While looking superficially similar to Notopterus notopterus (Asian Knifefish) and sharing a common name with Papyrocranus (Notopterus) afer—see under N. chitala (Clown Knifefish) —the African Knifefish can be easily distinguished by its total lack of a dorsal fin. This species is also considerably smaller than Notopterus chitala and can therefore be accommodated more easily.
- Nile River, Gabon, Liberia, Niger, and D. R. Congo.
- Around 12in (30cm).
- Adults are solitary predators, active mainly at dusk and during the night; juveniles may be kept together, at least for a time.
- Large livefoods, including live fish, preferred —a factor that needs due consideration prior to purchase; chunky, meat-based or fish-based formulations also accepted.
- Large, well covered, well filtered, well planted, with subdued lighting and large shelters, e.g. substantial pieces of bogwood. A “moonlight” fluorescent tube will facilitate nighttime viewing. Water chemistry not critical, but softish, slightly acid water preferred, quality must be good. Temperature range: 75-86 F (24-30 C).
- No documented accounts of aquarium breeding currently available.