Electric Catfish (Malapterurus electricus)

Family electric catfish (Malapteruridae).

Electric Catfish lives in slow-flowing and standing fresh water in West and Central Africa. He is the only member of the family of electric catfish. It is believed that the mucus, which is released it has antibacterial properties. Electric catfish known from ancient Egypt, to save images that were made 6,000 years ago. At home it is called "ra-el," which is consonant with the Arabic word «pa-hell" (thunder). Is the object of the local fishery, is also used by locals in folk medicine (electrotherapy) for the treatment of various diseases.

Electric Catfish has a elongate, cylindrical body. Mouth terminal. In the mandible, two pairs of whiskers on the top one. Gill slit is very narrow, the sky teeth are missing. The eyes are small, glowing in the dark. Well-developed adipose fin, dorsal missing. The back is dark brown, brown flanks, belly yellowish. Around the body scattered numerous dark spots. Pectoral and pelvic fins pink tail with a dark base and a wide red-orange border. Young soms on the caudal peduncle available light bar. Electric catfish can produce electrical charges by a special body, which is located a ring around the entire body (which adds to the significant obesity and clumsiness). This body is a cross-sectional view as if composed of a plurality of hexagonal cells and roundish and longitudinally composed of densely contiguous columns, which are placed perpendicular to the edges of thin plates, separated by a jelly. In its composition, the bars have a significant resemblance to the voltaic pile (the number of columns in the catfish comes to a few hundred). The current pulses can reach 360, but usually smaller (accurately measure voltage is difficult because catfish tired and the power of its discharges rapidly declining). Sex differences are absent. The length of the in vivo electric catfish can reach 1 meter, much less in aquariums. Electric catfish sedentary, bottom and predatory fish. Keep preferably in the tank capacity from 250 liters (depending on the size catfish) with large stones, driftwood, ceramic pots without plants (as they pull them). Lights dim. Water parameters for the maintenance of the electric catfish: the rigidity of 8-12 °, pH 6.6-7.0, temperature 25 - 27 ° C. The necessary filtering (preferably peat filter), aeration and weekly substitution of up to 30% of water. Heaters must be well insulated, or catfish can cause burns, clinging to the body of the instrument. If you put an electric catfish in the general aquarium, then get ready for the fact that he will be the sole owner: no neighbors even more to it podselyat impossible (so perfect - of the aquarium). Young fish can live together, but with age they become less softened. It is also desirable to keep the aquarium more than one individual (two males), because at the slightest feeling of hunger they come to fight, until one of them dies. Accustomed to the owner, the fish do not use their powerful weapons, but still recommended to be careful not to scare catfish. Electric catfish becomes active at dusk and during feeding. Electric catfish eat food of animal origin (small fish, worms, fresh meat, beef heart, shrimp). He tends to overeat. Breeding electric catfish in the aquarium is not fully understood.