Peter's Elephantnose (Gnathonemus petersii)

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Peter's Elephantnose

Gnathonemus petersii captivity.jpg
Peter's Elephantnose

Gnathonemus petersii

454 Litres (120 US G.)

30-35 cm (11.8-13.8")




6.0 - 8.0

22 -28 °C (71.6-82.4°F)

5-19 °d

1:1 M:F

Live Foods
Other (See article)

5-8 years



Additional names

Peter's Elephantnose, Elephantfish

Additional scientific names

Mormyrus petersii, Gnathonemus pictus, Gnathonemus brevicaudatus, Gnathonemus histrio, Gnathonemus petersi


Found in Africa in the Niger to Congo River basins. Limited to the Lower Niger, in the Ogun, in the Cross River Basin and in the upper Chari.[1]


It is not possible to visually sex this fish.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Territorial towards it's own kind and other Mormyrids, can only be kept in groups in very large tanks. Can be kept with other peaceful fish but avoid aggressive fish or fish that may out compete it to food. Do not keep with very small fish. Can be successfully kept with larger Tetras such as the Congo Tetra and more peaceful Cichlids such as Angelfish and Eartheaters.


Eats most meaty foods including insect larvae such as bloodworm and daphnia as well as tubifex. Only occasionally will they be weaned on to foods such as catfish pellets.
They will readily accept freeze dried bloodworms and some will also accept freeze dried tubifex.
Smaller elephant nose (6-7cm) tend to experiment with different food.

Feeding regime[edit]

A nocturnal hunter who feeds best after lights out.

Environment specifics[edit]

This fish is adaptable to most water conditions provided extremes are avoided, they do best, however, in soft and acidic water. Provide this tank with plenty of places to hide during the day and a soft sand substrate, avoid any sharp or unstable décor. They do well in planted aquaria.


A nocturnal territorial fish towards others of its own kind. They are able to emit an electrical pulse which they use to hunt.


This unusual fish is elongated which has a small round mouth that is located above its trunk-like extension or proboscis which gives it its common name. They are generally dark grey-brown in colour two yellowish-white stripes extending vertically between the dorsal and anal fins.




  1. Fishbase (Mirrors: Icons-flag-us.png) Distribution

External links[edit]