What's new

Brown Ghost Knifefish?

Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
357
Reaction score
0
Location
US
Hi there!
 
The other day I was at my favorite LFS, and I saw some Brown Ghost Knifefish, and I'd never heard of them so as soon as I got home I started researching them.  I read every topic on TFF I could find about them :blink:
 
What I found:
They are smaller than Black GK, only growing to around 8" or so.
They have bigger mouths than Black GK, and will eat anything that fit inside their mouth.
They are extremely shy. 
They have requirements a lot like Black GK.
They prefer to stay on the bottom when feeding.
They are prone to fungus.
They should only be kept by advanced hobbyists.
They're solitary.
They're from South America.
 
That's all I've been able to find about them.  
Anyone have experience with them?  What tankmates worked well, or didn't?  Do they ever come out of their shells, and swim around the tank more?  What kinds of Tetras are compatible with them?  I'd love to have one in my 65 gallon South American Biotope when it's setup, but that's probably not going to happen :p
 
Thanks in advance!
 

Ninjouzata

Two Eels Are Better Than One
Chatroom Moderator
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
3,981
Reaction score
35
Location
US
I've read anything from 8 to 11 inches so when I was planning on getting one I just assumed it could reach 12", so I'd think the smallest you'd want it in then is 75g.
 
If it didn't hit that size though then perhaps it'd be fine?
What are the dimensions of your 65g?
 
I don't have any experience with them unfortunately, but the BGK is a big reason why I got into fishkeeping.
 
You'll want a hiding place, such as a PVC tube. Some people get clear tubes called "ghost tubes" to better view their knife fish.
You can also place some slate against the front glass to form a cave that it can hide in and still allow you to see it.
 
I think keeping the lights dim or perhaps having floating plants would help make it feel comfortable, as well as making sure tank mates aren't hurting it.
 
I have seen many videos of BGKs swimming out and about, more vids of them than the brown but the few I saw of the brown it was also out and about so think it should come out more as it gets settled in.
No telling how long that could take though..I've heard of people having a fish for a year before it decided to start venturing out more. I think that's worth it for these guys though.
 
Deeper bodied tetras are likely what you'd want, it's hard for me to think of how wide the brown's mouth would be in comparison to the black.
 
Here is a vid of BGK opening it's mouth, if you havn't seen it already, to give you an idea.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZO_wyslrVE
 
Sorry for being pretty useless with info, I figured you would have gotten a response already but since you havn't I wanted to try to help :c
 
OP
Betta_Shark5678
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
357
Reaction score
0
Location
US
Ohh I thought I'd seen 12" somewhere, but when I couldn't find it again I thought maybe I had gotten confused!
 
Dimensions are 36Lx18Wx24T.  I think I saw 60 gallons was minimum, but then again I also recently read someone claiming the a BGK could live it's whole life in a 29 gallon 

 
For hiding places I was going to have several rock caves, slate caves, maybe some flow pot caves buried, and some PVC pipe caves.  The tank is also going to be moderate-heavily planted.  Common Duckweed is on my planting list, so hopefully I'll be good there!
 
My biggest concern with tankmates will be my BNs, and the Angels I plan to have.  Though the way I'm going to set my branches up full-grown angels won't be able to fit behind it, so hopefully that'll give some more protection! Definitely worth the wait if they eventually come out a lot, I wanted BGK but I can't have a bigger tank right now! I have seen several videos of the BGK, and a few of the browns, so hopefully you're right about that.
 
I was thinking Black Skirt Tetras, and maybe some White ones too.  My other Tetra option was Bleeding Hearts, or maybe a school of each, but I don't want to push stocking limits.  I currently have Glowlights, but I know even an Angel will be dangerous with them, so I might leave those guys in the 55 gallon when I upgrade the rest.
 
Any info is better than none! I wasn't sure how fast I'd get a response because not many people seem to know about them.  At this point I might get one with the info I have and study them to help out anyone else who wants them :p
 

Ninjouzata

Two Eels Are Better Than One
Chatroom Moderator
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
3,981
Reaction score
35
Location
US
Hrrm, I try and shoot for the tank having 4x the eventual length of the fish. So if it gets 12" I'd try to make sure it has a 4ft tank. But if it only gets 8" then..yeah I dunno :( Are you planning to upgrade sometime in the future?
 
Oh goshies, I've seen the same about BGK. It's sad. :c
 
Sounds like a lot of hiding places! I don't see BNs giving the knife issues..or do you mean the knife going after the BNs?
 
