Kalamoicht calabaric (Erpetoichthys calabaricus / Calamoichthys calabaricus) Smith, 1865
Erpetoichthys: Greek, erpeton = snake + Greek, ichthis = fish; calabaricus: Named after the village where the fish was found: Old Calabar.
Kalamoiht Kalabarsky, also called Snake Fish, belongs to one of the most extraordinary and ancient groups of many-feathery. They appeared on the planet more than 40 million years ago and, after going through many stages of evolution, they retained only their inherent structural features of certain organs.
Habitat: Africa – inhabits small slow flowing rivers and standing bodies of water. Widely distributed in West Africa, they are caught in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Benin.
As a rule, it lives in shallow water, in waters with rough vegetation.
Description: Kalamoiht’s body is serpentine in shape and covered with hard scales. Pelvic fins absent.
On the muzzle expressive black eyes and antennae, performing the function of touch.
The top color of the body is olive or creamy greenish, which smoothly flows into the yellowish color of the abdomen. At the base of the pectoral fan-shaped fins are large black spots.
Sex differences are hardly noticeable. The females are a bit fuller and differ in the convex line of the abdomen.
In addition, the fish can be distinguished by the shape and shade of the anal fin: in males it is fan-shaped, larger and darker, in females it is small and triangular. The second variant of differences: the dorsal fin of the male has from twelve to fourteen rays in the female from nine to twelve – this method of separation by sex is not 100% reliable.
A unique feature of Kalamohta is the presence of not only the gills, but also the lungs, thanks to which the fish can stay for a while (up to eight hours if its skin is wet) without water and not die.
In nature, Snake Fish body length is up to 90 cm (not confirmed), diameter is about 1.5-2 cm. In captivity, fish are usually smaller — the largest size in an aquarium is 37 cm.
Fry have external gills and resemble Salamander larvae.
Parameters and arrangement of the aquarium: for the maintenance of one Kalamohta, you need a roomy aquarium with a large bottom area of at least 100 liters. However, the fish feel much more comfortable with their relatives, intraspecific aggression is not observed and a group of 3-5 individuals will need a capacity of 250 liters.
The presence of a tightly closed lid or cover glass is necessary, Kalamohty have the amazing ability not only to jump out of the water, but also to leak into even the smallest hole.
It is advisable to plant in the aquarium live plants that form thickets in some of its parts, and also to place decorative elements in the reservoir: snags, grottoes, and stones. Having the opportunity to take refuge, the fish adapt much faster in the new environment and continue to behave more freely.
The soil is better to pick up the loose and soft.
Water parameters: 23-30 ° C, pH range: 6.0 – 8.0; dH range: 5 – 19.
Good filtration is necessary, as well as weekly changes of 20-30% water. But without an aerator, you can do. Due to the special structure of the internal organs and the presence of light Kalamoihty, if necessary, is able to breathe air, and thus can put up with a low concentration of oxygen.
This fish can actually drown if it does not have access to air.
Snake Fish (Erpetoichthys calabaricus) Although it is rather large in size and despite its appearance, they are peaceful fish and are not prone to conflicts, so keeping it with too mobile and active fish is not desirable, Kalamoicht will not be able to defend their right to food and repel aggressive neighbors.
Perfectly get along with some species of American cichlids, shellfish, gourami, Sumatran barbs, macropods, atherins. But smaller species such as neon or guppy with Kalamohty better not contain.
The latter simply do not distinguish them from feed.
Nutrition: once or twice a day – prefer live and frozen feed. A special weakness is nourished to crank. With pleasure they eat pieces of fish, meat, squid, beef hearts, shrimps, worms, and crustaceans.
To dry feed indifferent. Sometimes, to diversify the diet, you can offer the fish lettuce leaves and spinach.
When content with representatives of other species will have to ensure that Kalamoiht got his portion of food.
If the more agile aquarium inhabitants eat it, the problem is solved simply: the food is placed in a tube of diameters up to 3 cm, which is placed on the bottom. Thus, the food will be inaccessible to other fish, and Kalamoiht will find it by smell and easily reach it.
Due to poor eyesight, Kalamoicht relies on his excellent sense of smell to find food.
Reproduction: There are very few known cases of reproduction of Kalamoihts in the aquarium conditions and that is not yet known to amateurs for successful spawning. Because of the many difficulties and the need for hormonal injections, captive fish breeding is not practiced.
All of them offered for sale are wild and come from natural habitats.
When creating favorable conditions Kalamuicht Calabar (Erpetoichthys calabaricus) can live in an aquarium up to 10 years.
Try to keep at least two fish.
Adding a little sea salt has a positive effect on the well-being of these fish.
Freshly purchased fish should be fed after turning off the light.
Photo Kalamaikhta Kalabarskogo or fish-snake (Erpetoichthys calabaricus))