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 Snakeheads

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PostSubject: Snakeheads   Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:06 am

Channa Micropeltes
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Common Name:The Red Snakehead, Giant Snakehead, Malabar Snakehead, Ikan Toman (Malaysia), Pla Chado (Thailand), Pla melang Pu (Bangkok, Thailand), Trey Diep (Juvenile, Cambodia), Trey Chhdaur (Adult, Cambodia)

Original Description: Georges Cuvier, 1831 (French naturalist and zoologist).
Pre dorsal scales 22.
Dorsal fin rays 43-46.
Anal fin rays 27-30.
Pectoral rays 15.
Pelvic rays 6.


Distribution: Thailand. Laos (Mekong Basin). Vietnam. Malaysia. Sumatra.
Generally occupies open water, lakes, canals and rivers.


Size: The lower 3rd of the body is white in color. The remainder of the body is dark in colour (green, blue or black). There are irregular spots normally on the side, sometimes this can look like a broad dark stripe laterally down the side of the body. A patch of scales in the gular area. Pointed and flattened head from above, Large mouth, Lower jaw with several canine-like teeth behind a single row of villiform teeth, the Latter expanding to about 5 rows at the jaw symphysis. Large canine teeth on prevomer and palatines
.


Juvenile Description: Juvenile Channa micropeltes are coloured red initially after about two months they develop orange and black lateral stripes.
As Channa micropeltes matures, they lose this striping.


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Sexual Differences: Females slightly larger and Plumper.

Water Parameters: A tropical Snakehead should be kept at 25-28c, pH of around 7 is fine, just avoid extremes of pH.
A word of warning when doing water changes during winter periods, it has been reported that on large water changes, when the water temp drops rapidly that these Channa have literally turned over and died in seconds. So small water changes to keep water temp up are recommended.


Tanks size: 180x75x60cm (LxWxH) should be the absolute minimum for a fully grown adult. A 240x90x60cm is a more suitable tank for a fish of this size.

Suggested Tanks setup: A large tank with plenty of open swimming room, some top cover (floating plants) to make it feel secure would be beneficial, some other plants would be good. A gravel bottom, because sand would be disturbed by such a large fish which could get sucked into filtration systems. A large filtration system due to the waste produced by such a large predator. As with all snakeheads a secure lid.

Conspecific aggression: Very Aggressive. Will not tolerate other Snakeheads in its territory at all.

Compatibility: Not recommended. When juvenile will co-habit with most fish of equal size, when it starts to mature at around 25-30cm they usually kill anything in the tank.

Preferred Diet: Channa micropeltes is a piscivore in the wild, has also been known to eat small rodants and birds.
In captivity this Channa will eat anything that is put in the tank (including unwary fish keeper body parts). A varied diet based on Fish is recommended.


Breeding: When Channa micropeltes spawn, the eggs rise to the surface where they are guarded fiercely by the parents. The parents continue to guard the fry for an unknown amount of time. Breeding has reportedly been achieved in an aquarium, after being well fed and a temperature rise over 2 weeks.

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PostSubject: Re: Snakeheads   Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:31 am

Channa diplogramma
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Common Name: Malabar Snakehead

Original Description: Described by Day in 1865, was later described as a synonym for Channa micropeltes, some sources still state this.

Distribution: Found in Cochin on the Malabar Coast, India.

Size: Originally reported to be of similar size to Channa micropeltes 39+” - 100+cm it is now believed to be much smaller, probably reaching between 20”-24” 50cm-60cm possibly smaller. This is an unknown at the moment. The largest in captivity the author is aware of is 24”. This information is based on a number of considerations most based on comparisons with Channa micropeltes. Firstly it seems to reach adult colouration at a much smaller size 7” – 17cm, micropeltes don’t do this until above 12”- 30cm. It also seems to slow its growth at a smaller size. You also do not see any fishing photographs of large snakeheads caught in the region.

Description: Similar to Channa micropeltes in colouration with spots along the the whole of it’s profile including down to its white underside. Mostly a brown fish with darker markings along its flanks. As it grows it develops a blue colouring to its tail. It has none of the metallic Green/Blue sheen that Channa Micropeltes have as they get larger although it does develop a blue tinge to the tail. Physically it has relatively long broad body with a small amount of latural compresion with a more extended pointed head. This is more clear in some pictures than others.

