Black Ghost Knife Fish


Date: July 6th, 2011


A stunning and odd looking fish, the Black Ghost Knife Fish is sure to start up a conversation.

Quick stats:
Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: Up to 20" (49cm)
Tank: 48 inches when smaller, larger tank needed with growth
Strata: Bottom-middle
pH: 6.0 to 8.0
Hardness: Soft to medium. dH range: 5.0 - 10.0
Temperature: 73°F to 82°F (23-28°C)


Order: Cypriniformes
Suborder: Gymnotoidei
Family: Apteronotidae
Genera: Apteronotus
Species: albifron

Common name:

Black Ghost Knife Fish


Northern, South America in the Amazon River basin

General Body Form:

The Black Ghost is an elongated, laterally compressed species with a long anal fin that starts at the base of the pectoral fins. The caudal penuncle on the fish is also long, but the rounded caudal fin is very small.


As you would expect, the body and fins of the Knife fish are a jet black color. The base of the tail fin is marked with two wide vertical bands and there is a white stripe that runs from the head to about halfway down the body.


The tank for the Black ghost should be large with a small grained substrate and have many plants. The floating plants will help the fish overcome its shyness, as it is nocturnal and sensitive to bright lights. Driftwood is also recommended along with some sort of inert piping for the fish to hide in. A Ghost House is a perfect hiding place for this fish.

The water should be soft, and kept at a temperature between seventy-five and eighty-two degrees. The pH should be neutral to acidic.

Feeding should include a mix of live tubifex brine shrimp and meaty frozen foods.

Although timid, Black Ghost Knife fish can be aggressive to their own kind. They can be housed with other large peaceful fish such as Angelfish, Discus and Gourami.


If you have any further questions, email them to, or visit your local CountryMax store today!

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