Aquarium Knifefish Species > Quick Stats
For success with knife fish, special attention should be given to their feeding. Feed once a day. Most will not eat flake food, and they should be offered frozen or live brine shrimp. Supplement occasionally with live guppies, or frozen plankton, frozen bloodworms.
Make sure to have hiding spaces. Most are secretive fish and try to avoid light.
This site was created to get straight to the point. Below are some tips on keeping Aquarium Knifefish. Send any additional information or questions to Ask An Expert
Compatible with angelfish, discus, gouramis, catfish, bichir, oscar, arowana. All knifefish eat smaller fish, snails and crustaceans; must be kept with larger species that
match their growth rate. Most species are territorial and aggressive towards it’s own kind. Usually peaceful with fish of similar size, but many are territorial and quarrelsome among themselves. These fish swim by undulating the long anal fish. Not for tanks with guppies or neons, but suitable with medium sized fish.
Aquarium Knifefish Species: Key Points, Tips & Tricks - Knifefish Q/A
- A medium sized fish will require a large tank (45-55 gallons) as these fish grow rapidly. An adult fish (over 15”) will require will require 90-110 gallon tank.
- The black knifefish is generally timid and reclusive, preferring a fine-gravel-bottom aquarium with plenty of rocks for hiding places, as well as subdued to dark lighting.
- They do not have scales and can be injured on sharp rocks.
- Most are secretive fish and try to avoid light.
- Average life-span is 3-7 years.
Aquarium Knifefish Species: DO'S - Knifefish Q/A
- Their primary food should be live.
- Provide rocks and hiding spots so that they can hide during the day.
- Keep tank tightly covered because they are jumpers.
- Most are nocturnal feeders we recommend that twice a week you feed after you turn the lights off.
Aquarium Knifefish Species: DONT'S - Knifefish Q/A
- Clown Knifefish are members of a sub-family called notopterids they develop distinctive dark spots on their sides. The Black Ghost Knifefish is a member of the Apteronotidae sub-family and the speckled knifefish group. It is considered a true bony fish.
Knifefish, African Kenomystus nigri 8' 75-80
OK with fish of similar size; adults can be kept with large fish; once adapted hardy and long lived; provide hiding spots; most active at night; quarrelsome among themselves; feed frozen foods
Knifefish, Black Ghost Eigenmannia virecens 16" 75-80
OK with fish of similar size; adults can be kept with large fish; once adapted hardy and long lived; provide hiding spots; most active at night; quarrelsome among themselves; feed frozen foods, bloodworms
Knifefish, Carapo Gymnotus carapo 20" 75-80
Predatory fish that must be kept with cichlid-like fish of similar size. Hardy and long lived; provide hiding spots; most active at night; quarrelsome among themselves.
Knifefish, Clown Notopterus chitala 24" 75-80
OK with fish of similar size; once adapted hardy and long lived; provide hiding spots; most active at night; quarrelsome among themselves. Adult specimens (12" or larger) should be housed with large fish such as oscars, gars, juruparis in tanks 100 gallons or more.
Follow the above recommendations and you should have a joyful Aquarium Knifefish experience. Send any questions, comments or pictures to Ask An Expert If you are interested in helping out visit our contributions page.