African Knife Fish - Xenomystus nigri Xenomystus nigri
African Knife Fish


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African Knife Fish - Xenomystus nigri

Species name: Xenomystus nigri

Common Names: African Knifefish, African Brown Knife

Synonyms: Notopterus nigri, Notopterus nili

Family: Rhamphichthyidae

Order: Gymnotiformes

Class: Actinopterygii

Max. size: 30 cm / 12 inches

Environment: Freshwater

Origin: Africa. coastal river basins in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, Benin and Cameroon; also in the Chad, the Nile, the Congo, the Niger (Benue and Niger Delta), the Ogôoué and the Congo (Cuvette Centrale and Ubangui) basins.

Temperament: Non aggressive. Do not keep with aggressive or species that are small enough to swallow.

Company: Best kept with other non aggressive species. Don’t keep with other knifes.

Water parameters: pH 6.0-7.5, temperature 23-28°C / 73 - 82° F

Aquarium setup: This species requires a relatively large well planted aquarium. When young It is best to keep more then one of these fishes together in the aquarium however as they grow old its best only keeping a single specimen in one aquarium. The Aquarium should be decorated with a lot of hiding places among rotes, rocks and plants. Floating plants should be used to dim the lighting.

Feeding: Accepts live and frozen food. Some species accepts pellets and flakes others need too be weaned before they accepts pellets and flakes.

Breeding Have occasional been breed in aquarium however breeding is extremely hard.

Juvenile Xenomystus nigri - African Knifefish picture
Picture of Juvenile African Knifefish - Xenomystus nigri. Copyright

Adult African Knifefish - Xenomystus nigri picture
Adult Xenomystus nigri - African Knifefish picture. Copyright

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African Knife Fish - Xenomystus nigri