Fresh Water Tropical Fish Group

Freshwater Gar fish - Xenentodon cancila

Freshwater garfish

Species name: Xenentodon cancila

Synonym: Esox cancila; Xenentodon cancila; Belone cancila; Belone graii; Esox indica; Xenentodon canciloides; Esox hindostanicus

Common Names: Freshwater garfish

Family: Belonidae (Needlefishes)

Order: Beloniformes (needle fishes)

Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)

Max. size: 40.0 cm / 12 inches

Environment: Fresh and brackish waters

Origin: Common throughout Asia

Temperament:Predatory

Company:company should be equal sized or larger to avoid becoming food.

Water parameters: temperature 22-28°C / 71-82°F; pH 7.0 – 7.5

Aquarium setup: Xenentodon cancila(Freshwater garfish) is a schooling fish and should be kept in groups of 3 or more, the minimum sized tank for a group of these fish would be 75 gallons (48x20x20 inches). When doing maintenance in the tank be wary of the fishes sharp teeth, they can give a painful bite and inflict nasty wounds.

Feeding: Live foods only, fish, river/ghost shrimp, crickets and tadpoles will all be taken.

Breeding: Breeding is simple as long as suitable male/female pairs are kept together, initiate spawning by feeding large amounts of small live fish and doing large daily water changes. Raising the fry is difficult as they will only take live food and are cannibalistic, day old livebearer fry make the best foods.


Picture of Xenentodon cancila. Copyright
Freshwater garfish in the wild. Copyright

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Freshwater garfishOther Predatory Fish Profiles:

African Snakehead - Parachanna obscura
Asian Arowana - Scleropages formosus
Australian Pearl Arowana - Scleropages jardinii
Banded Bichir - Polypterus delhezi
Black Arowana - Osteoglossum ferreirai
African Butterfly Fish - Pantodon buchholzi
Freshwate Moray Eel - Echidna rhodochilus
Freshwater Moray Eel - Gymnothorax tile
Freshwater Barracuda - Ctenolucius hujeta
Freshwater Baracuda - Acestrorhynchus falcirostris
Freshwater Garfish - Xenentodon cancila
Gray Bichir - Polypterus senegalus senegalus
Guyana leaf Fish - Polycentrus schomburgkii
Indonesian Datnoid - Coius microlepis
Nigers Snakehead - Parachanna africana
Ornate Bichir - Polypterus ornatipinnis
Pink Tailed Chalceus - Chalceus macrolepidotus
Silver Datnoid - Coius quadrifasciatus
Spotted Cachorro - Acestrorhynchus falcatus
Thinbar Datnoid - Datnioides undecimradiatus
West African Lungfish - Protopterus annectens annectens

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Some do, some don't... some bettas are more

by -

Aggressive than others, and will attack anything that even remotely resembles another betta (bright colour, long fins... even a finger pointing at him!). Others are totally cool with just about anything but the brightest red/blue long-finned male bettas.
Generally, most (but not all!) bettas will be OK in a tropical freshwater community tank with either very dull fish (I used to have one who loved to hang out with a school of bronze corycats...) and/or very fast/agile fish that can outswim the betta... but not other fast & agressive fish who will nip at the relatively slow-moving betta's fins

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