Care Level: Moderate
Live Plant Safe: Yes*
* Types of plants will vary to the set-up the Archer is introduced into. For brackish environments, only such plants that can endure higher concentrations of salt such as Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) & Mangroves (Rhizophora spp.) are recommended.
General Description: The Archerfish or Archer for short, also known as the Banded Archerfish, has a very large natural distribution throughout Asia and northern Australia. While found in a range of freshwater environments, the Archer’s preferred habitat are brackish mangrove swamps and estuaries where there is an abundance of marginal or overhanging vegetation. Replicating this environment for an Archer in the home aquarium is desired. Archers are well known for their unique feeding behavior of shooting jets of water out of their mouths at insects on above-hanging vegetation. An adult Archer can reach a size of approximately 12″.
Diet Requirements: Archers are carnivores. In a biotope set-up of water and an area of dry land, insects could be introduced ocassionally for the archer to be able to prey upon naturally as they climb up plants. Otherwise, Archers are accepting of various frozen foods including bloodworms and brine shrimp. Archers may also accept high quality floating pellet foods.
Care Requirements: A minimum 90 gallon aquarium is ideal for a small, individual Archer or group. As these grow larger, a 150 gallon aquarium is more ideal. This fish cannot be put into a biologically immature aquarium. Biweekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters ideal (Nitrates < 30 ppm). Archers do not like excessive water movement. Most brackish tanks are kept at a salinity between 1.005 and 1.012. Unlike aquarium salt for freshwater, brackish tanks use marine salt. To achieve this salinity, we recommend mixing 1/8 cup of marine salt per one gallon of water. To err on the side of caution, you can use less and check the salinity level by using a hydrometer or refractometer. A marine sand or substrate is ideal for the bottom, in addition to something that replicates mangrove roots. Brackish water plants, such as Mangroves (Rhizophora spp.), would be desired to have in the aquarium by an Archer. Archers are generally peaceful and can be compatible with a wide variety of fish, so long as they are not too small to be eaten. Multiple archerfish can be kept together, however all individuals should be introduced at the same time for the best chance of success. No fewer than four Archers should be kept together as a group. Recommended water conditions, 76-84° F, KH 8-12, pH 7.0-8.0, salinity 1.008-1.012.
Purchase Size: Medium: 2” to 2-1/2”, Large: 3” to 4-1/2”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.