MP. & C. Piednoir
The nocturnal elephant fish Gnathonemus petersii emits a weak electrical current to help it
negotiate its way in the dark.
many of us thought that they were quite
charming when we were beginners!).
In any case, there should not be a problem
with the Apistogramma species from South
America and the Pelvicachromis species from
Western Africa, as they both like the same type
of water (soft and slightly acidic). However,
we do have to be aware of levels of aggression.
As it turns out, Pelvicachromis pulcher
in particular are generally more aggressive
than most species of Apistogramma, so they
will drive the apistos out of their favorite
caves and take them over. In a large enough
community tank ( 50 gallons or larger), this
should not be a problem, as the kribs won’t try
to take over the entire tank.
I saw some elephant fishes at
a large aquarium shop, but no
one seemed to know much
about them. Are they good aquarium fish?
and won’t be out much during the day. That
species reaches about 9 inches in length
and should be fed some live food. (The chin
extension is for rooting for crustaceans in the
substrate.) These fish have a weak electrical
current that is generated for negotiating the
terrain in the dark and in turbid water.
Some species of elephant fish grow quite
large and are predatory. You wouldn’t see
them during the day, but most of your fish
would be gone by the next day! They also
tend not to get along with other elephant fish,
but otherwise they are fairly peaceful with
Is it true that sailfin mollies
need salt in the water? If so,
what kind of plants can be
kept with them?
South Bend, Indiana
Elephant fish are so called
because some of the species
have an extension on their chin
that resembles the trunk of an
elephant. A lot of these African species of the
family Mormyridae also have colors similar
to an elephant. Some of the species, such as
Gnathonemus petersii, are good aquarium
fish except for the fact that they are nocturnal
Sailfin mollies (Poecilia
latipinna, P. velifera, and
hybrids of the two) do better
in water that has a spoonful
of salt added per gallon. There are plants
you can utilize in such water, such as Java
ferns, Sagittaria, Vallisneria, and Anubias.
Be aware, however, that these fish will dine on
tender plants—particularly if you don’t keep
them supplied with a diet that contains plenty
of plant matter.