Chinese Snakehead – Profile | Traits | Facts | Care | Breeding

Chinese Snakehead
(Last Updated On: April 26, 2021)

Chinese Snakehead, scientific name Channa asiatica is a comparatively small snakehead. This Chinese Snakehead species could be very illiberal in direction of conspecifics (until a pair is shaped) and different fish. Requires a seasonal drop in water temperature beneath tropical values

Chinese Snakehead Profile

Channa, generally often known as Snakeheads, are primitive predatory fish and members of the family Channidae.

They are a gaggle of perciform (perch-like) fishes whose affinities are unknown, though the latest research on the molecular phylogeny of bony fishes thinks about snakeheads as most intently associated with the labyrinth fishes (anabantoids) and the synbranchiform eels, which embody the spiny eels.

The genus Channa comprises 31 species that are native all through Asia are native from southeastern Iran and eastern Afghanistan eastward via Pakistan, India, southern Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Sumatra, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, and China northward into Siberia. 3 species of the intently related genera Parachanna are native to elements of Africa. verspreiding channidae.

The totally different species of Channa fluctuate in size significantly. The time period dwarf snakeheads are coined by aquarists to explain a gaggle of Channa species rising solely 25 centimeters: Channa bleheri, Channa cachua, Channa orientalis, and Channa andrao.

These species are most fitted for holding in an aquarium due to their size and their relative docile temperament.

Most of the species develop to the most size of 30-90 centimeters. Besides size, this intermediate class comprises essentially the most range in behavior since among the species are intently associated to the dwarf species, and a few relate more to the class of monster fish.

5 species (A. argus. C. barca, C. marulius, C. micropeltes and C. striata) may even develop as much as 100 cm and even bigger and could be thought of as monster fish which are barely appropriate for aquaria.

Channa asiatica is a mouthbreeder. Sexing is tough for the reason that distinction between men and women is tough to tell apart. Females develop considerably slower than males.

Channa asiatica is the greatest saved solitary or as a pair. To type a pair a gaggle of younger specimens ought to be saved till a pair has shaped. When a pair has shaped all different fish have to be eliminated since they most likely shall be killed by the couple.

For holding a gaggle a big aquarium, arrange with numerous hiding locations, and a few luck is required. This species is reported extraordinarily illiberal, even at a youthful age, and might trigger severe accidents to one another.

If a pair is shaped at the end of the confrontation. Most of the time the couple could have a detailed relationship. However, there are experiences of sudden aggression after mating or a change in setting, usually ending within the loss of life of one of many companions. It is smart to have a separation display screen by hand or a spare aquarium.

Reports regarding combining Channa asiatica with different fish species fluctuate. Sometimes it goes without issues. However, usually, the end result is that Channa asiatica is the final fish standing. Even bigger fish have an opportunity to end up peeled or in items.


Fossiles dated from 50 million years ago point out an origin within the southern Himalayas (India and East Pakistan). From 15 million years ago ended on, the animals have unfolded by the increasing intertropical local weather zone to elements of Europe, Africa, and bigger elements of Asia.

Chinese Snakehead Physical Description

Chinese Snakehead has an elongated body and is distinguished by their long dorsal fins massive mouths stuffed with teeth. They earn their frequent name Snakehead due to their flattened form and the scales on their heads which are paying homage to the big epidermal scales on snakes.

Chinese Snakehead has gills to breathe water like most different fish. However, subadults and adults also can breathe air to complement their demand for oxygen.

Snakeheads are actually compulsory air breathers and should have air from the floor in any other case they may drown. Unlike many different airbreathing fishes, channa has a sequence of cavities within the rear part of their head.

Chinese Snakehead, Channa asiatica

These suprabranchial chambers are stuffed with folded tissues that have high floor space, and permit oxygen change to happen immediately between air and their blood.

Unlike mammals, they lack a diaphragm and use water to trade old air with contemporary air every time they take a breath. Thus, their means to breathe air when out of the water is proscribed. They seem to breathe air more steadily when swimming actively.

The genera Parachanna (native to elements of Africa) is described aside from the genera Channa due to a more primitive implementation of the airbreathing part.

Snakeheads are recognized to migrate over quick distances overland to search out different water basins, utilizing the power to breathe air.

When transferring over the land they curve their body in an S form first, before launching themselves ahead by a strong stretch.

In high humidity situations, Chinese Snakehead is ready to survive from 2 as much as 4 days out of the water. When positioned in direct daylight, nonetheless, they desiccate and perish in minutes to a number of hours.

In opposite to what’s believed, Snakeheads should not recognize to depart the water for any purpose aside from making their approach back to the water after flooding.

The solely true Snakeheads to actively go away the water are among the smaller species, C. gachau and C. orientalis, C. asiatica, and C. amphibious, and nonetheless, there has to be an apparent purpose for the change.