Skirt tetras from what I've heard are nippy, but hopefully in the right numbers they'll keep it more in their group.
 
OP
Betta_Shark5678
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
357
Reaction score
0
Location
US
In the future yes, but not for a few years.  I still live with my parents, so the biggest I can get right now is a 65.  Or if I can find a cheap 75 I'll get that, since my 65 needs the bottom replaced (got it for $30, but that doesn't seem like such a great deal anymore...).
 
 
It is sad... Thank god I didn't see that a few years ago or I would've gotten one! :blink:
 
My BNs often chase my other fish, and attack my hands when I clean the tank, so I'd be careful with them and a shy fish! :lol:
 
That's my hope! I'm going to have at least 12.  
 

sawickib

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
1,768
Reaction score
7
Location
US
WOW thats what that was, i saw one at my LFS wanted to get it but had no idea what it was so i didnt.

My BGK diablo is my favorite, and my second is my new fire eel Blaze 

 
Ninj that video was really cool i didnt know they could unhinge it that far. No idea why theres a puffer in there...
 
From what ive read the Brown GK stays smaller than the BGK.
 
The fish should come out after at least a few months, but not all fish are the same so it verys, could come out instantly. My ornate bichir NEVER comes out, only at night time, desnt come out during feedings either, and i dont see him eat at night, but thats another issue :/
 
I would think the knife should have no issues with the BN.
 
OP
Betta_Shark5678
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
357
Reaction score
0
Location
US
I might be able to get a 75 gallon after all.  Found one on craigslist, if it has a hood and light fixture then I'll be fine.  I'd have to ask for pictures though, because it's only $40, and I don't want to go through another huge, cheap, leaky tank... I have a filter (I'll use both my Fluval 305s, and get a new filter for the 55 since I can change all the fish to the big one temporarily).  
  Trying not to get my hopes up is so hard...
 
I love all the eel type fish, but my Mom got freaked out by ropefish, so I have to keep oddballs like that to a minimum...
 
I hope so! Aww, I'd hate to have a fish I barely see... Though that would make seeing it that much more exciting!
 
Okay good.  I'd hate my little 2" Everest to attack it and then get eaten for it :lol:
 

Ninjouzata

Two Eels Are Better Than One
Chatroom Moderator
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
3,981
Reaction score
35
Location
US
If it doesn't have a hood you can get one fairly easily. I really like the versa tops that are available on drsfostersmith..I think petsmart/petco has them too. Definitely get the 75 if you can :D
 
Hopefully your mom likes the knife, they're mesmerizing.
 
Saw that tank in the vid is awful IMO but only one I know of that shows how wide they can open their mouths. :lol:
 
OP
Betta_Shark5678
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
357
Reaction score
0
Location
US
Yeah any pet store will have a hood, it'll just be easier if it has one. I'll have to look into those!
 
She didn't seem convinced about them, but she wasn't as freaked out as she was about the ropefish :p
 
I'm kind of scared now TBH, if the browns can open their mouths wider than that...
 

Ninjouzata

Two Eels Are Better Than One
Chatroom Moderator
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
3,981
Reaction score
35
Location
US
I like the versa tops since they're clear you can look down into the tank without opening the lid c:
 
Well it doesn't get as big as the black ghost so don't think it could open wider, but still pretty wide.
 
I'd think if it's well fed it won't be likely to go after other fish but if they wander into it's cave..well :lol: So choose schooling fish carefully, or perhaps save the knife for a future tank.
 
OP
Betta_Shark5678
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
357
Reaction score
0
Location
US
Hmm that does sound like a nice lid :D
 
Right, better keep an eye my BN if I do get one, they're the only ones I'm really nervous about, I'll keep them in my 55 gallon worst case.  I'll admit that they're my favorites...
 

Ninjouzata

Two Eels Are Better Than One
Chatroom Moderator
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
3,981
Reaction score
35
Location
US
While I don't think it'd swallow the BN, ghost knives are known for picking at eyes, so keep an eye out for that <.<
 
Can't blame you, I love my two BNs, I want another one. :)
 
OP
Betta_Shark5678
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
357
Reaction score
0
Location
US
I can deal with one-eyed BNs, but they won't be living with the knife after that! :p
 
I want some more color variations.  If this keeps up I'm going to have a BN farm in my bedroom... :D
 
Search tags for this page

brown ghost knifefish full grown

trending

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Top