The aba aba knife (Gymnarchus niloticus) is a large fish that has a huge natural range throughout much of the northern half of Africa where it inhabits slow moving streams and densely vegetated swamps and marshes. This fish grows to an adult size of up to 66 inches long, though aquarium specimens over 48 inches are virtually unheard of. There are no known differences between the sexes. During the breeding season, males build large bubble nests that the eggs are deposited into.
The aba aba knife should be maintained in an aquarium of 180 gallons or larger depending on age and size. A soft, sandy substrate (CS7538) is a good choice. Driftwood (ZM2000) and live or artificial plants may also be incorporated. The tank should be dimly lit and filtration should be gentle but efficient.
The aba aba knife prefer a temperature of 73°F to 82°F, a pH of 6.5 to 8.0, a hardness of 10 to 25°H. Be sure water is clean and well oxygenated.
The aba aba knife is a large predatory fish that should only be housed with other large sturdy fish that won’t damage its interesting fins. The aba aba knife is a solitary fish and will be quite aggressive with conspecifics.
The aba aba knife is very easy to feed in the aquarium. It is a carnivore and once acclimated will accept most meaty live and frozen foods such as krill (SF8174) and silversides (SF6781). For maximum color, growth, and health these fish will look their best when given probiotics (AL169) in addition to a balanced diet.