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Features of fish Protopter and its content in aquarium conditions

Protopter, a common fish on the African continent, belongs to the family of Protopterus annectens. The genus is twofold, as its representatives have both gills and lungs.

The latter cover the need for oxygen by 98%, and the gills only by 2%. Protopter is divided into four species, differing only by external data and habitat.

Fish love the tropical climate and prefer to live in fresh, preferably stagnant bodies of water, prone to drying out.

Protopter – an ancient fish that breathes both lungs and gills

Protopter more like a snake than a fish. The body is elongated, oblong. The fins on the chest look like plaits, the dorsal fin is long, starts from the middle of the body and comes to the end of the tail.

The body is covered with small scales.

  1. Marble Protopter (big). The largest representative, body length up to two meters with a weight of about 17 kg. The name matches the color. There are bluish and gray shades in combination with a pattern resembling marble.
  2. Brown Protopter. It grows up to one meter, approximate body weight 5 kg. The color range is varied, the back area is represented by a greenish-brown color, the sides are less bright, the abdomen is white with a grayish tint.

The length of the brown prototopter is on average 1 m

  • Dark Protopter. The body is slightly less than a meter, an average of 80-85 centimeters. The average weight of 11 kg, large individuals gain up to 17 kg. The body is dark gray, in general, the fish resembles an eel.
  • Small protopter. A small type of grayish color, about half a meter long and weighing 2 kg. In addition to differences in color, there are features of the structure. The young representatives have three pairs of fins that remain for a long time.
  • Protopter lives in Africa, and more precisely in its equatorial zone and the tropics. The climate favorable for fish allows to occupy the extensive areas.

    Distributed in Nigeria, Cameroon, Gambia, Niger and other neighboring countries.

    Protopter lives in African countries

    Each species occupies a specific area. Brown Protopter is found in the basins of rivers of western Africa.

    Small lives in the Zambezi delta, in the southern territories. Dark, the rarest, is found only in the Congo River, and marble to the east of Sudan.

    Living conditions all representatives prefer the same. Fish feel comfortable in freshwaters that are subject to drying out, but some subspecies can carry brackish water.

    Settles in small lakes, oxbows, or flooded hollows.

    The increased activity of the Protopters is noted in the evening, at the same time it goes hunting. Due to the fact that pulmonary respiration prevails over the gill, the fish has to keep close to the surface in order to regularly collect a portion of oxygen.

    This process is accompanied by a loud sound, like a scream. At night, rises occur more often than during the day.

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