Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Rope Fish

Yesterday I took my friend to the Fish Den to get some new fish for her 55-gallon tank. One of the fish she got is one of the coolest fish I've seen. It is a rope fish, erpetoichthys calabaricus, a fresh water fish from Africa. It looks like a cross between an eel and a snake. My friend got a small one, it is probably a little under a foot. When she put him in the tank it was so cool to see him slither around everything. The way he curves his body is so fluid, it seems like he just goes where the current takes him.

When I got home I had to learn more about them, so of course, I went online. I went to Petfish and found out that these fish can get very big. Adults can reach 3 feet in length, and the minimum tank size is 55 gallons. Also they are carnivorous, you feed the blood worms, beef heart, or feeder fish. But they can also eat smaller fish in the tank, and snails and frogs. So you have to be careful what you put in with them.

I read that they are nocturnal, and liked to hide a lot, but when my friend put him in the tank, he went in and out of everything, and didn't seem to stay in one place for too long. My friend told me that's why she got him, out of all the types of eels and things in the store, this fish seemed to hide the least. In doing some research about rope fish, I found a comment site that states that they are very personable, and will swim in and out of your fingers when you put your hand in the tank to feed them.

I am determined to get one of these fish some day. I think they are so graceful in the water, I could watch them all day. it is a commitment though, the larger the tank the harder it is to clean and keep regulated. But if you like fish like I do, it is worth it.

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