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Parachanna African (rainbow snakehead ) Guide for Beginners


Parachanna African Introduction


The rainbow snakehead is still a bit rare in some areas because of local regulations. It is a unique fish that is not suitable for the community tank. If you want to add a bizarre creature with its own uniqueness, the parachanna Africana could be the best option for you.


The aggressive fish is one of the favorites for aquarists who love the challenges and the beast stuff. It is not a peaceful community tank. These are not easy fish to take care of. So, if you’re still a beginner, you might still have some levels to overcome to be ready to pet this fish. But I’ll cover all the crucial things you need to know so that you can come up with an informed decision.

Category Rating
Level of care Easy to moderate
Temperament aggressive/territorial
Appearance coated with scale-like plates, the head is like a snake
Life expectancy 10 years
Size 20 – 35 cm (7.87 – 13.78 inch)


Diet Omnivorous, live food offered
Family Channidae
Tank size min. 200 – 400 cm
Tank environment Plants should be added to the tank with plenty of hiding places
Tank Mates Non-aggressive fish with the similar size



Parachanna African Overview


The African snakeheads are members of the ray-finned fish family. As the name suggests, the fish shape resembles the scales of a snake. Not to mention that their heads are also similar to snakes.


Parachanna African Origin


Currently, there are two genera that have been adopted by aquarists: the Parachanna genus, and Channa Genus. The Parachanna genus comes from Africa. Meanwhile, the Channa genus comes from the South, East, and South-East Asia regions.


These fish are so popular that aquarists around the world have known and considered this type to enter their aquarium.


The parachanna Africana is the domesticated one.


The wild species can be found in southwest India, from Afghanistan to East Cina. There are also some flocks in Siberia. The island of Java has been claimed as one of the most crowded places by these fish. Then the fish also spread from the White Nile to Senegal and the Chad river in the West.


The availability of Parachanna African 


Nowadays, it is easy to get in touch with professional breeders to get your snakeheads to your home.


Original habitat


Although there is a need for extensive research on the real habitat of the fish, many researchers have found the fish in many boggy areas, such as water channels, farm fields, rivers, as well as places. In these areas, the habitats tend to be dirtier.


However, the reason why these fish flock to those locations is because of the rich vegetation over there.


The fish will dig the burrow when the water on the surface evaporates. They love to stay at the nearby source of water.



Large species are consumed in some countries. The flesh of the fish is pretty lean, but it is also a little crunchy.




Snakeheads, on the other hand, grow quickly and don’t require much attention, which is why they thrive in ponds where frogs and their larvae are the primary food source. Other fish species are unlikely to survive in these conditions.


Parachanna African Appearance


All snakeheads have protruding fusiform bodies because they have an extended fusiform body that is flattened closer to the fishtail. Fins with bendable rays are developed on the anal and dorsal surfaces. The two fins follow the fish until they connect at the tail. The fluke is spherical, whereas the pectoral fins are nearly circular.


This snakehead’s entire head is coated with scale-like plates. It is made up of rows of little, bristly teeth.



Despite having small eyes, they have massive gills. This is the fish’s lateral line, albeit it is taller and more arched throughout the body.


The survivability


When the temperature is between 10 °C and 15 °C and the humidity is high, headsnakes can stay dry for two or three days. This talent enables the ability to traverse two water basins.


Snakeheads have an amazing capacity to thrive in low-oxygen environments. In the presence of paired suprabranchial chambers, it aids in the acquisition of respiratory epithelium (the skin which is capable of saturating oxygen).


They are excellent survivors in the wild, for sure. Many aquarists adopt this fish because of this feature. But you will want to keep them in a good environment so that they can live the life they deserve.



Parachanna African Challenges to keeping it in captivity


While snakeheads are very easy to catch, they are rather large and have been known to swallow even the smallest fish. Many enormous species, particularly large fish, may be housed in small tanks.


Snakeheads are a fun species to keep because they aren’t picky about tank conditions, have a strong appetite, and don’t eat tank plants.


When purchasing a species, keep in mind that they are aggressive and powerful, capable of consuming almost anything. If a dealer says snakeheads will not hurt other tank dwellers, it is safe to assume the snakeheads will carry out their threat.


The majority of fish are inappropriate for beginning aquarists because they are longer than 30 cm, require cold water in the winter, and are cannibalistic among their own species.



Parachanna African Caring and Tank Guide 



Keeping him in the tank requires some serious preparations. There is a need to smooth access to the air between the surface of the water and the cover glass.


In the tank, the environment is definitely much safer than out there. They don’t worry about predators.


Although your parachanna africana buddies can survive in bad conditions, it does not mean that you can leave them in the poor condition tank. As they live in a poor environment, their life expectancy might not be as long as you’ve predicted.


You shouldn’t test their endurance by overlooking the importance of the tank and care requirements.


The best way to care for them is to mimic the natural habitat and apply it to the particular tank as closely as possible.


Your tank must yield good parameters in order for the fish to survive and last for a longer time.


They must dwell in such soft areas, which are up to 8GH. The acid water should be from 5 to 7. It is also suggested to replicate the same conditions of the original habitat in the tank.



The species won’t behave as actively as they are in the wild habitat when you adopt them into your tank. Most of their time is in the middle to bottom dwellings.


Occasionally, your fish go up to find a good amount of air to breathe. Although they are not basically jumpers, you will want to remove the layers of lid at the top of the tank to prevent the fish from running away.



In their original habitat, they would swim to the surface to get more air. But they will also put themselves at risk. Because there are some predators and carnivorous birds who wait for them.


You will want to provide a safe environment for your pet. That’s why adding floating plants could be a great idea. The floating plants will make the fish dwells more secure for your parachanna africana friends. You can always find floating plants near your location.

Consider using small to mid-sized gravel instead of sand in the bottom substrate. Their behavior can be unpredictable. When they make sudden moves, it will toss around the materials down there, making the tank dirtier, which will affect your filter quality.


Parachanna African Tank Mates


The fish have predatory behaviors. They need to be kept in the same tank with the same amount of fish. Smaller fish will be too risky to cohabit with your parachanna Africana.


If you are planning to add fish tank mates, consider the size of the other species. It should not be too big or too small to get along with your snakeheads.


It will not be okay to make the companions of the parachanna africana with smaller fish like guppies or tetras. Your pets will treat them as food and won’t hesitate to consume them.


In some cases, the owners have reported that they have succeeded in treating the snakeheads with medium to large-sized carp fish. However, it is not always the case. You also need to pay attention to other factors, like tank sizes, the behavior of the fish, and so on.



How to feed Parachanna African


Your parachanna africana fish are omnivorous. They are not picky eaters either. You can literally spread around any food and they won’t protest. But you will favor them more by giving them live foods that they usually devour in their natural habitat.

You can also mix the foods with insects and veggies. Your pet will also be happy to take some snacks like crickets, earthworms, as well as mealworms.


You can also give them frozen foods like shellfish, meat, and shrimp. Sinking pellets, wafers, or sticks can also be great options to feed them. You could give them a good mix of the tank plants and other veggies.



Parachanna African Breeding guidelines


A good tank condition can make a huge difference in the breeding quality.

The fish couple will mark their own territory.


One trick to try is to mimic the seasonal change in your tank, which is cooling then heating the tank water. The next thing you know is that they successfully spawned because of the trigger.


The fish parents will take care of their eggs and juveniles.

The fish parents will stop treating their juveniles until they grow from five to eight cm.


It is imperative to provide more shelters in your breeding tank so that each family can have their own privacy without disturbing each other.