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My Red Snakehead
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JeremyG
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006

PostPosted: 2006.10.10(Tue)14:09    Post subject: My Red Snakehead Reply with quote

About 6 years ago I had setup a nice 29 gallon acrylic tank which I got very inexpensively when a local pet store stopped carrying acrylic tanks.

It had just started getting settled in. I had a beautiful Yellow Libido, a Green Severum, and a couple other fish which I forget at the time. I wanted to add something but I wasnt sure what. At the local pet store I saw a tank full of a beautiful fish I had never seen before. Red Snakeheads. I asked the guy at the store if he'd be alright with the fish I had, and quickly purchased one and brought him home.

I had previously kept snakes as pets and to me this one an awesome looking fish. He was so cute...about 1.5 inch long, but the other fish didn't even try to chase him. It seemed like the perfect addition to the tank.

A couple of months went by and he began growing....a litle faster than I expected. I was feeding my fish mostly frozen food at the time, and I found myself putting more and more food in per feeding. He was adorable the way he chomped up food as soon as I dropped it in the tank, especially when his little belly would be full and bulging, exactly the way a snake does when it eats.

A couple more months when by and the smaller fish were disappearing. It was pretty obvious he had eaten them. I chalked it up as tank evolution, and I wasnt worried as the other fish were way too big to fit in his mouth. But then one day the unthinkable happened.

I woke up and found that the green severum had a prefectly clear outline on his body of...the snakehead's mouth. This little monster had actually chomped down on the side of the thin green severum which was now about 4 inches long and a 1/4 inch thick. I couldnt believe it. They were now the only two fish in the tank and I realized that frozen food wasnt going to cut it.

So I began buying goldfish feeders...the smaller ones. I would drop one or two in with the frozen food and all seemed well. He loved it. I was surprised ow quickly he ate them when I dropped them in, but it definately kept him away from the severum.

The two of them lived together in the tank for a good long while. (the severum always displaying the scar left behind from the attempted murder) They were happy for the most part. But eventually the feeder goldfish propelled the growth of the snakehead faster than the severum could keep up. Sure enough, I woke up one morning to only a single fish in the tank....with a VERY big belly. I'm still not sure how he fit the severum in his mouth, but for 3 straigh days he laid on the bottom of the tank while he digested his former tank mate.

By now he was about 8 inches long. His new "friend" was not a fish or snail or anything in the tank, but instead...it was my cat. The two of them would stare at each other....stalk each other. My cat would lay on top of the aquarium and swat at the fish who would scurry away and hide. Sometimes the snakehead would charge at my cat who would freak out and bound away across the room.

He would eat a dozen feeders in a single feeding (about every 3 days) and I stopped bothering with frozen food. He was actually amazing to watch. I would open the lid and drop the feeders into the tank. There would be a fury of splashing and darting that was almost quicker than your eyes could follow. In less than 15 seconds (I timed it), the tank would again be calm with only a single fish moving. I was very afraid to ever put a finger in the tank....in fact I don't think I ever did.

I kept him another few months, probably just about a year in total until I came home to find him on the floor behind the tank....dried up as he was lying in some kitty-litter that has been tracked out onto the hardwood floor.

To this day I do not know how it happened. The back of the acrylic tank had barely large-enough openings for the filter and heater. He either had some mazing jumping skill or was forcefully pulled out by a certain little kitty cat who was tired of being taunted.

I miss my red snakehead.

(I recently read that snakeheads might be outlawed now, as people were dumping them in public lakes when they got too big, and they would eat the entire lake stock. Having owned one, I do not doubt this)
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touie
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Joined: 12 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2006.10.10(Tue)14:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

probably couldnt stand being in such a small tank any longer ! They can grow to 1 1/2 meters!!! From what I've heard they are pretty good at escaping too Wink

Last edited by touie on 2006.10.10(Tue)15:03; edited 1 time in total
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Angry Andy
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Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Location: St. John's, NL, Canada

PostPosted: 2006.10.10(Tue)15:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

What species of snakes did you use to keep?
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JeremyG
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006

PostPosted: 2006.10.10(Tue)15:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mostly I had gater snakes as a young teen.

For a short while I had a roommate who has a....some kind of sand-snake that mostly stayed burried in the sand with his head out.

I also lived with a girlfriend for a while who had an albino boa.
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DeviantXX
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Joined: 09 Aug 2006
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: 2006.10.14(Sat)18:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember awhile back, in my hometown, Maryland we had a big outbreak in snakeheads, someone who released a few into our local ponds/lakes and streams that really messed things up around here. Havent heard about the problem in awhile, so maybe they got it in control.
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ceci9293
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Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: 2006.10.14(Sat)19:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wondering, can you use a tank for fish that has previously been used for reptiles? We're upgrading our gecko's tank and I'm coveting her old one...
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Angry Andy
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Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Location: St. John's, NL, Canada

PostPosted: 2006.10.14(Sat)20:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

ceci9293 wrote:
Just wondering, can you use a tank for fish that has previously been used for reptiles? We're upgrading our gecko's tank and I'm coveting her old one...

It depends on how much previous usage the tank endured. In most cases, yes.

If you never used soaps, bleach or any other detergent to clean the tank, you're in good shape. If you did, thoroughly rinse every surface with warm water. The object is to ensure that there is absolutely no residue of any detergent left in the tank.

Also, inspect the glass for any cracks or pits. You'll also want to inspect the silicone. Lots of lizards and turtles love to try to claw their way out. If there's significant damage to it, you should consider re-siliconing the tank- consult Dale's thread on this subject in the DIY forum.
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Osprey
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Joined: 15 May 2006
Location: Okotoks, AB

PostPosted: 2006.10.15(Sun)9:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also keep in mind that sometimes the glass in those tanks isn't the same thickness used in aquariums. A tank built for reptile use doesn't have to withstand the same pressure as one filled with water, and is manufactured accordingly. A reptile tank being used for fish is basically a giant water bomb waiting to explode.
See if you can trade the tank for a second-hand aquarium. There are lots of internet sites that promote local trading.
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Charles
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Joined: 10 Jul 2005

PostPosted: 2006.12.27(Wed)13:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found out what the snakehead are recently and realized that I had one a few years ago. My family was moving, and our 2.5meter long tank was empty... My grandpa bought 2 snakeheads from the supermarket (I think snakeheads are common in supermarkets, as I can still recall seeing them there)... I asked my grandpa to keep one, so I put it in the empty tank. I think it was a common snakehead, with colour similar to a "python".

I never knew I was keeping such an aggressive fish... it was vey hardy, I never feed it, not even after we moved. I think the new house owner either cooked it or "punished it" (only if they start their own new aquarium with the snakehead in it)

This brings me curiosity, if you put a snakehead with another agressive fish, which would win? I'm just curious. So, here is my list of "opponents"

- wolf fish (I saw a post on a piranha forum, that wolf fish bite off a part of the snakehead)
- Giant Gourami
- Red Devil
- Oscar
- Pacu
- piranha
- wolf cichlid
- Eel
- arrowana
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invertmaniac
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Location: Wheaton IL

PostPosted: 2006.12.27(Wed)19:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theres no way a snakehead (unless its REALLY big) could beat my oscar. its tough as nails. it puts up with room temperature water and a 2 ft long MEAN water salamander that constantly grabs his tail, but he doesn't have a single scar or wound. I'd like to see a snowflake eel and a snakehead go at it. I know a snowflake eel is salt water, but it be an even fight.
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