Tropical Fish Site

Profiles Reviews Guides for Tropical and Marine

Black Ghost Knifefish – Apteronotus Albifrons

Black Ghost

Common name:  Black Ghost Knifefish

Scientific name: Apteronotus Albifrons

Average Adult Fish Size: 20 inches / 50 cm

Place of Origin: Venezuela to Paraguay, Paraná rivers and the Amazon Basin of Peru, South America

Typical Tank setup: A moderate to large well planted tank with bogwood/driftwood and rock work that has caves and crevices for this fish to hide in. Subdued lighting or an aquarium with overhanging or floating plants is best.

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: Juveniles can be kept in aquariums as small as 30 gallon / 120 litre, but larger adults will need something a lot bigger and on the order of a 180 gallon / 720 litre

Compatibility: Can be kept in a community aquarium with other calm species that are too big to be swallowed. Juveniles will tolerate each other to a point. If you wish to keep more than one, provide plenty of hiding places/territories and start with at least 6 Black Ghosts.

Temperature: 73 – 82 Deg F / 23 – 28 Deg C

Water chemistry: pH 6.0 – 8.0

Feeding: Accepts most kinds of live and frozen food. Most specimens can be trained to accept pellets. Make sure your Black Ghost is finding and eating the food you are feeding.

Sexing: Unknown

Breeding: Unknown

Additional Information: This very unique and interesting fish make a great addition to most peaceful community aquariums if its needs are met. Good water quality is a must. Provide adequate filtrate along with frequent partial water changes. If your Black Ghost is having trouble finding food or eating, feed live brine shrimp or drop live black worms directly in front of it. A Black Ghost that is eating well is thick and growing with a rich black colored body. They can be trained to eat of your hand. A clear glass or plastic cylinder that is open at both ends is often used when keeping Black Ghosts. They like to hang out in them, but don’t pay any attention to the fact that it is clear.