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Erpetoichthys calabaricus
ReedFish, RopeFish, SnakeFish

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Rope Fish - Erpetoichthys calabaricus

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reed1.jpg (24kb)
Photo Credit: Greg Austin

I have had a Ropefish for about 3 months now and he (or she) is about 20 cm long. It seems to me that Ropefish in general are very hard to make them comfortable and get them to eat, since they are nocturnal creatures. I have hand-fed my Ropefish about 5 times. I chop feeder minnows into tiny pieces and, since Ropefish have bad eyesite, I put my hand slowly down into the tank to his face and he snaps up the piece of minnow (sometimes worm, depends on what he is hungry for). For awhile now I haven't seen him eat much, but I figure he comes out at night and eats the leftover flakes and bloodworms from the other fish. He hides a lot also (no he isn't dead because I always find him when I clean the tank :)).

Contributed by Tim Woeckner

I had one of these when I was a very little girl, about 6 years old. I cried and threw a fit until my mom bought me it for my tank when I saw it (she thought it was creepy). Not knowing anything about fish, I was happy to take it out of the tank and show it to my mother's guests at parties - it was pretty readily hand tamed. These days, I realize it wasn't smart, but these fish hold a nice memory in my heart to this day, ten years later. For whatever reason, I named him Elvis back then. He lived for years, until we had to move, and gave him to a friend of our's.

Contributed by Steph Mantz

I have had my Rope Fish for over 7 years and I have never once fed it any kind of meat. She has been a vegetarian and has lived on nothing but algae wafers, that is until just recently, she's eaten a lot of snails! Because Ropes are nocturnal, their favorite location is somewhere very dark to hide in during the day. If you do not provide them with such a place, they will go in search of one and that will most always have a bad ending. So please everyone if you have one of these fish consider yourself very fortunate! Therefore protect them from any predators in your tank! They can hold their own, but they are no match for your Central American Cichlids (i.e. Oscars, Jack Dempsey's, Red Devils, Convicts, etc.) Especially if you're feeding the tank meat! If you use your head you will have a long life with your Rope.

Contributed by Renee

I have a 15 cm rope fish who would not eat anything we put in my tank. We tried baby guppies, neons, tubifex worms, blood worms and a number of different items. After making a last ditch effort we found out he liked our cichlids' brine shrimp. So they can be very pick eaters, but just keep trying.

Contributed by Lacy Monteith

I love rope fish. I had one for over 7 years as well. It just recently died today :(. It had a strong life and I never had a problem with it. You could hold him in your hand. He was about 40 cm long. Then something happened to my tank and the rope fish, along with others, got Ich, Fungus, internal bacterial infections and gill disease. I would definitely recommend others as well to get them, as they are very interesting species. I fed him freeze dried worms every day. He lived through all kinds of problems I have had in the tank. I have gone through some many fish in that tank from either age or Ich and Viper (the rope fish) was the one that stood above them all and never got sick and always stayed strong.

Contributed by Justin

A fascinating fish, which I've never successfully kept. Never had a problem feeding them, just had a problem keeping them in the tank! My 2 always found a happy home in my external filter, but would eventually become cat food. Now that I understand them better, I'm unable to locate a local dealer who keeps them!

Contributed by Paul

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