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Author Topic: Black Knight/Ghost Knife Fish  (Read 1001 times)
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« on: Sun 10, August 2008 21:15 »

When I was getting some new fish and plants at Mastin Moor Aquatics in Staveley, Derbyshire (my favourite shop, I'm yet to find better, but then I've only been to Middletons and Hillsborough in Sheffield so far) I spotted what was labelled as a Black Knight/Ghost knife fish.

I've seen knife fish before and considered keeping them but know nothing about them at all.  I'm wanting to set up a small 2ft (20 gallon) black-and-white tank and wondered if this would be far too small or just right for this particular fish?

If said tank is too small, how large is the minimum requirement?  This way I can see if I can make the space for it as I really am keen on getting one of these.

The shop had 3 or 4 in for 9.99 and they were about 3.5-4" long, looked quite lively and happy.
Dave Hallam
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« Reply #1 on: Mon 11, August 2008 00:23 »

I think they potentially grow nearly as big as the tank you're suggesting!

I guess a minimum of 4ft would be the recommendation for this fish.
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« Reply #2 on: Mon 11, August 2008 20:31 »

Black Ghost Knife Fish are quite cool beasties - though be warned: they're meat eaters and they can grow to about 18".  It's also not recommended to have more than one per tank: they're part of the electric eel family and use electric currents to navigate, so if there's more than one, they're likely to permanently stress each other out.

They don't grow that quickly (the baby we bought has doubled from 3" to 6" in about 3 months, while the adult in our other tank has gone from 5" to 8" in about 7 months).  In theory, you can get them to feed from your hand - I suspect this depends on the number of other fish in the tank, as ours have remained quite shy - except for when there's bloodworm to be had  laugh4.  You also need places for them to hide.

On the other hand, for all that they're carnivourous, we've not had any problems with them eating other fish - even when left unfed for 2 days (not something I'd recommend doing on a regular basis, admittedly!).

Both Fish Inc and Aqua Hobby have/had BGKs in: it may be worth having a quick chat with them...
David Marshall
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« Reply #3 on: Mon 11, August 2008 23:19 »


Although the Black Ghosts coming from hormone stimulated breedings in Eastern Europe are much stronger than those which arrive to us from the wild you must always take care with these fish as their bodies are (like some 'L' numbered loricarins) natural harbours for many bacteria which, if the fish die unoticed, can spread through an aquarium at an alarming rate.

This said there are Aquarists' who keep these fish with great success.  The key appears to be througth the feeding of copious amounts of daphnia.

The native people of the Amazon believe that when a member of their tribe goes on to the next level of existence their souls pass into the bodies of Black Ghosts and this belief makes sure that they quickly releaase any BG.'s which get caught in their nets.

There are easier species of Knifefish available.  Issue 3 of The Aquarium Gazette has a very comprehensive article.

Regards David
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