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Elephant Nose Fish – Gnathonemus petersii

Ele­phant Nose Fish – Gnathone­mus peter­sii. They appear thin and oblong with col­ors rang­ing from dark brown or gray with white mark­ings.

The name ele­phant nose, obvi­ous­ly comes from the sim­i­lar look its nose has com­pared to the trunk of an ele­phant.

A weak elec­tri­cal organ at the thin part of body where the tail attach­es, is used for sens­ing. This helps the ele­phant nose fish to com­mu­ni­cate with oth­er fish, detect preda­tors and foods. These fish can feel the slight­est move­ments when the field around them is dis­turbed. Because the ele­phant nose fish – gnathone­mus peter­sii is noc­tur­nal, it can move through shady or murky water, even at night.

Sex­ing these fish is done by an advanced hob­by­ist or aquat­ic pro­fes­sion­al. They would have to define the sex of the fish through an exam­i­na­tion of their elec­tri­cal field. Inter­est­ing.

Tru­ly a beau­ti­ful fish.


More About Elephant Nose Fish:


Com­mon Name: Ele­phant Nose Fish, Peters Ele­phant nose

Sci­en­tif­ic Name: Gnathone­mus peter­sii

Size: 8 inch­es / 20 cm

Nat­ur­al Habi­tat: Niger, Mali, Nige­ria, Cen­tral African Repub­lic, Cameroon, Repub­lic of Con­go, Chad, Zam­bia, Benin, Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of Con­go.

Ide­al Tank: Dim­ly lit aquar­i­um light­ing pre­ferred as they are noc­tur­nal. Using smooth ele­ments such as drift­wood and mopani wood is rec­om­mend­ed. Clay pots and acrylic fish pipes are great for hid­ing places.

These fish have del­i­cate flex­i­ble, tubu­lar shaped mouths that they use to bur­row them­selves into the sub­strate. Using sand as a sub­strate is rec­om­mend­ed for the Ele­phant Nose Fish – Gnathone­mus peter­sii for safe­ty of the fish and for easy bur­row­ing.

Choos­ing low-light plants is rec­om­mend­ed as they pre­fer dim light. Some exam­ples to add are Anu­bias sp. and Val­lis­ne­r­ia. Plants are always great in any aquar­i­um. It adds col­or and a lit­tle nature! Plants also help in fil­ter­ing your water when pair­ing it with oth­er fil­tra­tion equip­ment for your trop­i­cal fish aquar­i­um.

Aquar­i­um Size: 60 gal­lon+

Aquar­i­um Water Tem­per­a­ture: 73 – 82 °F/23 – 28°C

Aquar­i­um Water pH: Range pH 6.0 – 7.5

Tank Mates: Ele­phant Nose Fish — Gnathone­mus peter­sii known to be ter­ri­to­r­i­al but at oth­er times can be peace­ful.

Small Syn­odon­tis cat­fish, Birchers, Ctenopo­ma species, African But­ter­fly Fish. Cich­lids like Satanop­er­ca, some Geophaus and Angelfish. Pro­vide a nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment for your fish. Cre­ate hid­ing spots in the aquar­i­um for cov­er to reduce stress on your fish.

When­ev­er adding fish to a tank, we rec­om­mend using Prime by Seachem.

Care Lev­el: Inter­me­di­ate+

What Do I Feed My Elephant Nose Fish

  • Live food
  • Frozen foods
  • Dried foods
  • Dried worms
  • It is rec­om­mend­ed by Tail­sNTeeth to pro­vide a vari­ety of food types to your fish


Oth­er Con­sid­er­a­tions: Ele­phant Nose Fish – Gnathone­mus peter­sii is a scale­less fresh­wa­ter fish. This trop­i­cal fresh­wa­ter fish is sen­si­tive to poor water con­di­tions and aquat­ic fish med­ica­tions. It is impor­tant to do reg­u­lar water changes.


TailsNTeeth Recommends:

Using an aquar­i­um water test­ing kit will ensure aquar­i­um water para­me­ters are suit­able for these fish. The fre­quen­cy of their elec­tri­cal dis­charges increas­es as the water con­di­tions become more pol­lut­ed.