Elephant Nose Fish (Gnathonemus Petersii)
The Elephant Nose Fish, also known as Peter's Elephantnose Fish, is a fascinating freshwater species known for its unique trunk-like protrusion, which is an extension of its mouth. This brownish-gray fish is adorned with white stripes, giving it an eye-catching appearance.
Elephant Nose Fish are generally peaceful but can be shy, making them suitable for a community tank with similarly sized, peaceful tankmates. They can grow up to 14 inches in length, but 9 inches is more common and are best kept in small groups of at least 3-5 individuals.
This species is relatively calm but territorial. It coexists peacefully with different species, although keeping it with overly active or aggressive fish is not advisable, as it may struggle to compete for food. Additionally, it doesn't fare well with other mormyrids. Suitable tankmates include other African species such as Butterflyfish, smaller bichirs, Congo tetras, and Synodontis catfish They can also live harmoniously with tranquil cichlids like Threespot Eartheater (Satanoperca), certain Geophagus like Redhump Eartheater, High-Fronted Eartheater, and Angelfish.
However, keeping them with their own kind can be more challenging. It is not recommended to have only two, as the dominant one may bully the other to death. To keep multiple Elephant Nose Fish, a spacious tank with an abundance of hiding spots is required. Acquiring at least 5 fish is recommended to distribute aggression within the group.
Their diet primarily consists of carnivorous fare, including live and frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and tubifex worms. They may also eat small insects and crustaceans in the wild.
The Elephant Nose Fish requires subdued lighting to feel at ease as a nocturnal species. Ample hiding spots should be available, especially when housing multiple individuals together. Smooth rocks, driftwood, and low-light-tolerant plants, such as Anubias, Java fern, and Vallisneria, can be incorporated. A sand substrate is essential for the well-being of this fish, as it uses its trunk-like lower lip to burrow and like to forage along the bottom. Abrasive or sharp-edged substrates can injure the fish's mouthparts, preventing it from feeding naturally.
As they are sensitive to water conditions, a high-quality filtration system and weekly water changes of 30-50% of the tank volume are essential to maintain water quality. Elephant Nose Fish do not have scales, making them susceptible to injuries and infections. Therefore, installing a UV sterilizer in the tank may be wise to eliminate pathogens and safeguard against the need for using chemical treatment in their water.
The minimum aquarium size is 60 gallons, with an ideal community tank size of 75 gallons or more. Maintain a pH of 6.0-7.5, a hardness between 5-12 dGH, and a temperature range of 73-82°F (23-28°C).
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.