Animal Stories - Bronze Featherback
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The Bronze Featherback is a knifefish with a dorsal fin that looks and acts like a feather!
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I once saw a type of aquarium fish in a pet store, which I have never seen again. They looked like beautiful black feathers and they were almost vertical whilst swimming. I've tried to look them up everywhere but no luck so far. If anyone can satisfy my curiosity, I would be grateful.
I own several tanks. I have a 135 gallon and 170 gallon empty, as I'm just waiting for them to grow. I even have access to a 1200 gallon tank! I think waiting until they grow up would be more prudent before moving them, eh? Update: my albino asiatic has calmed down considerably. Apparently, it could not select a spot to call home. After it selected one, it loves to stay inside of the big cave in seclusion. My conclusion: its original extra aggression was due to no hiding place to call home (wandering around without a home made it aggressive). I STILL would not call it peaceful. Out of the five knife fishes, this is the only one that snaps with its mouth when someone enters its cave. *SPACE* advise: surely, cramped quarters is always a reason fish gets surly and uncomfortable.
These fish are territorial with other of same kind and quite aggressive to other fish as well. So not peaceful at all. It would like to dig in substrate much like Cichlids. Mine would take sinking pellets and feeder fish.
I just purchased an albino asiatic knifefish. It is 4" long. I put him in a 55 gallon tank that has a 3.5" blackghost knife; a 3.5" royal clown knife, a 3.5" silver clown knife, 4" african brown knife. The albino is absolutely not the shy type. It moves about the tank perpetually only occasionally stopping. It goes thru all the hiding places and chases out any knife fish it sees. All of the other knife fishes are a bit shy and like generally will stay in its hiding spot. The albino appears to be a little pushy and likes to assert itself. The only knifefish that can handle it is the african brown. The african brown has the most agility of movement when being chased by the albino. The albino tends to get a little aggravated when the african brown can easily dodge and put itself behind the albino. I'm not sure what to do with the albino. It is a bit more aggressive than the others and its perpetual motion reminds me of a giant danio. I'm a little disappointed that many internet sites claim that they are peaceful. My albino is very pushy with its tank mates.
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This may sound crazy but a lot of fish actually do have personalities. However rare they may be - exceptions do exist. It can make fish either really entertaining , peaceful, or stressful to have and observe. I'm only speaking from my years of research and experience in fish in both marine and freshwater aquariums. Sometimes we take gambles - and sometimes things turn out alright ... other times .. not so much. This also applies to fish. (ex. Angelfish generally will eat tetras small enough to fit in their mouths [the chances are higher as the angels grow bigger], but I have seen both of them get along peacefully. That being pretty average sized angels. But I haven't seen this or heard of it very often at all - its a gamble)
I have two asian knife fish in a 500 litre tank, 1 is 13" long and the other is 14" long. I have had them for about 2 years now. They grew up alongside 2 red oscars, 4 apollo sharks, 1 tire track eel, 1 upside down giant asian catfish and half a dozen bronze corys and a black pleco. They all get on extremely well and the two knife fish swim around together in harmony as do the oscars.There had never been any problems and they have never tried to eat the smaller fish. I would recommend these to anyone.
Another update to my beautiful albino knife fish. My albino knife is now 7 inches! Its tank mates have grown too: Gold clown knife is 10 inches and the Silver clown knife is almost 9 inches. After one year experience under my belt I want to log my observations in regards to its fiestyness. I have owned many various African and South American Cichlids in the past. My albino knife has the personality of a slightly aggressive cichlid -- it reminds me of an Auratus. Its personality is very distinguished from the other knives. The albino knife is much more territorial and wanders other teritories to test their courage. It is very pushy even though it is outsized. The albino knife senses fear and plays power head games. It senses fear from the Silver clown and therefore initiates skirmishes and engages in blind cheap shot (body) attacks often. It does not bother the Gold clown because the Gold knows how to defend itself. The albino knife is an INSECURE personality. It will test the courage of stronger fish(to determine its strength). It will peck and push around weaker fish(8" shovelnose cat, 8" bichir). Climbing the tank "pecking order" seems to be important to it. The albino is active and energetic with personality. They seem to be a "thinking" fish. It LOVES anytype of blood worms. It has fantastic sniffing abilities as it scours the gravel for blood worms. My 7" Black ghost knife is much more manuverable and quicker and therefore he tends to leave it alone but hates its motion.
Before I would blame the fish for being aggressive, why don't you look at how many soon-to-be-large fish you have in that tank. First of all, the albino knife and the african brown knife both grow to ~12 inches. Those two alone (if that, and assuming you had enough caves, plants etc to break line of sight) would be enough in the 55 gallon. Both of those clown knives grow to over 2 feet long. Just in case you didn't realize it, the 55 gallon is FAR too small for even one of those to even turn around in without having trouble. The ghost knife gets to about 18 inches. So why don't you re-evaluate your tank. Your fish are far far far too over crowded in there. They may be smaller now, but if you're planning on keeping them, I would suggest something much larger. Or something in the area of putting the royal clowns in a 75-100 gallon tank, and the others in the 55. At least that would be better.
If you crowd too many fish into a tank, of course they will be aggressive. Especially fish that are listed as semi-aggressive. They all need territory of their own.
I have a Featherfin knifefish in a 55 gallon (the ONLY knife in there) with various other tankmates. In my experience, it has been very tolerant of other tank mates (because he has SPACE). If you are looking into one of these, just make sure you have it in at LEAST a 55 gallon tank, with caves big enough for it.