African Brown Knife Fish Housing and Care:
The African brown knife fish inhabits costal river basins in Togo, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Benin and Liberia.
A tank of at least 55-75 gallons would be ideal, depending if you want tank mates or not.
African knife fish can send electrical currents, since these fish are partly blind they use the electrical pulses to find food.
These fish are also nocturnal and need hiding places during the day, such as PVC pipe, turned flower pots, anything your knife fish can use to get away from the light.
To make your knife fish feel comfortable it's best to have a planted aquarium.
African knife fish are also very sensitive to water quality, being so they are not good for newly cycled tank.
If you're looking to start a new tank for an African brown knife fish (IMO) it'd be best to start with a tank of about 90-100 gallons, get the tank mates first then after the aquarium has been lived in for a few months you can introduce it into the new tank. If you don't want tank mates; keep your water quality perfect then you shouldn't have a problem.
You will need to do 25% weekly water changes, test the aquarium water weekly and have excellent filtration.
For water conditions; a temperature of 76-82F, pH of 6-8 and hardness of 5-15 is best.
Size and Lifespan:
The African knife fish can grow 8" in captivity but it's common for them to exceed this size and grow up to 12".
African knife fish have a lifespan of 8-15 years.
Diet and Feeding:
Since they are carnivores they will need a good solid diet of meat only, no flakes and no pellets. Foods like frozen or live bloodworms, brine shrimp, black worms, tubifex worms, and mysis shrimp are great for juveniles. For mid size to adult knife fish you can feed foods such as frozen krill, silversides, muscles and prawns. Live foods can be fed as well such as earthworms, feeder guppies and ghost shrimp. However when feeding live you must quarantine all fish and shrimp. It's actually best to breed these fish yourself to avoid bringing diseases and sicknesses into your tank. Live fish or shrimp should only be fed as a treat, every 1-3 months.
African brown knifes are a fairly peaceful fish, however these are still carnivorous predators. Unless you are planning to breed these fish are better off without their own kind. If you do keep two African knifes together you run the risk of fighting.
Some tank mates for the African knife fish are; Angelfish, rope fish, bichirs, severums, plecos, raphael catfish, pictus catfish, jewel cichlids, silver dollars, bala sharks, synodontis catfish, clown loaches, upside-down catfish, spiny eels and keyhole cichlids.
Most importantly do not house a your knife fish with other electrical fish or any fish that are small enough to fit in their mouth.
Since these fish are usually wild-caught they can be shy at first, you may not even see them for the first week or two but sooner or later it will start coming out to explore. These fish have quite the personality as well, they make great little pets.