Acestrorhynchus isalineae; like their saltwater namesakes, freshwater barracudas
Acestrorhynchus spp. are piscivores by nature.
desired location in your tank. The sinker will America—most are found in the Amazon
weigh down the bottom of the clump, making it and Orinoco River basins—and prefer water
appear as if it is rooted in the gravel. There are that is neutral to slightly acidic in pH. Many
also long, bendable aquarium-plant weights members of this genus do best when kept
sold specifically for this purpose. You might in small schools. Depending on the species,
want to place the plant clumps behind rocks or mature length can range anywhere from
driftwood in order to conceal the sinkers, but about 5 inches to upwards of 15 inches. Their
they really aren’t that obvious unless you’re adult size combined with their schooling
looking for them. behavior should tell you that a very large
This isn’t a perfect method because the fish tank is necessary if you want to keep any of
can still move the clumps around, but then these fish in a home aquarium.
moving them back to the desired position (or As the shape of their teeth suggests,
to a different, mutually acceptable location) freshwater barracudas are all piscivores—
is accomplished easily enough with a pair of or fish eaters—and will gobble up any
aquarium tongs. fish small enough to be swallowed. Some
Acestrorhynchus species have the ability to
Freshwater swallow fish that are half their own length!
Barracuda Therefore, these fishes don’t make ideal
Dear TFH, I am a 12-year-old community tank inhabitants. Because their
animal lover with over 50 natural diet consists of live fish, it’s often
cages. I get some of my livestock from a necessary to offer Acestrorhynchus species
website, and I saw that they are selling a live feeder fish at first. However, feeder fish
freshwater barracuda. Is this possible? I aren’t a healthy option for the long term, so
thought they were only found in salt water. they should be weaned onto non-living meaty
If this is possible, what things do they foods, such as shrimp and fish flesh, as soon
need—water conditions, food, tank size, as possible.
etc.? Thanks in advance.
Gabe Ibanez Zebra Loaches
via email for Snail Control
I have had a 55-gallon
Though they look similar to freshwater planted tank
saltwater barracudas with their for two years now, and I have a snail
silvery, torpedo-shaped bodies infestation. I filter it with a wet/dry filter
and needle-like teeth, the fishes in a 20-gallon long sump and do a regular
commonly sold as freshwater barracudas are water change of 15 percent weekly. I have
actually characins belonging to the family nine green fire tetras and seven red and
Acestrorhynchidae, and they’re more closely blue Colombian tetras, one of which was
related to tetras than to their saltwater born to the six I placed in the tank! I
namesake (which belongs to the family also have five Corydoras catfish and two
Sphyraenidae). In fact, they’re also commonly surviving Otocinclus catfish.
known as small-scale pike characins. The When I added the Colombian tetras,
family Acestrorhynchidae contains only one I also added some plants that were,
genus, Acestrorhynchus, which currently unfortunately, infested with the snails. All
consists of 15 described species. these fish are mature with the exception of
Acestrorhynchus species hail from South the juvenile red and blue tetra. Would the