The Black Ghost Knifefish (Apteronotus albifrons) is found widely distributed throughout the streams and rivers of the northern portion of South America. They are most commonly found in fast flowing jungle rivers and streams, but also move out into the flooded forests during the rainy season.They use their thin elongated body to move in and out of tree roots and dense vegetation, where they look for insects, insect larvae and small worms on which to feed. Black Ghost Knifefish are considered somewhat shy compared to most Cichlid species that inhabit the same Amazonian water ways.
Black Ghost Knifefish are best kept with tank mates that are not too boisterous or aggressive. Discus, Geophagus, Severum, Angelfish, peaceful Catfish, peaceful Cichlids and larger (6 inches or more) community species make good tank mates.
Black Ghost Knifefish do well in fairly heavily planted aquariums and aquariums with tree root structures large enough for them to swim through. Ideally the aquarium should also have open swimming areas and areas of plants and root structure where the bright aquarium lighting is diffused. This will give the Knifefish a place to retreat to when it feels threatened or simply would like to escape the bright aquarium lighting.
Adult Black Ghost Knifefish should have a larger aquarium (600 litres or more) in order to have enough territory for multiple specimens to coexist peacefully.
In a large aquarium, 4 or more specimens will be easier to keep than a pair as aggression will be spread out amongst the group instead of a single dominant specimen picking on a weaker one. As with other river fish species, clean water and low nutrient levels is critical to the long term health of this species. Due to the large size of this species, a quality canister filter or wet dry filter is recommended along with periodic partial water changes.
They are carnivores that prey mostly on insects and small worms in their native habitat. Aquarium specimens can be fed both live and frozen blood worms, tubifex worms or other similar meaty items. They can also be converted to eating other meaty foods like prawns, krill, earthworms, crickets etc. Most will also eat commercial dry foods like pellets and sticks. They should be fed daily an amount of food that they will consume with a few minutes. It is best to vary their diet so that they receive all the vitamins and minerals that they need in order to maintain a healthy immune system.
- Species – Apteronotus albifrons
- Common Name – Black Ghost Knifefish
- Origin – Northern South America, Amazon
- Diet – carnivorous
- PH Range – 6.5 – 7.5
- Temperature – Tropical 26°c – 28°c
- Breed Type – Egg Layer
- Current Size – approximately 25cm (Grows to approximately 50cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed