Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic
fast facts

About Archerfish

Aquarium Size
Large (50 gal+)
Swimming Region
Fish Water Condition
Suitable Tank Mates
Mollies, Platys, Swordtails, Scats, Knight Gobies
Difficulty Of Care
Daily care
Archerfish General Description

Archerfish are one of the most fascinating species of brackish water aquarium fish. They get their names from their ability to hunt insects and other small land-based animals by shooting them down with powerful jets of water. They are incredibly accurate in their aim and can often hit prey up to 3 meters above the surface with one shot. Young fish often practice shooting down prey in schools so that their chances of hitting a target are greatly increased. Their aim and accuracy tend to get better as they grow older. They are also known to jump up out of the water to grab preys that are close within reach.

Archerfish are one of the most fascinating species of brackish water aquarium fish.


Archerfish originate from the brackish water environments of India, Philippines, Australia and Polynesia.


Archerfish are often silver and black in color and sometimes have yellow and gold markings.

Maintenance and care

Archerfish do best when kept in large shoals in fairly large aquariums. Although they can grow to up to 11 inches in length in the wild, they rarely grow larger than 4-5 inches in the home aquarium. They also prefer aquariums with plenty of hiding places and heavy plant growth. Aquarists should be mindful to select aquarium plants that do not crowd the surface of the aquarium because they spend most of their time swimming near the surface. The aquarium should also have a fairly low water level so that there is plenty of open space to help encourage the archerfish’s natural hunting instincts.

They are generally peaceful and make excellent additions to most brackish water community aquariums. Large specimens can however sometimes prey on smaller tank mates.


Archerfish are carnivores. In the wild they feed almost exclusively on insects and other small animals that they shoot down. In the home aquarium they can be trained to shoot down tiny insects placed between the water and glass lid of the aquarium. They can also be fed on live foods such as brine shrimp and blood worms and can also be trained to accept flake based foods.

Archerfish do best when kept in large shoals in fairly large aquariums.


Archerfish have not been successfully bred in aquariums.

Aquarium varieties

Zebra, Banded, Largescale, Smallscale, Kimberly, Primitive, Western.

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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