Juvenile Description: Very much similar to Channa micropeltes. Strong orange red colouration on the upper and lower parts of the body. Along the midline is a stronger line with a black edge along the top and bottom.
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Sexual Differences: Unknown

Water Parameters: This is a tropical snakehead that lives in a variety of environments. Young have been captured in light brackish environments. The waters in the region are very geographically complicated, lot of channels intertwined with each other. Water temp is fairly stable throughout the year 27-28C as a low point in July /August and a high of 32C April/May. The backwaters of the region are slightly alkaline to slightly acidic PH of 7.5 – 6.5 and becomes more salty closer to the coast.

Tanks size: Not a huge snakehead but still a large fish. But based on the reaching 20” a minimum for an adult is going to be 6’ – 180cm x 2’ - 60cm x 2’ – 60cm. Larger would be recommended. The more space they have the more active they become. Suggested Tanks setup: Best kept at tropical temperatures in the higher twenties. They do come from a structured environment with lots of branches and aquatic plants but as an adult they are fairly open water swimmers and enjoy space to move around. Some structure should be provided but also some open space to move around.

Conspecific aggression: Originally though to be similar to Channa micropeltes i.e. very aggressive. The author has found this not to be the case to the point of it does not seem to hold a territory. This is an unknown though. It may have tendencies to become aggressive when breeding. This species may be similar to Channa pleurophthalma another open water swimmer that separate into calmer waters to spawn and hold a territory. It will however will eat smaller Snakeheads.

Compatibility: It will cohabit with other large fish too large to represent a meal and not to large or territorial to represent a threat i.e. a large Cichlid.

Preferred Diet: Naturally an open water predator, primarily a fish eater. They do eat shrimps and other open water invertebrates. Within captivity will take items as they fall threw the water, fish, prawn, mussel etc. very rarely take items from the floor. They do not seem to go for non swimming live foods i.e. earthworms.

Breeding: Unknown

Availability: Channa diplogramma are relatively rare within the hobby, although not rare in nature they seem to be difficult to get hold of. There are a number of them in Asia and Europe, not as common as some other Snakeheads.

Additional Info: For some time it was thought the Channa diplogramma was an introduction of Channa micropeltes to the region, micropeltes do not exist anywhere else within India. It was only fairly recently confirmed to be a different species. There is quite a bit of unknown information in regards to this species and it’s habits, size and final appearance this adds to the interest of keeping fish like this.

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PostSubject: Re: Snakeheads   Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:44 am

Channa barca
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Scientific Name: Channa barca, Ophicephalus nigricans

Common Name: Violet Snakehead, Barca Snakehead

Original Description: Described by Hamilton 1822. Dorsal fin rays 47-52; anal fin rays 34-36; pectoral rays 16; pelvic fin rays 6

Distribution: Type location Goalpara, Assam India and likely to exist in the surrounding area. It is known to inhabit large rivers.

Size: This is a large Snakehead with a maximum size of 90cm–36inches. Captive fish have reached at least 75cm – 30inches.

Description: Channa barca is a bulky snakehead typical of it’s close relatives like Channa aurantimaculata, A large wide head suited to eating invertebrate food. A tall dorsal fin, much taller in relation to it size than most other snakeheads. It’s a striking looking fish, adults show a blue colouring over the flanks and top with dark spots covering it’s body. Orange pectoral fins and edges to the tail and some of the dorsal fin.


Juvenile Description: Unknown.

Sexual Differences: Males display a greater amount of blue colouring and have a larger standing dorsal fin. Female have a little more bulk to their build.

Water Parameters: A subtropical Snakehead preferring temps between 18c – 22c. During the summer months temperatures can reach the mid 20’s, This shouldn’t be the norm as many subtropical snakeheads are much happier at the cooler temps. The water is known to be soft to neutral.


Tanks size: With this fish reaching sizes in excess of 75cm a tanks of at least 75cm in width will be required and greater than 180cm in length.

Suggested Tanks setup: Known to live in holes in the banks of rivers probably dug by other creatures, birds, crabs etc, a cave should be provided to replicate this. Plenty of plant cover should be provided and surface cover and structure within the aquarium as this will help the fish feel comfortable.

