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Gnathonemus petersii
Peters' Elephantnose Fish

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Peters' Elephantnose Fish - Gnathonemus petersii

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img/Gnathonemus_petersii_1.jpg (18kb)
Photo Credit: Patricia Esteves

Name: Gnathonemus petersii
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Niger and Congo Basins
35 cm 200 L 6.8 26C


This is one of the most interesting fishes. Very exciting to watch. They are freindly with all. The nose bends around while searching for food. One of few fish that swims backwards often.

Contributed by Chris Hoover

My experience with elephant nose is they need worm-type food (e.g frozen blood worm, live black worm) diet due to the structure of the mouth. The mouth is the hole above the nose sensory. The elephant nose will refuse dry food because of they lack of ability to consume the food from the shape of their mouth. The Elephant nose has poor sight and relies on the electric sensory organs. The requirement of cave fixtures whether from rocks or drift wood is a must to make them feel secure. Caves preferred by the elephant nose is one with two doorways. Elephant nose needs to be the dominant bottom dweller as it can easily be stressed or bullied by a more bossy species. This is the major reason I do not keep elephant noses anymore, because of my larger clown loaches were giving the fish a difficult time. Other bottom dwelling fish to avoid is the pictus catfish, eeltails or tandanus catfish, large clown loaches and black ghost, due to their bossy nature towards the elephant nose. Another thing is elephant nose are sensitive to poor water quality. You need to practice good aquarium management, such as regular water changes. Although elephant nose is nocturnal and secretive, they can be trained in behaviour by food rewards to be more outgoing or to come out in the day.

Contributed by Joshua Hansen

I bought an elephantnose about two months ago. I built a cave for him out of some flat rocks that I found in lake Ontario, but he refuses to come out of it unless it is completely dark in the room. At this moment in time he is about 13 cm long. They also have some electrical organs in their tails. It's too weak to affect any fish at all, they can't even feel it. I don't know why they are there, but I just thought it would be cool to know. They eat blood worms, it's best to feed them after you turn off the lights or they won't get the food and they'll starve to death.

Contributed by Kyle Hazen

It's an omnivore which prefers live foods, but will take frozen foods, and possibly flake. The 'trunk' is used for hunting small food organisms, a soft substrate is necessary to prevent injury to the snout. These fish have a weak electric organ which they use for navigation. You must take great care if you ever need to treat these fish, or a tank containing them, with a medication. They are sensitive to several of the common treatments - read the product insert carefully.

Contributed by Samuel Urbina

I have one of these guys in a community tank. He is usually quite active scavenging around the bottom of the tank. I would recommend that if you buy one you feed it blood worms - they can't get enough of them. And are quite amusing to watch as they flip up the blood worms with their nose-like feeler and into their mouth.

Contributed by Andy

These are the coolest fish. I have one named elefunky. He is in a large tank with 2 kissing gouramis, 2 gold gouramis, 1 dwarf gourami, 2 small barbs, 3 Kuhli loaches, 3 albino catfish and 1 bristle nose catty. He loves swimming amongst the plants, and spends the majority of his time there. He does however cruise around the tank, nose butting everyone else just to remind them of his dominence. He has it all over them, even the larger fish. Saying that, he and the bristle nose have buddied up together. I highly recommend elefunkies, everyone should have one. Be careful if treating the tank with medication, they have no scales and it can burn their soft skin.

Contributed by Emma

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