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Welcome to our page. I have been keeping marine and fresh water aquariums for over 20 years off and on. We try to provide lots of up to date articles on maintaining an aquarium. We also have many awesome links on the right side bar to all things both Fresh Water and Salt Water Aquarium related. Things like Medicines, diagnosis charts, Fish Identification Databases, DIY Projects, Just to name a few. Quick Links to our tank Journals there as well.

Around here we like Salt Water Aquariums just as much as Fresh water aquariums. We don't mind although they must be "OddBall", "Predatory", or "Monster" Fish and when they are all three we are most happy!! So stay a while, poke around a bit and look through our collection of Angler Fish, Bala Sharks, Snoflake Eel, Plecostomos, Spotted Gar, Volitans Lion Fish, Polypterus, Damsels, and many assorted others...

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Links to tank Journals (CLICK LINKS BELOW):

47 g allon FOWLR Pred. SW Tank = http://tanks4thememories.blogspot.com/2010/04/47-gallon-xt-sw-fowlr-predator-tank.html

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

`D` Needle Nose Gar Essay (Xenentodon cancila)

`D` Needle Nose Gar Essay (Xenentodon Cancila)

Needle Nose Gar,Silver Needlefish, Stick Fish (Xenentodon cancila) is actually not a Gar at all, it is actually one of the few freshwater members of the Belonidae (Needlefishes)family. The Needle Nose Gar belongs to the Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) Class of fish.

This fish can typically be described as : Having An elongated, needle-shaped body with long, jaws lined with sharp teeth. The lower jaw is slightly longer than the
upper. The back is light brown and the belly is silver-brown. A dark brown band runs from the tip of the jaws to the caudal fin. The rear edge of the caudal fin is convex. The fins are transparent & colorless.

Needle Gar are able to eat prey that is almost twice as thick as their own bodies. Full Grown they can reach a size of from 9"-16" although the lager range is most often only achieved in the wild.

These unique fish are very common in the slow moving streams (both fresh & slightly brackish waters) of; Asia-India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Burma. The climate of this species native enviornment is tropical; 71 – 82°F; 38°N - 5°N. The optimal water conditions for a Needle Gar in an aquarium are: pH 6.2-7.5 with (7.0) being Ideal, 6-20 dH with (9) being ideal, 71-84°F with 80 being ideal. If desired One can achieve A 1% salinity for thier tank by the Addition of 7.5 tsp. salt for every 10 gallons. Needle Nose Gar are preditory ambush hunters. Being a Carniverous fish, in the wild they commonly feast on crustaceans, crickets, & any fish that fit in its mouth. In the Home aquarium they can be fed: live shrimp, fish, crickets, tadpoles,frozen/defrosted shrimp or fish. They strongly prefer live feeder minnows most of all. Many Owners of this fish (myself included) report Needle Gar as only accepting live fish and often having trouble catching feeder goldfish.

In the home aquarium Needle Nose Gar are surface dwellers often treading water almost motionless (resembling a stick floating just beneath the surface of the water) waiting for its prey to venture into striking distance. Then with a very short "Jab" they snare the victim in thier needle sharp teeth (See Pic Below). Surface area in their aquarium is more important than tank capacity as this is where the needle fish will spend most of its time. This is a shoaling species and will be most happy if kept in 3's or more. You will find them stalking in a loose formation awaiting their next meal. They are compatible with any fish that doesnt fit in their mouth and any fish that wont bother them. Especially while young these fish have a fragile thin beak that can be broken or damaged easily. These fish can be considered "Jumpy" and special care must be taken to avoid startling them. Many keepers of this species report major injury, jumping out of the tank, or death as a result of the fish getting startled. It is also recommended that any aquarium housing this fish be well planted to provide "Ambush" opportunities & have a secure fitting lid so as to remain covered at all times. It should also be noted that owners of this fish also report it can sometimes mistake your fingers for food sometimes nipping first and investigating later. To avoid this I do not stick my fingers into the water right in front of them, instead I introduce my hand to the water a little distance away from the fish giving him time to recognize it as a non food item.

Pictures:


My Needle Nose We call him "Garfeild"



Needle Nose Gar Teeth

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aqualandpetsplus.com



References:

Talwar, P.K. and A.G. Jhingran, 1991. Inland fishes of India and adjacent countries. Volume 2. A.A. Balkema,

Rotterdam. - ISBN-10: 9061911648, ISBN-13: 978-9061911647

http://fish.mongabay.com/species/Xenentodon_cancila.html

http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fresh/miscellaneous/NeedleNoseGar.php

http://aqualandpetsplus.com/Oddball,%20Needlenose%20Gar.htm

http://aqualandpetsplus.com/Oddball,%20Gar.htm

http://www.aquaria.info/modules.php?file=speciesdetails&id=1165&op=modload&name=database


http://www.fishbase.org/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=10124

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