Snakeheads are capable of dwell in various water situations. Some species are sure to a subtropical local weather zone. For good health, these species require cooler water temperatures., no less than for a seasonal interval.

Most snakeheads can tolerate a really massive range of water parameters (temperature, PH, GH, level oxygen). However, they’re very weak in case of sudden modifications.


Channa is predatory fish that prey within the juvenile stadium on plankton, bugs, and snails. While they develop the bigger species swap in direction of a menu that consists primarily of fish, frogs, crabs, shrimps, small aquatic mammals, and birds.

Before adulthood most Channa species hunt in teams. When changing into sexually mature they start a solitary life and develop a high level of aggression towards their very own species and different fish. When a pair has shaped most species don’t tolerate different fish.

Channa is just not lively swimmers and, when not feeding, tends to maneuver solely when surfacing for air. They spend numerous times hovering in midwater or resting on the underside inside cover as ambush predators.

Some larges snakeheads nonetheless dwell a more pelagic life and are far more lively swimmers. All snakeheads are able to highly effective bursts of acceleration. They curve their body in an S-shape and launch themselves ahead by stretching.

Parental care is a behavioral attribute of Snakeheads. Both parents defend and guard their younger vigorously. The majority of the species guard their eggs on the floor of the water. Some of the smaller species are mouthbrooder. Only some species are gap brooders.

Amongst specialist aquarists, Channa is a popular -oddball- aquarium fish. Snakeheads are elegant, alert, intelligent, restful, and highly effective fish, with plenty of personalities.

Chinese Snakehead, Channa asiatica

Their communication with conspecifics their looking skills and breeding behavior is fascinating. Some aquarists even specialize themselves by dedicating their massive fish tank to the most important specimens.

Sometimes they keep a pet-like reference to their monster fish. Some uncommon and attractively marked species (like C. Barca) belong to the most costly aquarium fish within the commerce.

Some Snakeheads display appreciable modifications in shade patterns whereas rising. In the early days of classification of fish species, this shaped numerous confusion since in that day’s shade was nonetheless thought of a criterium for classification.

Besides some dwarf species, many juveniles are more attractively marked than adults. With age species usually develop a browner, more drab look. Because of this phenomenon, some aquarists lose curiosity within the fish whereas it grows. Those contemplating their first buy ought to be properly conscious of what they’re entering into.

Because of its predatory nature, not one of the Snakeheads is an appropriate alternative for a community tank. Most of the species will shortly empty a basic community tank with smaller fish. Thus a devoted aquarium is required for holding snakeheads.

Aquarists have very numerous experiences on the subject of combining Channa species with different sturdy fish species. In basic, most species are most likely the greatest saved alone.

The level of tolerance in direction of different fish varies per species, but in addition appears to fluctuate per specimen or particular scenario.

Combining Chinese Snakehead with different aggressive and territorial fish species, like members of the Cichlidae family is a strategy that doesn’t work out properly. A Channa that’s intimidated will cover, attempt to escape the tank, and refuse to eat.

Chinese Snakehead, Channa asiatica


The habitat consists of tropical monsoon rainforest. Features are heavy rainfall, high density, and high temperatures in summer. In winter water temperatures drop properly beneath 19 degrees C.

In summer temperature rises to 22-28 degrees. Channa asiatica can survive high temperatures. However, whether it is saved in high water temperature for an extended interval it can endure from (deadly) bacterial infections.

Chinese Snakehead Aquarium

A dim-lighted aquarium with densely planted areas, open swimming locations, and numerous locations to shelter. Use a tightly becoming hood since channa species are true escape artists. A niche between the floor of the water and the hood is required since they need to breathe from the floor

Keep the temperature in summer at a maximum of 22-24 degrees C. In the winter season, the subtropical variations do require a drop in temperature to 15-20 degrees C.

In this era, much fewer meals are required and a lower water level will do. A cool interval is necessary for good health: sustaining a high temperature usually results in basic weak spots and (deadly) bacterial infections.

Chinese Snakehead, Channa asiatica


Chinese Snakehead is Carnivorous. All sort of dwelling fish meals is accepted like artemia, bloodworm, mosquito larvae, shrimps, bugs, snails earthworm and items of fish. Frozen and dried pallets are accepted.

Chinese Snakehead Reproduction

A well-fed couple from 18 cm will normally mate no less than 1 time a year. In the aquarium usually as soon as within the 6-8 days. Mating happens at night principally and is reported at a temperature around 18 degrees C.

Femals have a more pale base shade with a pink glow and more pronounced darkish brown stripes and silver markings. Contrary, males develop into darker.

The eggs will float to the floor. Both parents will present parental care. Depending on water temperature the eggs will hatch in 24-32 hours. The younger measure 6-7 mm and hunt immediately in the identical approach because the parents do.

They could be fed artemia and cyclops. If you need to develop as a lot younger as possible then you will need to filter the fish by growth on a weekly basis. Otherwise, the quantity shall be decimated due to cannibalism.

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