Conspecific aggression: There are examples of pairs being kept with little aggression. Nobody has tried to house them with other snakeheads but it is thought they would be typical in their response to cohabitation with other snakeheads, either hide from or attack the other fish.

Compatibility: Fish form a very small part of there diet and have been kept successfully with small fish that don’t present a territorial threat like small Minnows and similar small fish. Fish that present any sort of threat will either be attacked or cause the barca to hide and not display it’s full colours or act naturally..

Preferred Diet: Primarily feeding on invertebrates, Shrimps, Worms, Crabs, fallen insects etc, this should form the basis of their diet. There is a story of a barca seen crawling out of the water to eat a cockroach. Various meaty foods can be fed in captivity. Mussel, shrimp, pellets and fish meat as well as live crickets and mealworms etc..

Breeding: There are a few known pairs but no successful breeding as yet.

Availability: Channa barca are one of the rarest Snakeheads in the hobby but becoming more common. Not so long ago there were very few known examples of this fish, a couple of museum examples and a very small number of captive fish. This number has increased and if you are willing to pay the money it shouldn’t be too difficult to aquire one.

Additional Info: For some time Channa aurantimaculata was sold under this name but for a much cheaper price.

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PostSubject: Re: Snakeheads   Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:49 am

Channa bankanensis
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Common Name: Bangka or Banka Snakehead

Original Description: Pieter Bleeker, 1852 (Dutch ichthyologist) (Ophiocephalus bankanensis)
Lateral line scales 55-68
Scale rows between lateral line and dorsal origin 41/2
Scale rows below lateral line and anal fin origin 7-9
Preopercular scales 5-10.
Dorsal fin rays 31-45.
Anal fin rays 20-31.


Distribution: Sumatra. Bangka Island. Rivers of central, southern, and western Kalimantan. Peat swamps of Selangor. Malaysia Peninsular.

Size: 20cm & 30cm, It appears that there maybe two separate types of Channa bankanensis, one reaching 14cm the other reaching 30cm.

Description: Reddish-brown coloration, Patch of scales present on top part of the head.
Numerous spots on fins. Large canine-like teeth on prevomer and palatines. Lateral line scales 55-68. Scale rows between lateral line and dorsal origin 41/2. Scale rows below lateral line and anal fin origin 7-9. Preopercular scales 5-10. Dorsal fin rays 31-45. Anal fin rays 20-31.


Juvenile Description: As per above Description, only smaller
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Sexual Differences: Females are usually slightly plumper than the males.

Water Parameters: Does best in very soft water pH 3.8-6.5, can be kept in harder water conditions, these Channa have been found in pH as low as 2.8

Water temperature: 26-30C. They seem to need some amount of humidic acids to really thrive (oak leaves, cones of alnus, peat or extracts of this materials).

Tanks size: The 14cm Channa bankanensis will require a minimum of an 80cm tank for a single fish or pair. The 30cm Channa bankanensis will require a minimum of a 120cm tank for a single fish or pair.

Suggested Tanks setup: These Snakeheads require a well planted aquarium or lots of wood and rocks etc, or a combination of both. They require plenty of Surface cover. They require plenty of hiding places for them to retreat to. Little or no surface movement is preferred. These fish will do best in a soft water set up pH <6.5, this can be achieved by using Peat, Oak leaves or Almond leaves.

Conspecific aggression: As with most Channidae it will not tolerate other species of snakeheads in the same tank.Does not appear to be aggressive with its own species territory wise until a pair form, then any others will be relentlessly attacked until they are either removed or are killed.

Compatibility: Channa bankanensis is very aggressive to other species and will attack other fish even bigger fish. It will bite into the stomachs and/or tails and kill and eat them.

Preferred Diet: A carnivorous predator eats other fish and invertebrates. This is not a fussy eater. In captivity will eat or attempt to eat anything meaty dead or alive that gets placed in the tank.

Breeding: As normal for Snakeheads get a group of 4+ and let a pair form, the remainder will need to be removed or will be attacked relentlessly until they are killed. Heavy fighting may be normal during breeding. A low pH <6.5 with no surface movement and plenty of vegetation is required for a successful spawning. Released eggs float to the surface and are collected into a raft of around 700-1500 eggs; these are guarded by the female.Released eggs float to the surface and are collected into a raft of around 700-1500 eggs; these are guarded by the female. The eggs hatch after about 2-3 days.

