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Trimar Aquaria and Reptiles

  • Channa Snakehead - Dwarf jumper Bleheri

Channa Snakehead - Dwarf jumper Bleheri


Scientific name: Channa Bleheri

Common names: Rainbow snakehead

Size: Usually 15cm/6 inches

Description: Described in 1991 by Heiko Bleher. One of the smallest and also one of the prettiest Snakeheads. No pelvic fins. Dorsal ray count 36-37; anal ray count 24; predorsal scales 6-7; lateral line scales 45-46

Juvenile differences in colouration: From a small size the sides of the body are yellow, with a dark bar on the head, angled from the tip of the lower jaw, through the eye. This then develops into adult colouration as the fish grows.

Sexual Differences: Males are more brightly coloured and larger, males also grow quicker than females.

Geographical location: Brahmaputra River basin, Northern Assam, India

Maintenance: Snakeheads are known to live and survive in quite inhospitable conditions naturally so water quality is not paramount, but this doesn’t mean its ideal. Because of their high protein diet ample filtration is required and regular weekly water changes are best. Snakeheads do not cope with rapid water parameter changes as well as some other fish I.E a large PH change so its best to try and match the water as best as possible.

Compatibility: One of the most peaceful Snakeheads, Territorial disputes can occur with other Snakeheads but it is rarely serious. Can be kept with other fish as long as they are not small enough to fit in their mouths.

Hazard scale: Not considered to be hazardous in anyway.

Water Parameters: Coming from the Assam region Channa Bleheri have a Winter temp of 19 C and Summer temp of 22-28 C/72-82 F; they prefer the cooler side of that range, pH 6-7.5,

Tank size: One of the advantages of Channa Bleheri is its small size and peacefulness. These Snakeheads can be kept in a relatively small aquarium. 36” for a pair, groups can be kept in larger setups.

Aquarium setup: The aquarium should be well planted with open areas to swim in. Make sure hiding places are provided. All Snakeheads breath air and can suffocate if they are prevented from reaching the surface to breath. A secure top should be in place as they are excellent jumpers. Channa Bleheri are excellent escape artists and can escape from the very smallest of holes. Do not underestimate their escaping abilities. They can survive for sometime out of water as long as their lungs don’t dry out but the impact from the height of the tank to the floor may cause injury they cannot recover from. 

Behaviour: These are one of the most peaceful snakeheads although territorial disputes can occur. It is possible to keep a number of these snakeheads in a relatively small aquaria.

Breeding: These snakeheads have been breed many times in captivity. As with many snakeheads from the Northern Assam region it is necessary to lower the water temperature for a period of time then raise it to stimulate breeding. As with all snakeheads putting a male and female together is no guarantee that a pair will be formed. The best practice is to get a group and let a pair form from that group and then separate them as if breeding is successful the others will eat the fry. They should be provided with a cave which will make them feel comfortable and spawning will start from there. The male will select the site and the female will start the spawning, This will continue for a couple of days before the eggs are laid. The eggs are deposited and then float to the surface then collect as a floating raft. Hatching can take as little as 30 hours. They will be guarded by both parents and supplied with feeder eggs initially. They should be provided with small brine shrimp, and other small live food to begin with but they will quickly adapt of frozen and artificial foods

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