Black ghost knife fish care-Total care diet and breeding guide

How to black ghost knife fish proper care

Black ghost knife fish in recent years are becoming increasingly popular among domestic aquarists. For the first time, the fish was introduced and appeared in our aquariums in the early 80s. She won the hearts of both professionals and beginners, due to her beauty and graceful movements. And of course, the possibility of combining it with many other kinds of fish makes it all the more attractive for keeping in a home aquarium.

Black ghost knife fish care-Total care diet and breeding guide

Latin name: Apteronotus albifrons

Order: Gymnotiformes (Gymnotiformes)

Family: Ateronotidae (Apteronotidae)

Water temperature: 23 – 28 ° С

“Acidity” pH : 6.0 – 7.5 °

“Stiffness” dH : 5 – 15 °

Aggressiveness: 30%

Difficulty of content: Easy


Black ghost knife fish care-Total care diet and breeding guide

Black ghost knife fish relatively peaceful freshwater aquarium fish, but at the same time carnivorous. Black knife show intraspecies aggression in the struggle for territory, especially males. The rest of the neighbors are indifferent to the aquarium. Fish black knife reaches a fairly large size – in nature up to 50 cm, and in the aquarium to 30-40 cm. Therefore, it is recommended to contain it in one copy in an aquarium of 150 liters. With any peace-loving fish of medium and large size. Very agile and nimble fish, such as barbs, can cause discomfort to shy knifes and pinch their delicate fins, and such as, for example, neon and guppies, Ateronotus can take for food. On the compatibility of other fish, see the article compatibility of aquarium fish.

The minimum volume of the aquarium:

From 150 liters., In such an aquarium you can plant one individual of this species. With good conditions of detention, the black ghost knife fish reaches impressive sizes. So it is better to immediately buy or making an aquarium from 200-250 liters. About how much you can keep fish in the X liters aquarium.

Requirements for care and conditions of maintenance:

Black ghost knife fish care-Total care diet and breeding guide

If you already understood, for the maintenance of the Black knife a large aquarium. Water cleaning is necessary with a cover, since The fish can jump out. As for other species of fish, they need to create conditions close to natural. To do this, the aquarium must be equipped with a good filtration. Preferably a peat filter, active aeration and weekly water substitution up to 30-35% of the total volume of the aquarium. Also in the aquarium should be placed various shelters – driftwood, grottoes, it is desirable to plant. Plants forming dense thickets so that the fish can hide during the day, as it leads to a mostly nocturnal life. (Here the link some freshwater plants for beginner).

Lighting can be bright, rather for plants, and for fish. The light must be weakly scattered, to which the vision of the fish is optimized. Therefore well-shaded areas are needed where the black knife fish can hide from the bright light in the daytime.

Feeding and diet:

Black ghost knife fish mainly feeds on insect larvae and fry of other fish. In conditions of domestic maintenance, in principle, nothing changes, they willingly eat both live and frozen food – bloodworm, a pipe-man, do not refuse to eat cut prawns and squid, and of course, they will not miss the moment to have a fish fry. Therefore, be careful when breeding other aquarium pets, do not leave the fry in a common aquarium. Otherwise, they will have supper. It is extremely rare to take dry food and substitutes.

Black ghost knife fish care-Total care diet and breeding guide

If you want make fish food in your home, here the link for make fish food.

It is recommended to feed black knives before switching on the aquarium lighting, or after switching it off once a day. Overeating for fish is extremely dangerous because of the structure of the intestines of fish. Blockage of the intestine can lead to its death, therefore it is better not to feed it than overfeed, and in your aquarium, it will, in any case, find a snack. When searching for food, Ateronotus focuses on changes in electro-magnetic fields, fixed by special receptors located along the entire length of the body.

Feeding aquarium fish should be correct:

In this article, we note the most important thing – the feeding of fish should not be monotonous, the diet should include both dry food and live food. In addition, it is necessary to take into account the gastronomic preferences of a fish and, depending on this, include in its diet of food either with the highest protein content or vice versa with herbal ingredients.

Black ghost knife fish care-Total care diet and breeding guide

Popular and running fodder for fish, of course, is dry food. For example, it is always and everywhere possible to meet the feed of the company. In the “gastronomic arsenal” Tetra includes as individual food for a certain type of fish: for goldfish, for cichlids, for loricariid, guppies, labyrinths, proven, discus, etc. Also, Tetra has developed specialized feeds, for example, for color enhancement, vitaminized or for fry feeding.

In nature live:

Black ghost knife fish come from South America, live in the slowly flowing, muddy, overgrown reservoirs of the upper and middle parts of the Amazan River Basin – Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay, the Parana River. Dimensions of fish reach up to 50 cm.

Description of the Black Ghost Knife

They lead a nocturnal life – carnivorous. Relate to weak electric fishes with passive electrogenesis. Because of lack of good vision, they use their abilities to search for food, orientation in space and protection. The content of these fish does not represent any danger to people and other inhabitants of the aquarium. It is necessary to take into account the proportionality of other fish species. In captivity, the black ghost knife fish reaches up to 40 cm. in length.

Black ghost knife fish care-Total care diet and breeding guide

The body of the fish is black, elongated, flattened laterally, tapering to the tail, terminal mouth, large head on which there is a white spot, sometimes leaving a strip along the back.

On the long caudal peduncle, there are two white-yellow transverse bands, the caudal fin is small. Dorsal and ventral fins absent, fatty – filiform. The anal opening is located closer to the head, next to the mouth. The anal fin is well developed, stretches from head to tail, with which the fish can swim in any direction (forward, back, side) with approximately the same speed. Black knives sharply expressed intraspecific aggression in the struggle for territory, especially among males. Therefore, it is recommended to keep them in one copy, but if it suddenly happened that there are two or more fish of this type in your aquarium, then you must equip it with enough shelters, but without fights, it will still not be enough. The fish is scabrous, so it is more susceptible to diseases, such as ich hypothyroidism. In the treatment, it is not recommended to use medicines containing zinc.

Breeding and sexual characteristics of the fish black knife:

Black ghost knife fish care-Total care diet and breeding guide

Black ghost knife fish is quite difficult to breed. His sexual maturity reaches at the age of 1-1.5 years. Sexual signs are almost not determined, a female of smaller size with a more rounded abdomen, males have a fat cone on the head. Spawning schooling with the predominance of males, for this purpose a spawning aquarium from 100 liters is taken, as a substrate, pasta or synthetic threads are suitable.

Spawning is stimulated by lowering the water level with a subsequent increase in distilled water, simulating the rainy season, water temperature 25-26 ° C, lighting is weak. It is recommended to install several sprayers, creating a strong flow of water, spawning occurs usually at dawn in its stream. The water in the incubator should be well saturated with oxygen. The female sweeps out up to 500 large yellow, rather sticky eggs. After spawning, the producers are recommended to plant, otherwise, the eggs will be eaten, the incubation period lasts up to 96 hours. Appear fry, which can swim and eat zooplankton. With the right content and feeding, the juvenile grows rapidly and by the time they reach the size of 5 cm by the month they take the shape and color of adult fish.


Rashed Ahmed regularly contributes to lifestyle magazine online and living ideas to various blogs around the web. When he’s not busy working with the work, you will find him undertaking many of her own lifestyle-related topics and living ideas! He has a lot of dreams. He works hard to fulfill his dreams. He loves to share his ideas, tricks, tips, and information by blogging. He also works at innovative business ideas, a business marketing company that committed to helping businesses with online marketing.

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