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Archer fish

Picture of Archerfish
Photo © Sean Evans

Common name:Archerfish, Common Archerfish, Banded Archerfish
Scientific name:Toxotes jaculatrix
Synonyms:Toxotes jaculator
Size:Up to 10" (25cm), but usually smaller.
Origin:India and Southeast Asia to Australia.
Tank setup:Larger aquarium, with plants or roots going down into or out from the water. Ideally, use a deep tank part-filled, with a tight-fitting lid, to provide a space above the water where insects can be introduced.
Compatibility:Fairly peaceful with similar sized fish.
Temperature:25-30oC (77-86oF)
Water chemistry:Fairly hard, neutral to alkaline (pH 7.0-8.5). Often sold in freshwater when young, but they should be transferred to brackish water (around 1.010 sg) for their long term health.
Feeding:Carnivorous: an insectivore which feeds from the surface, will accept most floating aquarium foods.
Breeding:Very rare in aquaria. Changes in salinity appear to be necessary for spawning and egg development.
Comments: This fish is known for its ability to shoot down insects with a jet of water, and it is possible to witness this behaviour in the aquarium with the right type of set up. They can be aggressive with their own kind, so it is advisable to keep either a single specimen, or a small group of similar sized individuals, to spread out any aggression.
This species is frequently confused with other similar archerfish such as Toxotes microlepis (small-scaled archerfish), Toxotes oligolepis (western archerfish), and Toxotes chatareus (large-scaled archerfish).




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