Tropical Fish Site

Profiles Reviews Guides for Tropical and Marine

Cobra Snakehead – Channa Marulius


Common name: Cobra Snakehead, Great Snakehead, Bulls Eye Snakehead, Plah Chon Gnu Hao

Scientific name: Channa Marulius

Average Adult Fish Size:  70 inches  /  180 cm

Place of Origin: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Southern Nepal

Typical Tank setup: Channa marulius (Great Snakehead) is as an adult only suitable for large ponds. They prefer an aquarium/pond with rocky bottom and a lot of open space to swim on. Planted areas with hardy plants are recommended but might be destroyed. Needs surface access to survive.

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 1000 gallon / 4000 litre

Compatibility: Being a very predatory fish the Cobra Snakehead needs a large environment and other large tank mates (if any) otherwise they will become prey.

Temperature: 72 – 82 Deg F / 22 – 28 Deg C

Water chemistry: pH 6.0 – 8.0

Feeding: Will accept most meaty food

Sexing: Unknown

Breeding: They build nests in which the lay red yellowish eggs that hatches after 2-3 days depending on temperature. Both parents protect their young

Additional Information: The Cobra Snakehead has dark eyes, a dipped snakelike head with jutting bottom jaw and is brown/gold-tinted to pale gray to dark brown with large black blotches. It has a distinctive marking which is the black spot rimmed with orange near the base of the tail fin, known as an eyespot or ocellus. (Channa Marulius) has become one of the most studied of the snakehead family mainly because it has been found inhabiting canals in Florida where it is considered vermin because it is not a native species. There has been extensive research on its mating habits unlike the giant snakehead and others where their activity in natural habitat has been rarely studied with much accuracy.