Wild Caught Ropefish (erpetoichthys calabaricus) 10-15 inch
Size: 5 to 25 in
Lifespan: 5 to 20 years
Information / Facts: The Ropefish, also known as the reedfish and the snakefish, is a very unique fish in that it can actually breathe air for an unknown length of time. Its normal environment, mostly in West Africa and the Congo Basin is in very still, even brackish water with a low oxygen content. The fish can actually put it's head above water to breathe air. While they will exist quite readily in an aquairum with warm water (80-85 degrees Farenheit is perfect), introducing a small amount of aquarium salt can be beneficial. These fish are usually nocturnal and will subsist quite handily on a diet of insect larva, tubifex, bloodworms, nightcrawlers and even beef heart. Other unusual characteristics are a flattened head, a reticulated, rope-like pattern of bony scales and a somewhat eel-like appearance.
Pros: Generally a peaceful, but curious fish, they have been known to develop somewhat well defined personalities. They are long-lived fish and are generally easy to care for. Having a fine gravel or sand substrate in the aquarium is best, and having plenty of plants and places for it to hide, especially during the day, is best.
Cons: Well known escape artists which requires your tank to have a tight fitting lid with no holes. Can fit through holes that appear much too small for it and can also jump great distances. While they can exist on regular air, trying to catch them can be a true challenge.