Silver Blanche Knife, Blanche Fish Knife, Royal Indian Knife (Chitala blanci)
Silver Blanche Knife (Chitala blanci) - aquarium fish of the family Nototteridae, spinoperns (Notopteridae)
Latin name: Chitala blanci
Synonyms: Blanche fish knife, Royal Indian knife.
In the wild, the Blanche silver knife lives in the Mekong Basin in Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, mainly inhabiting large tributaries with a rocky bottom and rapid current.
Appearance and gender differences
The side of the body of the royal knife is elongated and hunchbacked. The fish has a large mouth equipped with many small teeth. This species of fish is breathable, which allows them, in addition to oxygen dissolved in water, to breathe ordinary air. The main color of the small-scaled body is silver-gray. On the body, closer to the back, thin oblique lines of black color are successively located, which gradually turn into small dark spots in the middle. In the area of pectoral fins, at their very base, there is a large dark spot.
With the help of pectoral fins, the fish performs various maneuvers in the water, for example, swims back with the same ease as forward. The dorsal fin is so small that it is barely noticeable. Anal fin is quite long. It starts from the pectoral fins, stretches along the body and smoothly passes into the caudal. By creating wavy movements with this fin, the fish can swim. In the natural environment, a silver knife reaches a length of 1 m 20 cm, however, under aquarium conditions, the maximum length of fish is 60 cm. Pets live no more than 10 years. Sexual differences: the abdomen of females is more rounded, especially during spawning; the males are slightly larger, but much slimmer than the females.
- Latin name: Chitala blanci
- Russian name:Blanche Knife Fish
- Origin: Mekong River
- Common sizes: in captivity up to 30-40 cm
- Habitat layer: bottom
- Acidity pH: 6.5-7.5
- Water hardness: up to 10 ° dGH
- Water temperature: 22-25 ° С
Blanche's silver knife is active for 24 hours, especially fish is active if a couple of representatives of this species are simultaneously kept in the aquarium. As a rule, for keeping in home aquariums, only young individuals are bought, because due to their impressive size, adult fish require a lot of free space for swimming. A knife is a predatory hydrobiont, which, as a rule, is contained in a species aquarium or individually. It was noticed that Blanche’s knife gets along well with other large fish, for example: large gurams, arovans, cichlazomas, astronotuses, polytheruses and large catfish.
If you keep a group of these fish in your aquarium, you will need to provide them with a lot of personal territory. If two or more males of a silver knife live in your aquarium, then tense situations will constantly float in the aquas, which as a result will lead to frequent skirmishes, during which the fish can get seriously damaged. The most dangerous and vulnerable place is the throat ligament, where fighters often mark. If the fish gets an injury to the throat ligament, then it will die immediately. Also, do not scare knives in the aquarium, because during a fright, they can hit the wall of the aquas. In addition, large pieces of food are also contraindicated for him, as they can also cause injury to the throat ligaments.
To contain one royal knife, you will need a species aquarium, the volume of which should exceed 300 liters, where you must install shelters from snags and stones. It is also very important to plant a large number of long-stemmed aquarium plants (ludwig, ambulia, hornwort, wallisneria, kabomba, hydrotrich) along all walls of the reservoir. Thus, you will maximize free space to swim for your pet. As a rule, knives prefer to stay in the lower and middle layers of water. Regular water changes (once a week), aeration and filtration are vital for this fish. The temperature of the water in the aquarium should be between 22-25 degrees, hardness from 5 to 10 degrees, and the active reaction of the medium 6.5-7.5 pH. Lighting in aquas with a Blanche knife should be dim. The knife eats live food: worms, crustaceans, shrimp, mussels, snails and small fish. To accustom a pet to inanimate food, it will take some time and the persistence of an aquarist. Such foods include: fish fillet, beef heart, squid and pieces of meat. Do not forget about overeating, so strictly regulate the amount of food.
FEEDING. Blanche's silver knife prefers live food for fish with the instincts of an absolute predator: snails, crustaceans, earthworms, large bloodworms and tubule. All this should move, otherwise it simply will not attract the attention of the fish. However, you can gradually accustom your knife to still food: slices of lean beef, minced meat and fish, squid and mussels. Sublimated feed (granules, goodies), he will also take, but not immediately. In addition, it is not at all suitable food for a species with similar eating habits.
BEHAVIOR. It is recommended to keep knives with proportional types of fish: arovans, large species of aquarium cichlids such as astronotuses and cichlases, large catfish (pterygoplychthys, plecostomy), freshwater stingrays. The males, when kept together, can start fights and inflict injury on each other.The most vulnerable spot for silver knives is the throat ligaments. They burst not only during fights, but also during attempts to swallow too large a piece of food. And also during a frightened throwing around the aquarium, which is accompanied by strong blows to the walls, soil and decoration.
REPRODUCTION. Breeding aquarium fish in this case is possible, but it presents some difficulties. Spawning size: from 120 cm in length. It should have dense thickets of any underwater flora, floating plants (to darken from above) and flat stones at the bottom (they will play the role of a substrate for eggs). Water parameters: hardness not more than 5 °, t from 26-28 ° C, pH 6.0-6.5. After spawning, the female is better to plant. The male takes care of the masonry - cleans of turbidity, constantly blows with fins. The larvae appear in a week, after which they (or the male) are transferred to another aquarium. Feed them after 3-4 days with nauplii of brine shrimp.