|Maximum Size||22cm (8.7")|
|Water Parameters||Very soft & acidic. pH 3.5-6.0, dH: up to 10 degrees.|
|Lighting||Dim (can be brighter if diffused by plants)|
The Pikehead is a fascinating Anabantid known from blackwater swamp habitats within dense tropical forests. Here the water is very soft and acidic, and darkly stained with tannins from the peat and decomposing leaves that have fallen into the water from the canopy above. These predatory fish lurk amongst live and fallen vegetation, slowly drifting about in the water, putting one in mind of a floating twig. Here they will wait for small fish or shrimps to come within striking distance, at once rapidly extending their highly protrusible jaws, and instantly engulfing their prey. These piscivorous labyrinth fish are best maintained in a large, mature species-only aquarium with gentle current. A dark substrate and an abundance of plant life will help to make these fish feel secure; floating species useful in helping to diffuse the aquarium lighting. Include some driftwood (the spindly Sumatra wood is ideal) to create shady hiding places and visual barriers. Peat filtration is highly recommended. These fish are best kept in small groups (3-5) but they must be of the same size and introduced simultaneously; this is not only more natural for them, but will also further your chances of breeding success. Tankmates - if they absolutely must be added - should be very peaceful (so as not to intimidate the pikeheads) and of at least the same adult length.