Availability: Channa bankanensis are rarely seen in normal fish shops, however can usually be found once a year in specialty fish shops.

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PostSubject: Re: Snakeheads   Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:56 am

Channa Bleheri
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Size: Usually 15cm/6 inches

Description: Described in 1991 by Heiko Bleher. One of the smallest and also one of the prettiest Snakeheads. No pelvic fins. Dorsal ray count 36-37; anal ray count 24; predorsal scales 6-7; lateral line scales 45-46

Juvenile differences in colouration: From a small size the sides of the body are yellow, with a dark bar on the head, angled from the tip of the lower jaw, through the eye. This then develops into adult colouration as the fish grows.

Sexual Differences: Males are more brightly coloured and larger, males also grow quicker than females.

Geographical location: Brahmaputra River basin, northern Assam, India

Maintenance: Snakeheads are known to live and survive in quite inhospitable conditions naturally so water quality is not paramount, but this doesn’t mean its ideal. Because of their high protein diet ample filtration is required and regular weekly water changes are best. Snakeheads do not cope with rapid water parameter changes as well as some other fish I.E a large PH change so its best to try and match the water as best as possible.

Compatibility: One of the most peaceful Snakeheads, Territorial disputes can occur with other Snakeheads but it is rarely serious. Can be kept with other fish as long as they are not small enough to fit in their mouths.


Hazard scale: Not considered to be hazardous in anyway.

Water Parameters: Coming from the Assam region Channa Bleheri have a Winter temp of 19 C and Summer temp of 22-28 C/72-82 F; they prefer the cooler side of that range, pH 6-7.5,

Tank size: One of the advantages of Channa Bleheri is its small size and peacefulness. These Snakeheads can be kept in a relatively small aquarium. 36” for a pair, groups can be kept in larger setups.


Aquarium setup: The aquarium should be well planted with open areas to swim in. Make sure hiding places are provided. All Snakeheads breath air and can suffocate if they are prevented from reaching the surface to breath. A secure top should be in place as they are excellent jumpers. Channa Bleheri are excellent escape artists and can escape from the very smallest of holes. Do not underestimate their escaping abilities. They can survive for sometime out of water as long as their lungs don’t dry out but the impact from the height of the tank to the floor may cause injury they cannot recover from.


Behaviour: These are one of the most peaceful snakeheads although territorial disputes can occur. It is possible to keep a number of these snakeheads in a relatively small aquaria.

Breeding: These snakeheads have been breed many times in captivity. As with many snakeheads from the Northern Assam region it is necessary to lower the water temperature for a period of time then raise it to stimulate breeding. As with all snakeheads putting a male and female together is no guarantee that a pair will be formed. The best practice is to get a group and let a pair form from that group and then separate them as if breeding is successful the others will eat the fry. They should be provided with a cave which will make them feel comfortable and spawning will start from there. The male will select the site and the female will start the spawning, This will continue for a couple of days before the eggs are laid. The eggs are deposited and then float to the surface then collect as a floating raft. Hatching can take as little as 30 hours. They will be guarded by both parents and supplied with feeder eggs initially. They should be provided with small brine shrimp, and other small live food to begin with but they will quickly adapt of frozen and artificial foods


Feeding: Accepts most meaty foods, Mussels, Shrimps and artificial foods.

Misc. Information: This snakehead is commonly referred to as the Rainbow Snakehead, common names can be confusing and their use can cause issues with correct identification.
There is also another snakehead sometimes referred to as Blue Bleheri, for some time it was thought that they may have been the same species, They are now described separately and named Channa Sp. Assam.

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PostSubject: Re: Snakeheads   Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:24 pm

Channa gachua
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Common name: dwarf snakehead , brown snakehead , frog snakehead

Size: as a species complex the size of gachua is highly varible ,from around 7inch to around 12" useally

Temperature: again as a species complex the range in indeed far and wide, upper range is 36deg in some hot springs in sri-lanka to 13deg in parts of afganistan , it is therefore important to try and find out the oragin country of your fish , as this lets you set up the aquarium to the best possable situation for your fish.

