Red Snakehead (Channa micropeltes)

From The Aquarium Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Red Snakehead

Channa micropeltes juvenile 2349.jpg
Juvenile Red Snakehead

Channa micropeltes

1136 Litres (300 US G.)

100-130 cm (39.4-51.2")




6.5 - 7.5

22 -28 °C (71.6-82.4°F)

8-12 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

5-10 years



Additional names

Red Snakehead, Giant Snakehead, Indonesian Snakehead, Fishzilla

Additional scientific names

Ophicephalus bivittatus, Ophicephalus micropeltes, Ophicephalus serpentinus, Ophicephalus stevensii, Ophiocephalus micropeltes, Ophiocephalus studeri


Asia: Mekong and Chao Phraya basins; the Malay Peninsula, and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.


Difficult to visually sex. They are not sexually mature until they are at least 45.7-61cm (18-24") long at around 2 years old.

Tank compatibility[edit]

As this fish is exceptionally aggressive it should be kept alone in a species tank.


A carnivore, they should be weaned on to dead foods to avoid problems with feeder fish. Food such as large earthworms, fish pieces such as silversides, mussels, shrimp etc. They are unfussy feeders.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once or twice a day for juveniles, less as adults.

Environment specifics[edit]

These are exceptionally large growing fish, not suitable for the average home aquarium. Juveniles can be kept in tanks around 284 Litres (75 US G.) but adults will need much larger over 1136 Litres (300 US G.) plus. The tank should have an exceptionally secure and heavy lid to prevent escapes and be very well filtered. Substrate should be gravel, not sand as it will be kicked up by the Snakehead. Lighting should not be too bright, floating plants will help.


This is an exceptionally aggressive and predatory fish. Care should be taken around this fish as it has a powerful bite.


An elongated yet chunky fish with a large mouth and head. Juveniles have two black longitudinal stripes with a bright red-orange intermediate area (hence being called the Red Snakehead). Adults have a broader dark longitudinal stripe.


External links[edit]