Archer Fish 5cm
Archerfish are known worldwide for their spectacular behavior of shooting down their prey with precise accuracy. There are many species of Archerfish and many are native to Australia.
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Archer Fish Brackish
Archerfish are known worldwide for their spectacular behavior of shooting down their prey with precise accuracy. There are many species of Archer fish and many are native to Australia. The Toxotes Jaculatrix is one of these Australian species which is a great archer for aquariums. These phenomenal fish make for very interesting additions to a native Australian aquarium and they are commonly kept in paludarium style setups where their natural behavior is exhibited during feeding time. The Archer fish has a contrasting coloration where it sports a shimmering silver body with a dark green cape. Its fins offer hints of yellow but the bold, jet black vertical bars along the side of this species really make it stand out. The body shape of the archer fish is also far different from other fish species in which this has a very flat top which makes it a clear surface welling. It also has large eyes which are perfect for locking onto prey and a powerful paddle-like tail which gives it immense power in the water. All of these hunting features coupled with a trap jaw-like mouth make this fish a skilled insect hunter. The Jaculatrix species can get fairly big maxing out at around 30 cm (11 inches) and are known to be peaceful in nature but will eat any fish which can fit into their largemouth. They are also best to be kept in a school with members of their species. Juvenile archer fish are often found in full freshwater bodies however to ensure proper health it is best to keep them in a brackish environment as they age. Trying to differentiate males and females in this species is extremely difficult and breeding them in the home aquarium equally so as very little information is known about the lifecycle of this species. Their native range is the northern tropical regions of Australia.
Tank Recommendations for Archer fish.
The archer fish is a fairly large growing fish and is very active. Because of this it does require a large-sized aquarium of around 567 liters (150 gallons) and around 5 - 6 feet minimum length and 2 feet width. A sand substrate or gravel substrate is fine as these fish are top dwellers. Additions of driftwood or river stones would make a very natural-looking environment however it is best to add materials that will keep the PH high. The best setup for these fish would be to have coarse aragonite or crushed coral substrate with some high ph rock such as serious. Plants can be added as well however these must be species that can withstand the salinity levels found in brackish water. A better alternative to commonly found aquarium plants might be macro-algae.
Suitable Tank Buddies
Jaculatrix Archer fish are fairly peaceful fish however they are predatory in nature meaning that fish that could possibly fit in their mouth would become prey. They are generally best suited to kept in a species only set up but large brackish tolerant species can be considered.
Barramundi, bream, tandanus catfish, salmon tail catfish, scats, mono argents, and other large-bodied and brackish tolerant species.
Smaller-sized bottom-dwelling species such as brackish moray eels and large sailfin mollies might be just big enough to avoid being eaten by the archer fish.
Smaller brackish tolerant species such as mudskippers, bumblebee gobies, and any non-brackish tolerant freshwater fish species.
Feeding your Archer fish
Archer fish became most popular due to their feeding requirements. They are a skilled hunter and they get their name from accurately shooting down their main prey being insects from leaves and branches near the water's surface. They have been observed spitting torpedo-like streams of water more than 6 feet high to accurately hit insects which then get knocked into the water, only to be swallowed in an instant by the archer fish. To observe this feeding behavior archer fish are often kept in paludarium setups where there is a large open space above the tank with pieces of wood and tropical plants. Insects such as crickets are let into this area which is then hunted by the archer fish. Similarly having a mesh type cover on the tank can also allow the archer fish to display this behavior when insects are clinging to the underside of the mesh. They will however also eat a wide range of prepared aquarium food such as pellets, flake, and frozen foods. It is best to give them floating foods though because of their surface-dwelling nature. Feeding should occur once a day and it is best to do so during the evening or in dim lighting.
|Scientific Name||Toxotes Jaculatrix|
|Common Names||Banded Archer fish, Toxotes Jaculatrix, Toxotes Jaculator|
|Max. Length (cm)||30|
|Min. Tank Volume (l)||567 Litres|
|Origin||Australia (can be found in oceania region)|
|Water Conditions||24-26° C (75.2-79° F), pH 7.0 - 8.5|