that thinks that the African Butterflyfish are food. Even when the knifefish is larger, he couldn't get the butterflyfish into his mouth. The size of the fish another fish can eat is dictated by mouth size, not by body size. A 12 inch knifefish would have a mouth around 1 1/2 inches, 2 inches would be pushing it. The African Butterflyfish are already 3.5 inches. Unless my Knifefish is a freak of nature and turns into a 12 inch fish with a 5 inch mouth, the Butterflyfish are safe.
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david - 2011-06-12
Could I keep a Clown Knifefish in a 55 gallon aquarium? The tank will have subdued lighting and be lightly planted with cryptocorne, Java Fern and Java Moss. There will be numerous hiding places created by bogwood and rocks. I would also like to add a Red-tailed Black Shark, among other Southeast Asian fish. Would this work out?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-13
    It doesn't sound like a real good idea. The shark fish tail would eaily fit into the Knifefish mouth and the Knifefish can grow to 11 pounds. Clownfish are the quieter of the two and usually don't cause problems but will eat anything they can fit in their mouth. But the sharks are agressive and could tease or want territory and there would be the problem.
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Animal-World info on Black Ghost Knife Fish
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Kyle - 2010-02-21
I have received lots of comments regarding my post on BGKs. And although the inch per gallon rule doesn't apply to large fish, my knifefish isn't that big. He's only five inches or so. Secondly, he has a large home to move into. Once my BGK is big enough, he has a 200 gallon tank with 3 tiger oscars to move into. I'm just growing him in a smaller tank until he can live with oscars without being a snack. And if you keep on top of your water changes, you can push the rule to the limit and have healthy and happy fish. I clean my tank every saturday morning and I usually do a 20-25% water change. And lastly bottom feeders like pleco contribute 75% less waste than any other fish so they practically don't count towards the inch per gallon rule. Because of this a 10" pleco counts for about 2.5-3" of space. Because of this many people say they just don't count. Do you even know how to tell when a pleco is too long for the tank? If a pleco is at the top of the tank and his length is 2/3 the length of the glass then he is too long. Many people don't know that. Thank you Calvin for your support. Its finally nice to talk to some one who actually knows what they're talking about (unlike J and Z). To give you a brief summary of my 44 G tank, it isn't your standard rectangular tank. Its a custom made corner unit (explaining the unusual size). My BGK has a cave that looks like the Roman Colosseum. He usually spends the most of his time during the day in his little hideaway, but during feeding time, he rushes out to gobble down a small chunk of frozen bloodworm. He spends his nights swimming in all sorts of weird patterns. My pH is about 7.4. in my set up. I would also like to hear about your unique sounding setup. I look forward to hearing back from you.

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  • Becka - 2010-10-09
    Hi Kyle, I've just been reading your posts and you seem to know what you're doing. My partner recently set up our aquarium but we are TOTAL novices.
    We've got 5 neons (ghost fish ate one), 2 glow tetras, 2 angelfish, 2 balloon mollies, a longfin fighter fish (who's now recooping in a breeder tank after our BGKF blew one of his eyes out) and our blessed little BGKF who's around 5 inches too.

    We're in New Zealand (South Island) so the water here is about as close to neutral as it gets and super clean.We only have a 50 gallon tank though. We knew when we bought the fish we'd eventually have to upgrade the tank, but after reading all these posts I'm worried our tank is already overcrowded?

    We already have all the fish, and upgrading the tank right now is difficult because our town just had a massive earthquake.... erm any ideas?
  • Lisa - 2010-12-09
    Kyle - You are SO terribly wrong about the plecos. Plecos are one of the heaviest waste producers in a tank. They poo ALL the time.
    So no, a pleco is NOT a low waste producer, they're actually pretty bad.

    And I would still be hesitant to add your BGK to a tank with 3 large? oscars, even if the BGK is a decent size. Because it's narrow, it could still end up as lunch for the oscars.
  • Anita - 2011-02-21
    I agree with Lisa. Plecos are huge waste producers. I have several, trust me. My big guy in my 125 gal is the messiest fish I've ever had, and that's saying something considering some of the fish I've kept. I think when you're referring to your inch per gallon rule with bottom feeders you're thinking of things like loachs and catfish. Cory cats aren't bad with waste and my clown loaches and botia's aren't bad with waste either. And even then, I still don't agree. Any person I've ever talked to with serious experience has told me that bottom feeders count just the same.
  • Anthony powell - 2011-05-01
    I totally agree with the comments regarding the plecos. I originally had 2 plecs but the waste produced by them was that bad I reduced it to one thinking that would be better. Nope didn't make a difference at all. I'm sure the other plec produced more waste just to spite me cuz I got rid of his mate. So I got rid of that one too. In summary. Plec = lots of waste.
  • david - 2011-06-12
    Plecostomus (I believe we are talking about Glyptopterichthys gibbiceps) is a very large waste producer. A Plecostomus by itself will require a thirty gallon tank. Therefore, if you have a 55 gallon, the Plecostomus alone will take up 30 gallons of that tank. On a waste producing chart, G. Gibbiceps are right alongside Oscars. Trust me.
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Animal-World info on African Knife Fish
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Will N. - 2009-06-01
Yes, 30 gallons is way too small. Same for your tinfoil barbs, which if in a larger aquarium will get HUGE!. In your tank they will become stunted and die. Get a bigger tank and learn how to keep fish.

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  • Marsha C. Mais - 2011-04-18
    That is out right nasty sir. You're idea of keeping fish isn't the same as others. Being rude isn't the answer.
  • Tyler Pelleran - 2011-05-15
    @marsha he is correct actually and your idea of fish keeping is wrong they will get stunted and die
  • Dark Horse - 2011-06-05
    Sure he's right.
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Animal-World info on Black Ghost Knife Fish
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keesha edward - 2011-04-09
Hi there. My husband and myself purchased our two ghost knives about 3 years ago or so. They were tiny when we first bought them, about 2 inches long. They are now about 10 inches. T o our surprise last night we saw a ghost kinfe of about 3 inches swimming around. This came as a complete shock as we were not expecting them to have babies at all. In all the years we have had our tank none of our tropical fish have bred. Im not sure how big they are when they are born so perhaps this fella has been around for a while and we just have not noticed? We have a tank of about 580L. We very proud and quiet amazed that this has happened as I believe this is very unusual??

keesha edward
south africa

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Animal-World info on Clown Knifefish
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Charles - 2011-03-25
Howard is my 26 inch clown. I have had him for almost 2 years now. He loves goldfish and will eat pellets. He lives with his friends Peter and Conan the Plecos in a 120 gal. tank. I am looking for a 200 for them.

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