This is the most widely available Channa species, usually sold as strikingly marked striped juveniles with red areas around the caudal and pectoral fins. These markings are gradually lost until the fish becomes more irregularly marked with little or no red. It is, nevertheless, a very attractive fish, even in its adult form. Like all its relatives in the genus and the family, it is predatory and large—beginners would be wise to avoid it. This species may be illegal or restricted in some U.S. states and in parts of Canada; it is best to seek advice locally before purchase.
- Widely distributed in tropical Asia.
- Up to 39m (1m).
- Stealthy predator; can be kept only with tankmates that are too large to swallow.
- Chunky meat- and/or fish-based foods, plus live fish —a factor that needs due consideration prior to purchase.
- Large, well covered, well filtered, with coarse gravel, large decor, and caves, e.g., lumps of bogwood. Subdued lighting recommended. Water chemistry not critical. Temperature range: 75-82 F (24-28 C).
- Difficult to achieve. No bubble nest is built. Eggs float on water surface and are guarded by male. The young fish are cannibalistic.