Elephant Nose Mormyrid

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Elephant nose - Gnathonemus petersii

Scientific name: Gnathonemus petersii

Common name: Elephant nose

Family: Mormyridae

Usual size in fish tanks: 15 - 20 cm (5.91 - 7.87 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6 - 7.5

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 18°N (71.43 - 321.43ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 23 - 29 °C (73.4 - 84.2°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: Africa

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels


The elephant nose can be found over a wide area of the African continent where it inhabitats slow moving water ways and rivers.


Up to 10 years. Usually less.

Short description

The elephant nose makes a great addition to the aquarium but it does have specific needs that must be met to keep these fish long term, sadly often these conditions are not met which means that they do not get the best conditions and the keepers do not see them at their best. They are a scaleless fish so any medications added to the aquarium will have a diverse effect on them, because of this it is best to treat any tank mates in a separate quarantine tank.

The minimum size aquarium for these fish should be at least 48 inches (121.92 cm), this is suitable for a single specimen but if kept in a small group then give them room to make territories by using a larger aquarium.

These fish should not be housed with aggressive tank mates, they will not compete for food and as a result can suffer from malnutrition if they do refuse to eat.

The aquarium lighting should be dim, floating plants will help with this and hiding places should be provided by adding rocks or wood.

They do like to burrow so make sure that sand or a smooth gravel is used for the substrate, any sharp edges will damage their proboscis that is situated on their nose which in turn can lead to infection.


Tablets, granules, beef heart. Feed vitamins-rich food.




Some people claim they’ve bred this species, but Elephant nose’s don’t breed in captivity usually.