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Adding The Exotic Elephant Nose Fish To Your Aquarium

The Elephant Nose Fish or Gnathonemus Petersii (Peters Elephantnose) originates from Central Africa in the Zaire river basin and can be found between the Niger and the Cameroon's. Because of its unusual appearance this fish has become increasingly popular with aquarists in recent years.

In fact there is no other fish which resembles the Elephant Nose Fish and both its top and bottom profiles are almost identical and ends in a forked shaped tail (Caudal fin), whilst the dorsal fin is located at the end of its body which is then mirrored by the anal fin. However, the most distinguishing feature of this particular breed of fish is its mouth. This is located at eye level and the lower part of the jaw extends into a moveable trunk like extension. So you can now understand where it gets it name from.

They are usually either dark brown or black in color and will have a pair of yellow vertical bands which extend from the back of the dorsal to the anal fin. Although it is not as stunning as some other fish to be found in many aquariums it is nice in its own way. They usually grow to a length of no more than 9 inches and prefer to be in an aquarium that contains between 25 to 30 gallons of water. Although you may need a larger tank for those that are more than 6 inches long.

In order to maintain your shy Elephant Nose Fish it will require a well planted aquarium which has both subdued lighting and a soft substrate. You may wish to include clay pipes, rockwork or driftwood in your aquarium for places where it can hid. It is vital that you only have one of these in your aquarium as they can be aggressive to others of their species but they are quite happy to live with other breeds of fish. As they are a nocturnal fish they will become more active as evening falls and will begin looking for food then so it is important that you feed them at this time. But if you allow them time they will soon become active when other fish are around and the lights are on. They should be fed on tubifex worms, mosquito larva and bloodworms. As they are part of the electric fish family they do emit a small electrical charge that can change with their moods.

It is important to remember that the Elephant Nose Fish is very sensitive to water quality and care needs to be taken with their pH levels and temperature. In order to keep your Elephant Nose Fish healthy and happy the pH level should be between 6 to 7.2 and the temperature should be between 73 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

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