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Ceylon Snakehead

Discussion in 'Labyrinth' started by always4lora, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. always4lora

    always4lora Member

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    Location:
    Cumbria
    Common Name: Ceylon Snakehead

    Scientific Name: Channa orientalis

    Family: Channidae

    Origin: Sri-Lanka

    Maximum Size: Up to 5-6 inch normally less.

    Tank Temperature: 24-27 C

    Care: Ceylon snakeheads are not fussy on water parameters, although try avoiding extreme’s. Water changes are not really required often with these animals. I do my water changes on a month to month basis. Some people have encountered random deaths when changing water frequently.

    Recommended tank for a pair of snakeheads is 24”x15”x12”. For a group I would recommend a 36”x15”x12” with a well fitted lid as these do like to jump. I would also recommend dropping the water level as they come up to the surface to breathe from the air.

    This species is best kept in a species tank especially if breeding is planned. They will live quite happily in a group until a pair form. Should this occur, remove the other occupants of the tank as the mated pair will kill the other occupants to defend their young and partner. Snakeheads have been quite successfully kept with Polypterus sp. however, due to the growth in size of one of the Polypterus the Channa might end up food.

    Feeding: The snakehead is easy to feed. They will take about anything they can fit in their mouth. They will quite happily accept the following: bloodworms, chopped mussel, chopped squid, cichlid pllets, prawns and full earthworms along with feeder fish. However feeder fish are not necessary and due to the size of the Channa larger feeder fish will become tank mates!

    Sexing: This is noticeable by taking a top view on the fish; generally the male will be bulkier than the female.

    Breeding: The easiest way to breed is to get a group of 5 or more and then wait until a pair forms and then remove the others. When breeding or getting ready to breed, the pair will change to a violet blue colour. The act of mating is rather interesting and a little like bettas embracing each other. Channa orientalis are egg layers and mouth brooders. The male will collect the eggs in its mouth and the female will guard the male from any threat. During this time the male will not eat. It’s recommended to provide a cave/tube to make them feel more secure. Channa orientalis are great parents and can take care of their young well. After a week or so the fry will be free swimming. They will quickly start taking things like bloodworms and grow very fast.

    Extra Information: How does one differentiate between C. gachua and C. orientalis? C. orientalis does not have pelvic fins and C. gachua is full size and at 8 inches in maximum length is a lot bigger.

    Pictures:
    Kottawa Forest Variant:
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