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Clown Knifefish (WC)


Species – Chitala Ornata M

Our Size – 12-13cm

Max Size – 100cm+

Temperature Range – 20 - 28°C

pH Range – 6.0 – 8.0

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In the wild clown knifefish inhabits large rivers located on the South and South-East of Asia, in Thailand, India and Burma. The fish dwells everywhere, it lives in main river bed of Mekong and Chao Phraya.

The fish was introduced into other countries including the USA (Florida). This fish inhabits lakes, bogs, backwaters of large rivers. Young fish species gather into groups and hide among the aquatic plants and snags.

The adult fish species are loners, they hunt from a hide by staying downstream among thickly growing plants.

Clown featherback is a nocturnal predator, that lives under roots of riverside trees and snags in slow, muddy and warm rivers and backwaters. It lies in the dark and waits for its prey in the hide. If clown featherback is hungry, it will prey on any organism that it can swallow.

Here we have to mention, that the fish is full of itself – it is capable of attacking fish that is just one forth smaller than clown knifefish. In its birthplace this fish is a commercial one and it is widely used as food.

In the wild the fish length may reach 1 m (3.3 ft), however at tank conditions it grows smaller, usually about 50 cm (20 inches) long. Its lifespan is about 10 years.

The fish has humpbacked elongated body flattened from sides with small scales; it has silvery-gray color. There is also an albino kind of the fish; it has a row of round dark spots with white edging along its body, their number varies from 6 to 15.

The dorsal is so small that it rather resembles a small feather, than a fin. Things are quite the opposite as for the fish anal fin – it is rather long: it stretches starting from pectoral fins and smoothly transfers into the tail fin. The fin moves all the time, due to this the fish can swim.

Anal fin of the young species has bright pattern on it, that consists of lots intersecting lines. The brighter is the pattern on the anal fin of rising fish species, the more pronounced and large spots on their body they will have when they become reproductive. Pectoral fins allow the fish to perform various moves when swimming.

Large mouth of clown knifefish has many small teeth. Distinctive feature of the fish is that it can swim both forward and backward.

The fish respiratory organs are constructed so, that it can breathe with oxygen saturated in water and with atmospheric air. You can often see how you pet rises to the water surface to gasp an air bubble.

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