Elephant Nose (Gnathonemus petersii)

The Elephant Nose is often seen for sale, and purchased due to its unusual appearance and activity. This fish however, is not for beginners, and should not be purchased unless you know exactly how to keep the fish properly. An interesting feature of these fish is their possession of electroreceptors covering the head, dorsal, and ventral areas. The fish uses electrical discharges to find food, communicate with other fish of a similar type, and for breeding purposes. Elephant Nose’s are also excellent hearers, and are very sensitive to noise and vibrations.

The fish are naturally nocturnal, and requires dark hiding spots in the aquarium. Because of their very sensitive ‘noses’, it is vital that the aquarium contains only a sandy bottom, since gravel substrates will damage the fish, leading to infections. Elephantnoses are best kept as individuals or in groups of 5 or more. It is not wise to keep pairs or smaller groups, as the fish are likely to bully weaker individuals.

Given the fishes demanding requirements, and because they are nocturnal, the initial ‘novelty factor’ will wear off, we would suggest that the fish is avoided for home aquariums. This is a species for expert fishkeepers only

This fish is excluded from the Compatibility Checker as it is unsuitable for community aquariums or may require expert care.

Elephant Nose Facts

Behaviour Generally peaceful, but will harrass weaker fish of the same type 
Typical size : 20cm 
Max size : 25cm 
Tank Area : Bottom 
Min Tank Size : 90cm 
Temp Min : 22℃ Max : 28℃ 
Feeding : Sinking foods, live or frozen foods 
pH Range : 6-8.5 
Hardness : vs,s,m,h

Family Mormyridae (Elephantfishes) | Synonyms Mormyrus petersii, Gnathonemus brevicaudatus, G. histrio, G. pictus | Other names Peters Elephantnose, Long-nosed Elephant Fish | OriginCentral & West Africa | Natural Water Conditions pH 6-8 Soft to medium-hard.


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