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African KnifeAfrican Knife Right side view
  • African Knife
  • African Knife Right side view
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African Knife

Scientific Name: Xenomystus nigri
Ease of Care: Moderate
Approximate Arrival Size: 3 to 4 inches
Approximate Full Size: 12 inches
Native Region: Upper Nile River
Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
Diet: Carnivore

When a juvenile, it may form schools, but most adults live singly in their hiding places. They will not tolerate other knifefish but are generally peaceful with fish they do not consider food. The African Knife has an elongated body with one long anal fin used for propulsion. The dorsal fin is absent. The body color is a steel gray and the knife exhibits two small feelers along its upper lip. The African Knife can emit sounds by ejecting air from its swim bladder, perhaps used to startle predators. Growing to a possible 12 inches, most aquarium specimens will be 4 to 6 inches in length. Treat as a smooth skin fish when treating for parasite infestations.

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