The Black Ghost Knife Fish is an interesting addition to any large aquarium. It certainly has become somewhat common in recent years and for that reason I can not classify it as an ‘odd-ball’ fish or a fish that only a few would keep.
Just as any other fish the Black Ghost Knife Fish will indeed only take to some peoples fancy. However, in my experience as a retailer, this fish seems to take to most peoples fancy and therefore I decided to write this article.
The Black Ghost Knife Fish (BGK) isn’t a fish that can just be kept in any aquarium. It has special needs and requires a little more attention than other fish. It needs clean water and hiding places. I would suggest that the aquarist have an internal power filter so that the water stays clean. Remember that dangers in the water can not be seen, they are rather in the water and usually microscopic. As a result a power filter which is properly cycling the tank biologically will ensure that the water is kept at its best condition always.
BGK’s seek hiding places and they should be given plenty. It is not advisable to add two BGK’s in one tank as they are semi-aggressive towards their own species yet very peaceful towards other species. They are also nocturnal, so if you intend buying one remember that you will rarely see them. From my experience, they do usually come out at feeding time and this is one of those occasions that you can sit back and enjoy them.
They are still sold as carnivorous fish but I feed my own normal flakes which they seem to thoroughly enjoy. I have never fed them anything live or frozen and I believe that this is the reason that they will continue to eat a herbivorous diet. I have even watched them eat English Cucumbers!
Your setup should also include a lot of plants. Plants will ensure that your water quality remains stable and healthy and also provide some shelter for these fish.
As they grow larger they might eat smaller fish. I have yet to see this for myself.
When these fish are housed with more ‘brave’ fish they also tend to become brave. What I enjoy the most about them is that they gradually become used to their owner and will begin to trust you more. You can hand feed them and even try to ‘pet’ them, gently caressing their bodies.
Using moonlighting will also help you to enjoy the sight of your BGK as they come out and start exploring the tank or just play around in the current almost like doing a dance. It really is something magnificent to watch.