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Apteronotus albifrons
Black Ghost Knife Fish, BGK

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Black Ghost Knife - Apteronotus albifrons

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Apteronotus_albifrons_4.jpg (34kb)
Photo Credit: Stuart Halliday

Name: Apteronotus albifrons
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Amazon Basin
50 cm 400 L 6.6 26C


I have a black ghost (sometimes called) which is different from the brown ghost knife. The black ghost has a thicker body, thicker fins and a white tail. You must have a hiding place since the black ghost is nocturnal. My experience is the best food is live blood worms and live black worms. A 26C temp is required. I would not recommend to beginners.

Contributed by Robert Hinkson

These are one of the most interesting fish around. Their habits are strange and fun to watch while you're bored. If you get one you might never see him if you add a place to rest, like a tube, but it's needed so please add one. The Black Ghost Knifefish must have a place to hide, anything from PVC pipes to driftwood is fine. A clear tube keeps him protected and allows you to watch him while he's hiding. These guys have a small electrode sensor near their nose to sense and smell since they have almost no use of their eyes. They are nocturnal and are always found looking for food at night. The sensor emits a small electric current in the water which is not felt by any other fish and will not cause any harm. Keep small fish around 3 cm out of the tank if they aren't fed well because you might end up with less fish than you had the night before. This is a great fish besides that, and I will probably always have one just to have. They do get fairly large and will need a nice size tank at about 200 - 300 L.

Contributed by Sean

Unlike other kinds of knifefish, the black ghost is generally peaceful. However, small fish won't be nice mates for it. Small SAE and rasbora harlequin didn't last a long time. Fish such as congo tetras, kuhli loaches, SAE (not too small) or otos are doing well in my tank. Avoid agressive fish. Very easy to feed, mine comes eat almost in my hand. It will eat anything. It will do great in a well planted tank with hiding places.

Contributed by Philippe

I have had 2 black ghost knifefish. They are my favorite fish. Even though they don't come out that much during the day they are still fun to watch. They are fairly easy to take care, just a hiding spot and a big enough tank will do. It's really fun to watch them eat because they just suck their food down. Really awesome fish, both of mine that I have had have lived over 5-6 months, one of mine is still living. He pretty much rules the tank. The only fish that he doesn't have his way with is my tire track eel. But they get along very well. Mine doesn't seem to eat small fish, but he will eat anything else. This is the best fish.

Contributed by Michael Finlay

I recently purchased a Black Ghost Knife because I think that it is the most awesome fish I have ever seen. My parents had purchased two for their tank for 4 dollars a piece from Wal-Mart. I guess they had mistakenly been sent there, and mispriced. I however did not recieve that kind of deal, but he was worth every penny. I have a clear candle globe that he loves to hide in with live plants behind it. I have found that he loves to eat frozen bloodworms. I started him off with no tankmates, but just added an albino Plecostomus and they seem to be getting along very well. I have only had him about two months and he is already between 18 and 20 cm long. They are truly an amazing fish and I would recommend them to any fish enthusiast.

Contributed by Stacey Garcia

The Black Ghost Knife is one of the neatest fish out their on the market. Mine is about 20 cm long right now. A very peaceful fish, but I wouldn't recommend putting in small Tetras or anything less than 8 cm long. I got my Knife in with a Congo Puffer, Gar, Sfrican Butterfly Fish, Peacock Eel and 8 different types of Loaches. They get along just fine as long as there are plenty of hiding places and a big tank. I have all these fish in a 380 liter tank and they are all doing fine.

Contributed by (no name given)

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