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Ropefish / Reedfish

Picture of Ropefish/Reedfish
Photos © Sean Evans

Common name:Ropefish, Reedfish, Snake fish, Dinosaur eel
Scientific name:Erpetoichthys calabaricus
Synonyms:Calamoichthys calabaricus (not valid)
Size:Up to 36" (92cm) reported in the wild, but usually much smaller in aquariums, around 12" (30cm).
Origin:West Africa, Cameroon and Nigeria.
Tank setup:Large tank, with bogwood, rocks and a few plants for decor, sandy substrate.
Compatibility:Predatory, but fine with larger fish.
Temperature:22-28oC (71-82oF)
Water chemistry:Fairly soft, around neutral
Feeding:Carnivore, feed live foods and dead meaty foods such as bloodworm, prawn/shrimp and baitfish. Will usually take sinking pellets, which can be used to balance the diet.
Sexing:The anal fin of the male is larger and thicker than the female.
Breeding:Eggs are attached to plants and other surfaces and hatch after about 3 days. The fry will feed on their yolk sac for the first week.
Comments: This is the only species in the genus. These fish are not aggressive, even with their own kind, and are best kept in groups. They may eat small fish, especially at night when they rest near the bottom, and this fish is more active. A tight fitting lid is necessary to prevent escapes from the aquarium. Occurs in fresh and slightly brackish waters.

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