Natural range: wide spead accross india ,sri-lanka ,thailand , cambodia ,laos ,bangladesh, afganistan ,iran ,myanmar, malay ,borneo ,vietnam ,afganistan and china

introductions: taiwan and the greater suda islands

prefered habitat: pools, shollow river and streams

breeding: as with all member of the group channide ,you are best to sart out with a group of 6 or more fish , from this a pair shoud form ,when a pair has formed it is advisable to swiftly remove all other fish from the aquarium , gachua are mouthbrooders in the male sex ,and take excelant care of there young , one a a very few channa that will breed in tanks without plant cover , breeding has triggered by long periods without water change then a large change with fresh cooler water seems to initiate a spawning responce.

sexing: sexing gachua is very hard and the only realiable way to get a pair is by letting the fish pair up from a group.

tank set-up: even though this species can breed in a bare tank , for best result a well structered tank with plant wood and rocks should be used , floating cover helps a lot as this fish can be very shy and if it does not feel secure it will spend most of its day hiding ,

feeding: feeding in the aquarium is simple and the fish will happly consume all the normal foods used from frozen fish food to fresh shrimp ,prawns and even pellets , it is important not to overfeed this fish as they can quickly become over weight ,every other day is enough and you may find you can cut back to once every 3 days , in nature they are nocternal feeders stomach contents reveiled the diet to inclue ,mouse ,rat, fish , tadpole, prawns ,crabs ,and other crustaceans.


temprement: very sociable channa, outside of breeding they are quite happy to live along side each other ,and rarely bother other fish ,however if a pair forms in the aquarium aggression level will raise dramaticuly.

mixing: mixes quite well with other fish as long as its basic needs are catered for , avoid overly aggresive fish and fish small enough to be seen as food , fish that have been tried and tested include angles, rainbow fish and some of the more docile cichlids , please bare in mind that if you keep this fish with other the chance of breeding will be greatly reduced as the gachua sometimes do not see the other tank inhabitants as a threat and any fry are swiftly eaten by other tank mates , avoid useing plecos that are easly bred because if they breed the channa will eat the babies and there bristles can get stuck in the channas mouth .
also try and reserch where your fish has come from ,the gachua from china and afganistan would not do well in full tropical tempretures and fish should be chosen to suit.


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PostSubject: Re: Snakeheads   Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:32 pm

Channa aurantimaculata
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Common name: golden cobra snakehead, orange spotted snakehead

size: upto around 16 inches or around 40 cm

temperature: 19deg in winter and upto 25deg in summer

prefered ph : between 6 and 7ph but know to tolerate a wide range

natural range: Brahmaputra River basin, northern Assam, India - same area as bleheri and sp turqoise

habitat: ponds swamps and streams ect

introductions : none known at this time

breeding : only known breeding sucsess is reported by a german aquarist , from this we know they are mouthbrooders and also egg feeders , practice spawning can be whitnessed year round but activity hightens as tempretures drop for winter , we belive the trigger tempreture to be around 20deg , as with all channa you are best to start out with a group and let the fish pair up for them selves .

sexing: it is very dificult to tell the sexes apart ,but there are some pointer that will help with this , female has less spots / freckles and wider more defined orange bars , females head is more rounded when looking from a profile shot male has more slope to head ,


tank set-up: floating cover is a must for this species as they like to hang out umder it , also a cave of some description is prefered ,without a cave they useally dig into the substrate to try and burrow, tank should be well structured with plants and wood ,to enable less dominant fish an escape route , sand substrate is prefered and they have been know to eat small pebbles rocks ect which most of the time they through up but they may get stuck and cause problems , like most sub-tropicals from india they seem to prefer the addition for powerheads are the surface during winter ,which can be removed around april in time for summer.

