Snakeheads

fast facts

About Snakeheads

Group
Freshwater
Size
Large
Temperament
Aggressive
Size
Large (50+ gal)
Swimming Region
Middle
Fish Water Condition
Suitable Tank Mates
Best kept in species tanks
Difficulty Of Care
Weekly care
General description


Snakeheads are a large species of tropical fish popular among more experienced aquarists. Snakeheads get their name from their flattened shape and the scales on their head which are similar to those of most snakes. They are also characterized by their long dorsal and anal fins which run along the length of their bodies. Snakeheads are also known as Frankenfish, Channa and Monster Fish.


Snakeheads are a large species of tropical fish popular among more experienced aquarists.


Origins


Snakeheads originate from areas starting from southeastern Iran, eastern Afghanistan and all the way across Asia. There are several species of snakeheads also found in Africa.


Color


Snakeheads are often white, brown, yellow, grey or black in color.


Maintenance and care

Snakeheads are an extremely large growing species of fish and should only be kept by experienced aquarists able to keep up with their demanding nature. While some of the smaller species of snakehead only grow up to a foot or two, some of the largest species can easily push a meter in length. Therefore it is important to keep snakeheads in extremely large aquariums. Adult snakeheads are extremely territorial and should only be kept in pairs or by themselves. They can be kept in groups provided that the aquarium or pond is large enough for each fish to mark out its own territory.


Snakeheads are also able to breathe surface air and should be kept in aquariums with plenty of surface space. This ability to breathe surface air enables snakeheads to survive in sometimes trying water conditions with extremely low oxygen content. They are also extremely powerful jumpers and their aquariums should be covered with heavy, tight fitting lids.


Snakeheads aren’t prolific swimmers but are capable of swift bursts of acceleration. They are also extremely powerful fish and can easily knock over aquarium decorations. Snakeheads also prefer aquariums with plenty of plant cover and hiding places.


Snakeheads are fierce predators and should not be kept with species of fish smaller than them. A few peaceful species of snakeheads can be kept with large species of catfish and fairly peaceful cichlids.


Feeding


Snakeheads are fierce carnivores and prefer live foods. They can however be trained to accept most types of frozen and dead foods. Snakeheads can be fed on a diet of fish, shrimp, mussels, earthworms, crickets and pellet based aquarium foods.


Snakeheads get their name from their flattened shape and the scales on their head which are similar to those of most snakes.


Breeding


Snakeheads aren’t a difficult species of fish to breed and will spawn quite readily when given adequate water and tank conditions. However, sexing snakeheads can sometimes be difficult and it is best to raise a fairly large group of snakeheads in a large aquarium to let the fish pair up by themselves. Once spawning occurs, the parents will zealously guard the eggs and fry. Once hatched, the fry swim in tight schools.


Aquarium varieties


Golden Cobra Snakehead, Red Snakehead, Dwarf Snakehead, Emperor Snakehead, Rainbow Snakehead, Splendid Snakehead, African Snakehead, etc.

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, 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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