Above: The picture above shows a nice premium quality African Black Knifefish that was swimming in one of our aquariums, when one of us snapped this picture.
Comments: If you're interested in keeping a Knifefish, this is the best one to start with, because it doesn't get too big, is very hardy, is easy to feed, and is less aggressive than some other Knifefish.
Origin: these African Black Knifefish are wild fish living in Africa. But collectors find and catch them, and now they're living in aquariums all over the world.
Maximum Size: In aquariums this Knifefish can grow to be about 12" long, and sometimes a little bit longer if kept in excellent water and fed plenty of premium food pellets for several years.
Behaviors: not too aggressive. This fish swims by undulating the fin along the bottom side of its body, and often swims backwards, which is very interesting to watch.
Compatibility: Some recommended tankmates include, community fish that aren't small enough to fit in it's mouth like Congo Tetras, Baby Whales, African Leaf Fish, and Ctenopomas, but not very aggressive Cichlids.
Click here to read more about compatible groups of pet fish.
Temperature: lives best from about 75 to 80-degrees F. with 78 being perhaps ideal.
Click here to learn about aquarium temperature, aquarium thermometers, and aquarium heaters.
Feeding: Premium Fish Food Pellets is best. Smaller sized pellets when young and small, and larger sized pellets when bigger, is the ideal food for these fish. They also love to eat either frozen or freeze dried bloodworms, which are actually mosquito larvae.
Click here to learn more about and shop online for premium fish foods.
Water Conditions: They naturally live in a wide range of habitats with different types of water, so these Knifefish can adapt to most types of water, and as usual it's best not to change the pH or alkalinity of your local water.
Click here for a lot more information about aquarium water conditions.
Aquarium Size: This Knifefish will do fine in an aquarium with at least 50-gallons of water when small, but will eventually need to live in an aquarium with at least 80-gallons of water.
Decor: Knifefish do not need gravel, and a layer of gravel more than 1/4" thick will usually fill with bits of uneaten food that will contaminate the water.
Click here for more about aquarium gravel.
Live plants are beautiful and improve the water quality, these Knifefish are often found in natural environments with lots of aquatic plants and seem to enjoy live plants.
Aquarium Filter: Bio-Wheel Filters are highly recommended. Most 80-gallon aquariums have room along the back for at least two Penguin 350B Filters, and this is sort of a minimal set up for this fish.
Better is a 100, 120, or 150-gallon aquarium with as many Penguin 350B Filters as will fit across the back.
Click here to learn more about aquarium filters.
The addition of Lava Rocks will keep nitrates in the ideal range. Click here to learn more about using Lava Rocks in aquariums.
Life Span: This Knifefish can live for several years. Keep the water conditions excellent and feed them premium foods, and they may live even longer lives.
They have in fact been reported to live almost 20-years.
Gender: It's difficult to tell males from females. As they mature the females often fill with eggs and look plumper.
Breeding: This fish has apparently been spawned a few times in aquariums.
Click here for a lot more about breeding various tropical fish in aquariums.
Popularity: These fish are somewhat popular in the hobby.
Names: Their scientific name is Xenomystus nigri.
Variations: We know of no variations in this fish.
Click here for more information about keeping and caring for African Knifefish.
We hope you've enjoyed reading these comments.
DrT - 12/12/2014
We have 380-aquariums with lots-and-lots of popular aquarium fish plus lots-and-lots of rare fish!
We consider ourselves to be the link between the world's best sources of fish and the world best customers. We love our work, and we are very responsible.
All of our fish are Premium Quality Fish from the best suppliers in the world. Our fish have better health, more energy and brighter colors, as you can see in our pictures on this website.
We also offer lots and lots of information about keeping pet fish, all from the knowledge of the Bailey Brothers, who have a combined total of 100+ years of experience as breeders, wholesalers, and retailers of pet fish!
Our fish and our customers are treated with the best of care, and we work energetically everyday to make sure every customer enjoys their new fishy friends.
When you purchase pet fish from us, you know you're receiving premium quality fish and premium quality service.
"Received my fish last night and was so pleased! They all arrived alive and appeared to be healthy.
"Once in the tank, they became very active and are now thriving in their new home.
"Beautiful fish, I asked for color and aquariumfish delivered. Processing and shipping was extremely quick."
Nevin and DrTom, the Bailey Brothers
This website is owned and operated by the Bailey Brothers, DrTom and Nevin, who've been together in the fish business for more than 50-years.
The Product Manager has been with the company for more than 35-years.
So we feel very confident that this is the fishiest crew anywhere.