Green snakehead, Ceylon snakehead
Maximum Standard Length
8″ (20cm) though doesn’t usually exceed 6″ (15cm) in aquaria
Aquarium SizeTop ↑
Temperature: 75-82°F (24-28°C)
Behaviour and CompatibilityTop ↑
Females have rounder bellies. Mature males are thought to have wider heads when viewed from above.
Not easy. Mouthbrooding eggfeeder.
If you wish to breed C. gachua buy a group and allow a pair to form naturally as this species mates for life. Water parameters are not massively important but avoid extremes. Mating occurs in a similar fashion to anabantoids, with the pair sharing an embrace during which the eggs are released and fertilised. For several days prior to the act itself the fish will be seen in close contact and may share mock spawning embraces. After the eggs have been released they float to the surface where the male takes them into his mouth. The young are released after 8 days and the fry remain in close contact with the parents. The fry of C. orientalis seem to remain closer to the aquarium base than those of other mouthbrooding channa species. This is possibly because the fishes’ natural habitat is shallow mountain streams. Interestingly the female may be seen picking up any ‘loose’ fry and returning them to the male. Fry are expelled by the parents through the gill flaps. The female feeds her brood using “feeder eggs”. These are infertile, non-floating eggs which she expels at regular intervals over the first month of the young’s life. It is thought that this strategy ensures the fry remain well-fed in the nutrient-deprived waters in which these fish are often found in nature.