Care Level: Advanced
Live Plant Safe: Yes
General Description: The Elephant Nose has a vast distribution in slow-moving, muddy, and densely vegetated rivers across western and central Africa. The most popular Mormyrid in the hobby, this group of fish produce weak electric fields by the use of specialized muscle tissue at the tail as a means of communicating with other Elephant Nose fish and to navigate an even completely dark environment. This fish catches the attention of hobbyists not only for its unique body shape and coloration, but for its “trunk” in which it gets the name Elephant nose. Unfortunately, many Elephant nose end up in less than suitable aquarium conditions. First, its trunk is used to detect hidden food in the substrate which is why this species absolutely requires a fine to sandy substrate in the aquarium. Failure to do so will result in the trunk of your Elephant nose to become damaged, which will affect its quality of life. Second, Elephant nose are sensitive to bright lighting and will remain withdrawn during the day in this case. Lighting should be dim, or food items will otherwise need to be supplemented at lights out when this species will forage. And finally, Elephant nose are scaleless which makes them more susceptible to disease and sensitive to medications and salt. Extremely clean water needs to be maintained for the overall health of this fish. Only one Elephant nose should be kept per aquarium, as they are aggressive toward conspecifics. An adult Elephant nose can reach a size of approximately 8″.
Diet Requirements: Elephant nose are carnivores, and can be finicky at first but with the proper environment, will readily accept various freeze-dried and frozen foods including bloodworms, mysis shrimp and other mixed freshwater preparations. Live blackworms as an occasional treat will be appreciated. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 75 gallon aquarium is ideal for an Elephant nose. The tank will need to be upgraded accordingly as this fish matures. Elephant nose should be added only into a biologically established aquarium, as they cannot tolerate nitrite or ammonia. Additionally, Elephant nose are very sensitive to deteriorating water parameters, so weekly water changes should be done to keep water chemistry pristine (Nitrates < 15 ppm). Aquascape the aquarium with smooth rocks, driftwood or branches, floating plants to dim the lighting, and live plants for cover. Anubias plants will thrive in dimmer lighting conditions. Elephant nose are relatively peaceful, though they could be territorial about a specific dwelling in the aquarium. Their poor eye sight and dietary needs should be taken into consideration when choosing tank mates. Avoid overly competitive and active fish, and stick with more docile species such as various catfish, tetra, rasbora, gourami, and certain cichlids. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 5-15, pH 6.0-7.5.
Purchase Size: Small: 2” to 3”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.