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Asian & Giant Snakehead Fish Facts

Although Snakeheads is not my ideal type of fish that I would want kept in home aquariums, this has not prevented me from finding out more facts in order to learn about this carnivorous species. Snakehead is among the few of the earliest fish that I got to know when I just started getting into the aquarium fish hobby. Being rather new at that time, I know little about them but after I joined a local aquarium community club and sharing information among fellow hobbyist who also kept this fish, I got the chance to learn and study about this evasive and highly territorial species.

giant snakehead Channa micropeltesThe Snakeheads belongs to a highly diverse group of fish is and most of the commonly found species like the Asian Snakeheads originate from the rivers in that locality especially in Vietnam and Indonesia. They all share one common appearance which can be easily recognized with all of them have a very elongated body and posses quite a nasty and ugly head. One quick glance will tell you that it is a very ferocious species waiting to pounce on meat as it has a set of very sharp teeth. Other than that, the fish also has a labyrinth organ that allows it to breathe normal air (just like gourami) so that it can survive in low oxygen level water condition and that makes it an efficient hunting and killing machine. With this ability it will allow the fish to actually survive in mud waters especially in ponds and paddy field and devour other species that comes in its wake. African clawed frogs being one their favorite foods.

The snakeheads are also being hunted themselves and while most Asian people would serve them on dinner table just like tilapia, most American and European counterparts will keep them as pets. Even nowadays, you can even find the snakeheads escaping into natural territory up to the extent of establishing a stable population there. Their presence has been blamed to be the cause of disappearance of native species and that has led to governments around the world enacting laws that ban the sale and keeping the fish as pets in home aquarium.

Snakeheads will accept any food that you throw to them whether it is flakes, dry pellets and they love constant feed of live fish including invertebrates like fiddler crabs introduced into the aquarium so that they can chase and devour after it alive. If well fed, they have a very fast growth rate with certain species like the Giant Snakeheads able to achieve growth rate of about 1 inch every week and they can attain maximum length of more than 3 feet. With that being said, even a normal 100-gallon fish tank will not be enough and you will need at least 1000-gallon minimum for them to properly grow and survive.

There are even reports of fishing groups capturing live snakehead fish in the wild measuring more than twice the size. Nevertheless, regardless of how fun it is to keep the fish as pets, I really don’t like the idea of having something swimming in the aquarium that will eat almost anything and that includes your finger!



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About Me

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My fascination and interest towards aquarium fish has led me to devote my time towards caring and learning about this wonderful pet.

Aquarium fish keeping is a very challenging and exciting hobby. When I first started, I never knew much or have the necessary guidance back then because none of my family members were actually a keen hobbyist. And because of that, I’ve encountered numerous failures and the worst part is having to deal with dead fish every time when you started to grow fond and getting attached to my pets. However, I persevered and took steps to find out and search for information from other hobbyist, apart from the knowledge gained and learned from my own experience and research. The blog that I’ve created here is meant to share useful information and tips about aquarium fish keeping so that new hobbyist will not make the same mistakes that I’ve made in the past."

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