Common Name: Albino Clown Knifefish
Scientific Name: Chitala ornata sp. albino
Other Names: Albino Knifefish
The Albino Clown Knifefish is a captivating variation of the standard Clown Knifefish, distinguished by its lack of pigmentation, which results in a pale, creamy-white body coloration. It retains the elongated, knife-like body shape characteristic of knifefish. The lack of the usual dark coloration and spots is replaced by a uniform pale color, and they often have pink or red eyes, typical of albinism.
Habitat and Distribution:
While the standard Clown Knifefish, Chitala ornata, is found in the freshwater habitats of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, the albino variant is primarily bred in captivity and does not occur naturally in the wild.
Size and Lifespan:
Albino Clown Knifefish can grow quite large, often reaching lengths of over 20 inches in captivity. With proper care, their lifespan can extend to 10 years or more.
Diet and Behavior:
The Albino Clown Knifefish is carnivorous, feeding on a diet of small fish, invertebrates, and sometimes plant matter in the wild. In aquariums, they can be fed a variety of live and frozen foods, including bloodworms, shrimp, and small fish. They are nocturnal and tend to be shy, often hiding during the day.
Breeding and Reproduction:
Breeding Albino Clown Knifefish in captivity is rare and challenging. They are known to be egg layers, but successful captive breeding is not commonly reported.
Aquarium Care and Tank Requirements:
Due to their size, a large aquarium is required, with a minimum of 150 gallons recommended for an adult. The tank should include hiding places like large pipes or caves, as they prefer to stay hidden. A sandy substrate and dim lighting are also preferred to mimic their natural environment.
Ideal Tank Mates:
Given their size and predatory nature, they should be kept with similarly sized fish. Small fish will be seen as prey. Suitable tank mates include large catfish, cichlids, and other non-aggressive species of comparable size.
Intermediate to Advanced. Their large size, specific dietary needs, and preference for hiding spots require an experienced aquarist.
Temperature: 75-82°F (24-28°C)
General Hardness (GH): 8-15 dGH
Carbonate Hardness (KH): 5-12 dKH
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: <20 ppm
Albino Clown Knifefish, due to their albinism, may be more sensitive to bright lights.
They are known for their ability to generate weak electrical fields, which they use to navigate and locate prey.
Due to their skittish nature, sudden movements or changes in their environment should be avoided to reduce stress.
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