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Rope Fish
(Erpetoichthys calabaricus)
Rope Fish
Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided.

Quick Stats

Care Level Easy
Temperament Peaceful
Color Form Yellow
Diet Carnivore
Water Conditions 72-82° F, KH 8-22, pH 6.0-7.5
Max. Size 1' 3"
Origin Africa
Family Polypteridae
Minimum Tank Size 50 gallons
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Overview

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.

Approximate Purchase Size: 5" - 8"

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Customer Testimonials

Jeremy I Saranac Lake , NY
Escape artist is so true! I sealed all the holes after this li'l guy almost escaped out the top...that wasn't the end though. I had to custom fit a "blockade" on the filter and intake tube. I found he could also swim up through the filter current and into the actual filter. Never got hurt in there but would hang out behind the carbon filter part...
James S Shawnee , KS
Great fish to have! I agree they do appear to be escape artists when they are young, they seem to mellow out some as they get older. The two I have are fairly young, I haven't dealt with them trying to escape just yet but I've only had them a week.
1-2 of 2 testimonials

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