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Xenentodon cancila - Silver NeedlefishMagyarul / Hungarian
Xenentodon cancila - Silver NeedlefishXenentodon cancila - Silver NeedlefishXenentodon cancila - Silver NeedlefishXenentodon cancila - Silver Needlefish
  • Scientific name: Xenentodon cancila
  • Synonyms: Esox cancila, Belone cancila, Mastemcembalus cancila
  • Common name: Silver Needlefish, Freshwater garfish
  • Group: Other fishes
  • Habitat: Asia; India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Malayan Peninsula
  • Size: 40 cm
  • Biotope: Found in fresh and occasionally brackish water. It is most common in rivers, but may also be found ponds, canals, and other freshwater habitats.
  • Social behavior: A relatively timid, schooling fish which should be kept in a species tank. Be cautious, the fish is a predator!
  • Diet: Carnivorous; live foods. In their natural habitat they eat fishes and frogs.
  • Breeding: Very rare in an aquarium, but possible.
  • Tank: Minimum 350 litres
  • Population: 3-4 fish for 400 litres
  • Decoration: Requires a wide, broad, low tank with about 30 cm of water. Suggest a fine gravel bottom with vegetation along the edges and back. Do not use floating plants and allow much open space for swimming. A lower water level inhibits the fish's tendency to jump. They are good jumpers and the tank must be covered.
  • Temperature: 23-29 °C
  • pH: 6.2-7.5
  • Hardness: 6-20 NK°
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years

Description: In common with other needlefish, this species has an elongate body with long, beak-like jaws filled with teeth. The lower jaw is slightly longer than the upper. The back is light brown and the belly is silver-brown. A dark brown bands runs from the tip of the jaws to the caudal fin. The dorsal and anal fins are positioned far back along the body close to the tail. They react to sudden changes in light, become aggitated and may repeatedly hurtle themselves against the aquarium cover resulting in injury. Xenentodon cancila is generally considered quite a difficult species to maintain because of its large size, nervous behaviour, and preference for live foods.

The dorsal and anal fins on male often have a black edge. For breeding, large tanks are suitable, with bogwood with some Java fern on it. The water temperature should be 25 °C, with a hardness of 13 dGH and with pH 6.4. In aquaria at least, spawning takes place in the morning, with small numbers of eggs being deposited among plants. The eggs are clear as glass, colorless and about 3.5 mm in diameter and are attached to plant leaves with sticky threads about 20 mm long. The development of the eggs takes about 10 days at 25 °C, when the fry hatch, they are almost 12 mm long. They will eat small live foods at this point, such as young labyrint fishes.

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