African Pike-Characoid (Hepsetus odoe)

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African Pike-Characoid

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African Pike-Characoid

Hepsetus odoe


946 Litres (250 US G.)

60-70 cm (23.6-27.6")




6.0 - 7.5

299.15 K
78.8 °F
538.47 °R
301.15 K
82.4 °F
542.07 °R
26 -28 °C (78.8-82.4°F)

10-18 °d

1:1 M:F


3-5 years

Additional names

African Pike-Characoid, African Pike Characin, Kafue Pike



Not known. They have not been bred in captivity and little is known about their reproduction.

Tank compatibility

A carnivorous fish that will eat smaller fish. Can be kept with others of its own kind, but individuals must be of equal size. Good candidates include large Tinfoil Barbs, Polypterus, Synodontis sp. and other large Characins, most large, non-aggressive fish would be suitable. Fish to avoid would include aggressive Central American Cichlids such as Vieja sp., Nandopsis, and perhaps even the Oscar.


It is difficult to get this fish to accept anything other than live food and care should be taken when feeding. They should eventually take to store bought foods such as silversides and whitebait. Other suitable foods include large earthworms, mussels, cockles, and even the occasional beef heart.

Feeding regime

Feed once or twice a day.

Environment Specifics

Must have a long and spacious tank with some hiding spaces suitable for this large fish. A tight fitting tank is a must as this fish can jump, and can also bite the hand that feeds! Appreciate good filtration and oxygenation in the water, and 45% weekly water changes will suit this fish fine.


In the wild this fish will lurk in shadows waiting for a mouth-sized food to swim past, when it will zip out with lightening speed and grab the prey, it very rarely misses its target!


An elongated slender fish with many needle sharp teeth. Their flanks are silver with olive-green dorsal colouration, red and black spots are visible on the dorsal and caudal fins when the fish is mature.


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