tank size: even though this is a medium sized channa keeping any more than one req's a very long tank ,otherwize fights will break out constantly and will often result in the death of one of the fish , i would advise 7ft or longer for a pair of group , single fish kept as a specamin can be housed in smaller quarter

feeding: all the useual foodstuffs are taken ,but seem to show a preferance for prawn shrimp ,small cuts of fish ,ect but are quite happy with most frozen foods ,can be train to eat pellets but when eating pellets they are very messy so an excelant filteration system is a must

temprement: towards there own kind they are amoung one of the nastiest channa around ,they simply can not stand each other unless they have formed a pair , even then fights can break out at the drop of a hat and they are capable of infliction great damage on each other , strangly when mixed with other fish they seam to ignore all but the smallest fish ,if they dont see it as food they are useally ok .

mixing: firstly these fish are best kept as a pair ,a bonded pair and as the availability of true bonded pairs is nearly non existant and if they do come up the prices reflect this ,so it is best to keep in a species tank in the hope to get a pair from the group , you should have no problem in moving on any fish you end up with extra as they are allways in demand ,
if keeping a bonded pair of group it not for you , this speices can be housed with other fish ,but choose carfully robust fish that are not overly aggresive , as these fish are sub-tropical you need to house with fish that will tolerate the lowest end of the tropical range , i would not suggest keeping long term at tempritures above 24-25deg , keeping in mind this fish does need floating cover to feel secure it is probably beast to also avoid fish that eat plants


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PostSubject: Re: Snakeheads   Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:44 pm

Channa marulius

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Common name: Great snakehead, Bullseye Snakehead,indian snakehead, pla chon


Size: 180 cm / 70 inches is noted as largest specamin but belived to be uncomfirmed , the largest confirmed at present is belived to be 122cm or 48 inches , in the home aquarium finding a specamin over 90cm or 36 inches would be exceptional , it is noted as one of the fastest growing snakeheads about equal with micropeltis , average growth is around 7cm per month , and starts to fill out in the second year.

Origin : Pakistan India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, southern Nepal , Myanmar, Thailand, Mekong basin of Laos , Cambodia, and southern China

Introduced range: Tamarac, Broward County, Florida,

Temperament: being a species compex the temprement varies widely , from moderatly aggressive to very aggresive depending on location.


Company: being a species complex this is allways going to be hit and miss ,i advice you use extreame caution , we have known some i.e. pseudomarulia to be very peacefull but others that will not tolerate a single fish in the aquarium with them. also important is to try and find out where your fish was caught , some of this complex are temperate to sub-tropical and some are tropical so any tankmates would need to suit theese requirments, it is also noted that at a size of 25cm+ this species becomes a lot more aggresive toward anything housed with it .

Water parameters: Temperature range is very wide ,this species ranges from temperate to tropical regions , lowest known temp is 10 c ,again finding out the region your fish is from will help provide the best transition from wild to captive pH 6-7.5
.


Feeding: It is predatory species its prefered food is 60% other fish and 40% crustations , in the aquarium it will take all the useual things .


breeding: this is going to be beyond all but the most dedicated aquarist sine the size of aquarium that would be required to acheive this will be beyond most peoples budgets . as with other members of the group ,start out with a small group of 5-6 fish , the fish will choose there own partner ,at which time any other fish should be quickly removed from the aquarium , breeding can happen throughout the year , the pair will build a nest out of vegitation where they will deposit there floating eggs, the eggs hatch in around 30-50 hours depending on the tempreture of the water , the higher the tempreture the quicker they hatch, the resulting fry , parents guard the fry up until around 10cm and any maintanance in the aquarium should be kept to a bare minimun at this stage, young can be fed newly hatched brineshrimp and shortly after finely chooped other foods . brood sizes are reported from 400 to 3700.


Tank: the lenght of this fish is to be taken into account when choosing an aquarium , it can and does reach 3ft in an aquarium setting so the minimun width should therefore be 3ft , with a length of around 9ft being a bare minimun , the aquarium should be set up with sand as the substrate ,and floating cover an important feature , caves and large roots to hide under will be enjoyed .

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PostSubject: Re: Snakeheads   Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:57 pm

Channa asiatica

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Common name: Chinese Snakehead ,green snakehead

Size: 34 cm / 14 inches , growth is rapid in the 1st two years then slows very much thereafter

Origin: China, middle and lower Chang Jiang (Yangtze) basin, and Xun River basin in Guangxi and Guangdong provinces.

introductions: Taiwan ,Japan, Ishigaki Shima Island in the Ryukyu Islands and occasionally found in florida - usa


Temperament: Very Aggressive to others and there own kind , this is amoung the most aggresive snakeheads , often removal of one of the fish is needed after spawning to prevent the partners killing each other , this fish does not take any prisioners and victims often appear to have been skinned.

