Rope Fish

Rope Fish - Erpetoichthys calabaricus

Erpetoichthys calabaricus

The Rope Fish is a fascinating and primitive-looking fish related to Bichirs. The Rope Fish has many unusual physical features including a flattened head, elongated eel-like body, and thick bony scales that form a distinct reticulated pattern. In addition, the Rope Fish has a modified swim bladder that it uses like a pair of lungs. Found in slow-moving or standing water with low dissolved oxygen content, the Rope Fish relies on this physical trait to gulp fresh air at the water’s surface to obtain vital oxygen.

Besides these remarkable physical characteristics, the Rope Fish is an interesting fish with a lot of personality. It is a curious and peaceful nocturnal fish that does well with other larger, peaceful fish. Due to its poor eyesight and nocturnal habit, the Rope Fish may seem, at times, reserved or reclusive. However, the Rope Fish is a social fish that prefers the company of other Rope Fish. The ideal setup is a large aquarium capable of housing two or more Rope Fish.

The aquarium should be heavily planted with plenty of hiding nooks created with roots or driftwood. Because the Rope Fish tends to move snake-like at the bottom of the aquarium, a fine gravel or sand substrate is recommended. The Rope fish is a notorious escape artist that can also jump a great distance. It is essential that the aquarium is equipped with a tightly fitting lid without holes. Though the Rope Fish is primarily a freshwater species, the addition of some aquarium salt may be beneficial.

The Rope Fish is a carnivorous fish that requires live food in its diet. Chopped meats, beef heart, insect larva, as well as tubifex, bloodworms and earthworms may also be included in the Rope Fish diet.

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