Common Name: Royal Clown Knifefish
Scientific Name: Chitala blanci
Other Names: Royal Knifefish
The Royal Clown Knifefish is a unique and striking freshwater fish known for its elongated body and dramatic appearance. It has a silver-gray color with a series of black spots or bands along its body, which become more pronounced and ornate as the fish matures. The knifefish is characterized by its long, undulating dorsal fin, which runs nearly the length of its body, but lacks a pelvic fin. The body is laterally compressed, giving it a knife-like appearance.
Habitat and Distribution:
Chitala blanci is native to the Mekong Basin in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia and Vietnam. They inhabit large rivers and associated floodplain habitats, where they are typically found in slow-moving or standing waters.
Size and Lifespan:
The Royal Clown Knifefish can grow quite large, often reaching lengths of over 3 feet (1 meter) in the wild. In captivity, they may not reach this full size, but they still require a very large aquarium. With proper care, they can live for many years, often over a decade.
Diet and Behavior:
This species is carnivorous and preys on fish, crustaceans, and insects in its natural habitat. In an aquarium, it should be fed a variety of meaty foods such as live or frozen fish, shrimp, and insect larvae. They are generally nocturnal and can be shy, often hiding during the day.
Breeding and Reproduction:
Breeding the Royal Clown Knifefish in captivity is extremely rare and not well documented. In their natural habitat, they are believed to migrate to flooded areas to spawn during the rainy season.
Aquarium Care and Tank Requirements:
A very large aquarium is required to house the Royal Clown Knifefish, with a minimum tank size of 200 gallons for an adult. The tank should have plenty of hiding places and a soft, sandy substrate. Good filtration and water quality are essential, along with a tightly fitting lid as they can jump.
Ideal Tank Mates:
Given their size and predatory nature, they should be kept with larger, robust species that can coexist peacefully. Small fish will likely be seen as prey.
Advanced. Their large size, specific dietary needs, and requirement for a sizable tank make them a challenge to keep, suitable for experienced aquarists.
- Temperature: 75-82°F (24-28°C)
- pH: 6.5-7.5
- General Hardness (GH): 5-15 dGH
- Carbonate Hardness (KH): 3-8 dKH
- Ammonia: 0 ppm
- Nitrite: 0 ppm
- Nitrate: <20 ppm
- The Royal Clown Knifefish's unique appearance and nocturnal habits make it a fascinating addition to a large home aquarium.
- They require a diet rich in protein and should be fed a variety of meaty foods to stay healthy.
- Due to their potential size and specialized care needs, they are best suited for hobbyists with the resources and experience to provide an appropriate environment.
Sign up today and take 10% off your first order!
Join our Newsletter for exclusive email offers and to stay up-to-date on the latest arrivals.