Company: very rarely accepts company in the long term and company should be sub-tropical which excludes most aquarium fish , should be kept in species tank , even bonded pairs have been known to kill each other

Water parameters: Temperature 18-24c another sub tropical species pH 6-7.5

Feeding: thrust preditor , feeds on other fish crustations and small mamals , in the aquarium can be trained to accept all the commen offered fair

Breeding: as allway start out with small group and allow the fish to choose a pair , once paired remove all other fish from the aquarium , floating cover should be used in the aquarium , breeding starts at around 18 deg , eggs will float to the surface where they are guarded by parents ,eggs hatch out in around 48 hours depending on tempretue ,the higher the tempreture the quicker they hatch , new born should be fed with newly hatch brine shrimp , then offered finely cruched other foods as they grow.



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PostSubject: Re: Snakeheads   Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:36 pm

Channa striata

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Common name: Chevron Snakehead, Striped Snakehead, Haruan ,Toman Paya


Maximum size: 90 cm / 35 inches

Origin: Pakistan, most drainages of India, Southern Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Southern China, Malay Archipelago

Introduced range: Hawaii ,Madagascar( theese are suspected mis-identifacation of maculata) , Philippines, Vogelkop Peninsula, Papua, Indonesia, Sundaland, Sulawesi, Lesser Sundas, Moluccas, Mauritius, Southern China.

Temperament: striata is another suspected complex and so aggression levels vary between location , although in general most straitas are aggresive and grumpy fish that do not tolerate other very well at all

Company: often passed off as a tropical species the complex ranges through temperate to tropical areas , to ensure best care try and find out from where your fish has come from so you can choose temperatue and company to suit , straita is often considered one of the hardest species of channa to mix with other fish

Tank: due to the size and aggresiveness of this fish only the largest of home aquaria should be considered , if keeping more than one in a tank a lot of cover at surface and structures to break the line of sight between the fish should be used


Water parameters: Temperature 16-28˚C another wide ranging complex that covers areas that are from temperate to tropical , try and verify where your fish has been imported from pH 6-7.5

Feeding: main food in nature is frogs worms prawns but most of all other fish. It will accept all living food that is appropriate for their size in aquaria can be trained to eat dead foodstuff. Fries feed on algae.

Breeding: acheived in aquarium , eggs float to the surface where guarded by both parents ,some time deposited in floating vegitation but know without any vegitation , can breed twice a year and all year round , parents can be canabalistic on fry if food is in shortage and fry can be canabalistic amoung each other , find a pair through the normal channa way of starting with a small group of 6-8 juviniles and let pair off

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PostSubject: Re: Snakeheads   Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:32 pm

Channa stewartii

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Common name: Golden Snakehead Assamese snakehead

Maximum size: 30cm approx 11inches although varients reported larger

Origin: Endemic to Brahmaputra (upper, middle, lower) River basin of India and Bangladesh, Ganges River basin from southern Nepal southeastward . In southern Nepal, it occurs in the Kamala, Bagmati, Koshi, Gandaki, and Karnali River basins
Introduced range : not known at this point


Temperament: often sited as one of the more aggresive snakeheads ,they belong to the same group as aurantimaculata and barca and have the same sort of temperament

Company: as a sub-tropical species tankmates should be chosen to suit , if this fish takes a dislike to any tankmate it will swiftly kill them , even its own kind are not tolerated very well ,and this fish is probably best left to the more experianced channa keeper in a well though out species tank

Water parameters: Temperature 18-24c ranges from warm temperate to sub-tropical ; pH 6-7.5

Feeding: this snakehead will accept all the usual fare , feeds well on insects worms ,frozen foods, market shrimp and prawn also bits of fish

Breeding: start out with small group and allow them to chose there own pair , this fish is mouthbrooder in the male sex , they are very good parents and fry should be left with parent until upto 10cm in lenght

