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Campylomormyrus cassaicus - Angolan elephant nose


  • Campylomormyrus cassaicus - Angolan elephant nose

    Photo thanks to theonetruepath

    Scientific name: Campylomormyrus cassaicus
    Common name: Angolan elephant nose
    AKA: Angolan down-pokers/ Bird beak elephant nose (this may be another species??)/ Donkey-faced elephant nose/ Double nose elephant nose/ Gnathonemus cassaicus

    Country of origin: Africa

    pH: 6.5 - 7
    Temperature: 23 - 28c
    Hardness: 4 – 16 dGH
    Water flow: standard
    Oxygenation: standard

    Maximum size: 20 cm

    Diet: They will eat live, frozen, flake or pellet food – they are predators. They need at least weekly live or frozen food of a suitable (small) size. They eat worms.

    As with all catfish, although they are described as a “clean-up crew” to eat extra food, they cannot survive simply on leftovers or the faeces of other fish. They require food of their own.

    It is not known how to identify gender. The fish are not known to have bred in home aquariums or commercially – all fish in the aquarium trade are believed to be wild caught.

    Tank companions:
    They are NOT good tank companions with fish. In their native habitat they predate on crustaceans as a large part of their normal diet.

    They are best kept as the only Elephant Nose, or in a group. 2 fish are likely to lead to one being grouped.

    They do not tolerate ghost knife fish or other electrical sensing fish in the same tank.

    As with all fish, they will eat any fish they can fit in their mouths, and equally can be eaten by other shrimp.

    Overall they are hardy fish, tolerating a wide range of water conditions.

    Minimum tank size is 5 ft for a small group.

    The each need at least 1 hiding place they are comfortable with, so supply multiple suitable caves, shelter from driftwood, or a heavily planted tank.

    They live at the bottom of the tank, and tend to dig around in the substrate, so sand which is not too coarse, or 2Tone’s DIY substrate if you want a planted tank, work best.

    They could be kept in a heavily planted tank with some open swimming space, or an African biotype:

    Photo thanks to Subscape Aquariums.
    African biotype on the far right, with Congo tetras, elephant nose & blockhead cichlids.

    Confused with: Other elephantnoses – Family Mormyrid, Genus Campylomormyrus:
    Campylomormyrus alces
    Campylomormyrus bredoi
    Campylomormyrus cassaicus – Albanian elephant nose/ Double nose elephant nose
    Campylomormyrus christyi
    Campylomormyrus curvirostris
    Campylomormyrus elephas
    Campylomormyrus luapulaensis
    Campylomormyrus mirus
    Campylomormyrus numenius
    Campylomormyrus orycteropus
    Campylomormyrus phantasticus
    Campylomormyrus rhynchophorus
    Campylomormyrus tamandua - Worm-jawed mormyrid
    Campylomormyrus tshokwe

    The only 2 species of this Genus on the current allowable import list are Campylomormyrus cassaicus and Campylomormyrus rhynchophorus.

    They can also be confused with Gnathonemus petersii, the Elephant fish, which is also on the Allowable Australian import list.

    All fish in the family Mormyrid emit a weak electrical impulse, these included. This is used both to find their way around the tank, and to find a mate – they can identify the sex of another fish using this pulse.

    They are scaleless fish, and this should be taken into account when considering medications – often they will suggest use at half dose, and copper based medication should be avoided altogether.

    They have one of the largest brains relative to their size of any fish. They can be trained to eat out of your hand, and are known to play with toys, such as balls and other aquarium safe toys.

    Campylomormyrus cassaicus are legal imports to Australia as of 23/09/2013:

    The IUCN Red List reports Campylomormyrus cassaicus as a species which has insufficient data for assessment and an unknown population trend:

    Ideal plants are:

    It is a good fish for experienced hobbyists.

    Relevant threads:
    Parameters/ keeping & pic:

    Using Excel/ medications:

    Tankmates/ playing with toys:


    Feeding behaviour with clowns:

    Seriously fish – Campylomormyrus tamandua:


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