Tropical Fish for Freshwater Aquariums: Crocodile Fish
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Crocodile Fish
Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided.
Crocodile Fish (Luciocephalus pulcher)
Additional locales and sizes may be available!

Quick Stats

Care Level Difficult
Temperament Semi-aggressive
Color Form Black, Tan
Diet Carnivore
Water Conditions 72-79° F, KH 0-10, pH 5.5-6.0
Max. Size 7"
Origin Far East, Farm Raised
Family Osphronemidae
Minimum Tank Size 30 gallons
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Overview

The Crocodile Fish is an unusual fish aptly named for its camouflage markings and patient, predatory behavior. In the wild, this ambush predator inhabits flooded forests or stagnant peat swamps of Southeast Asia. The natural habitat of the Crocodile Fish is a soft, acidic environment dense with live and fallen vegetation. Within these leafy and typically stained waters, the Crocodile Fish relies on its subdued coloration and disruptive markings to blend seamlessly into its environment.

The elongated body of the Crocodile Fish is marked with irregular blotches that run parallel to the dominant stripe that extends from mouth to tail. This stripe bisects the Crocodile Fish horizontally to effectively disrupt its body shape. Together with a large mouth/head that comprises up to a third of the Crocodile Fish's length, it is not difficult to see that the Crocodile Fish is a specialized predator. However, what may be difficult to comprehend is that the Crocodile Fish is related to aquarium favorites, the Gouramis.

The Crocodile Fish is a piscivore (fish eater) that does well with similar sized fish and can be kept in small groups. Any fish small enough to fit the enormous and extendable mouth of the Crocodile Fish should not be housed with this capable hunter. The predatory Crocodile Fish will remain motionless until small prey is within striking distance. With a rapid lunge, the Crocodile Fish captures its prey by extending its mouth, in a net-like fashion, and surrounding the prey.

The Crocodile Fish is sensitive to improper water quality and requires soft (low mineral), acid (low pH) water. The ideal aquarium setup for the Crocodile Fish should be aquascaped heavily with roots or driftwood. Live plants are another great addition for this setup. While proper water quality is crucial, water movement should be kept to a minimum to best recreate natural conditions for the Crocodile Fish. A tight-fitting cover for the aquarium is also recommended since the Crocodile Fish is a jumper.

The Crocodile Fish is a carnivorous fish that requires live food in its diet. Insect larva, as well as tubifex and bloodworms may also be included in the Crocodile Fish diet.

Approximate Purchase Size: 2-1/2" to 4"

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