Tank: even though this is a dwarf species you can not get away with a small tank , in small tanks they will fight constantly and that will result in many deaths , as always floating cover is needed to feel secure and the tank should contain many hiding places and be well planted , this is another species that really does prefer older tank water and live plant will help keep nitrates under control in such tanks aswell as providing much needed cover and hiding spots for the fish and breaking up the line of sight

Notes: this fish is offered from time to time in the more specialised stores and from time to time on order lists , although they have become harder to obtain in recent years , because of the colouring of this fish and the relative small size ,especially of some of the newer varients ,this fish often comands a high price

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PostSubject: Re: Snakeheads   Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:39 pm

Channa baramensis

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Common name: Barama Snakehead

Maximum size: 22 cm / 9 inches

Origin: Northern , Brunei and Borneo

Introduced range: not known at this time

Temperament: temperament is said to resemble that of its closest relative channa melasoma , whom we know to not tolerate other fish very well and can be quite aggresive amoung its own kind

Company: best kept in a species tank and ideally as part of a bonded pair

Water parameters: Temperature 22-25˚C / 72-77˚ F; pH 6.5 – 8.0

Feeding: like most channa can be trained to take most of the going food , but keep diet varied or the fish can become addicted to a certain food

Aquarium set up: in nature this fish is found in blackwater swamps , and this should be replicated in the aquarium , softer water is a must and the use of aquatic peat would be recomended. being a fairly aggresive fish the tank should be sized to take this into consideration , although only reaching 9 inches i would recommend a tank of around 4ft as a minimum

Reproductive habits: not reported in the aquarium suspect similar to melasoma. eggs probably prone to (censored) if water is too hard

other notes : extremely rare fish and hardly seen in the trade

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PostSubject: Re: Snakeheads   Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:50 pm

Channa argus

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Common name: Northern Snakehead, Amur snakehead , Eastern snakehead, Ocellated snakehead, Spotted snakehead

Maximum size: 85 cm / 33 inches there are reports from russia of fish upto 1.5 metre none as yet are confirmed and like its distant cousin are most likely exaggerations of locals and eager fishermen

Origin: Russia, China, Korea

Introduced range: sadly one of the most introduced and damaging freshwater fish , introdutions are very wide spread not only by the live food industry and the aquatic trade ,but also by goverments in the control of other species and rich land owners and heads of state as stock for there private lake which escaped after heavy flooding , this fish now owns one of the worst reputations amoung all freshwater fish and in many counteries is state ememy no. 1.

known introductions include but not limited to all below :

China - other than where it was origanally found
Central and Southern Japan
Czecho-Slovakia
Russia - other than where origionaly found
Southern Urals
Ukraine
Aral Sea basin
Kazakhstan
Uzbekistan
Turkmenistan
United States


Habitat preference: Stagnant shallow ponds or swamps with mud substrate and aquatic vegetation slow muddy streams . Also occurs in canals, reservoirs, lakes, and rivers

Temperament: reported to be Very Aggressive , hunts in groups so is likely to tolerate others of its own kind more than some of the channa mentioned

Company: Channa argus should only be housed with its own kind and very rarley takes any prisioners , its preferance for cooler waters also rules out most fish as suitable tank mates

Water parameters: Temperature 0-30 c can tolerate a massive temp range from part frozen lakes to the tropics reports from an experiment in russia ,report during a particular bad winter of 3 test ponds which reached -30deg ended with two ponds totally wiped out of all fish but in the third pond some argus did survive ; pH 6-7.5

Feeding: Channa argus (Northern Snakehead) are predatory and accept most meaty foods as allways keep it varied to avoid the fish becomming hooked on one type of fish

breeding: above the reach of the average aquarist due to the size of the adult fish , but given the correct set-up breeding should prove not to be dificult , the pair spawns in a cleared patch of aquatic vegetation ,eggs float to surface where they are guarded by parent fish , aggression levels at this time means any work do in the aquarium should be kept to an absolute minimum , the adults will fiercely protect their fries

Other info: probably the most banned fish in the world , due to its ability to survive such extremes in temperature. Goverments have taken measures to protect there enviroment against this invader, banned through all of Europe and America also Australia and New Zealand parts of canada amongst others, special permits are given out to own this fish in many countries but in reality are near impossible to qualify for n reality this fishes close relatives channa maculata and channa panaw are a much better suited aquarium fish yet have a similar look

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