Piranhas Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 69 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
You Will Learn More As You Read Through The Pages

It is a legendary predator unlike any other, it grows up to 5 feet in length, so well known for its aggressiveness, with a Snake or Serpent like head, like of the reptile, it strikes at anything that hits the water, even humans, though they are no scientific evidence, reports are still around of this unbelievably vicious predator attacking and killing humans especially when they are guarding their youngs. And though so well known in Asia, so mysterious it is to this day to the entire world. Let us share our knowledge and experience regarding this predator with our fellow forum members. This predator's scientific name is Channa Micropeltes which comes from its tiny / micro scales. In english, it is called the Giant Snakehead or the Red Snakehead. In Asia it is called the Toman or the Toman Harimau like in Malaysia ( Harimau means Tiger, it comes from the Tiger like stripes it has ) and 'Pla Shado' in Thailand and its nickname "chalam nam tcheud" meaning: "freshwater shark" . The most aggressive, largest and the longest of all Channa species.

My first discussion is regarding the name Red Snakehead. I personally think this name does not perfectly fit this predator, the name red only came from the reddish tone it has as a baby which soon fades away as it grows. The first picture below all these pictures is a picture of the Giant Snakehead fry. You can clearly see why it has the reddish tone to its body now, though they are black in colour when born, they then turn reddish in colour and as they grow, they begin to transform as their strong scales and colours emerge which continuously change until adulthood.

So when the juveniles are seen to be reddish as shown in the next picture above it, they get named the Red Snakehead. But as shown in the following picture, not all juveniles are reddish in colour or reddish enough to carry that particular name. Some adult Giant Snakeheads do have some reddish tone just a little at the end of their tails or sometimes across the sides of their body but that is definitely not enough either to carry the name Red Snakehead, just look at the following adult Giant Snakehead pictures. And anyone who does not know of the Red Snakehead could definitely mistaken it as a Snake-headed fish that is in red colour. I am sure some of you Giant Snakehead fans do feel as I do. Something that mostly remains on the Giant Snakehead is its white belly, because some has been seen in completely black colour Giant Snakehead, so the white belly, so white unlike any other species of Snakeheads would make the name The Great White Snakehead sound far better in my ears than the Red Snakehead.

I personally prefer calling this vicious predator as The Giant Snakehead, what an amazing killing machine, The Giant Snakehead among Snakeheads is like The Great White Shark among Sharks. But I love calling it the T-Rex of the freshwater.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,673 Posts
Silence said:
You Will Learn More As You Read Through The Pages

It is a legendary predator unlike any other, it grows up to 5 feet in length, so well known for its aggressiveness, with a Snake or Serpent like head, like of the reptile, it strikes anything that hits the water, even humans, though they are no scientific evidence, reports are still around of this unbelievably vicious predator attacking and killing humans especially when they are guarding their youngs. And though so well known in Asia, so mysterious it is until to this day to the entire world. Let us share our knowledge and experience regarding this predator with our fellow forum members. This predator's scientific name is Channa Micropeltes which comes from its tiny / micro scales. In english, it is called the Giant Snakehead or the Red Snakehead. In Asia it is called the Toman or the Toman Harimau like in Malaysia ( Harimau means Tiger, it comes from the Tiger like stripes it has ) and 'Pla Shado' in Thailand and its nickname "chalam nam tcheud" meaning: "freshwater shark" . The most aggressive, largest and the longest of all Channa species.

My first discussion is regarding the name Red Snakehead. I personally think this name does not perfectly fit this predator, the name red only came from the reddish tone it has as a baby which soon fades away as it grows. The first picture below all these pictures is a picture of the Giant Snakehead fry. You can clearly see why it has the reddish tone to its body now, though they are black in colour when born, they then turn reddish in colour and as they grow, they begin to transform as their strong scales and colours emerge which continuously change until adulthood.

So when the juveniles are seen to be reddish as shown in the next picture above it, they get named the Red Snakehead. But as shown in the following picture, not all juveniles are reddish in colour or reddish enough to carry that particular name. Some adult Giant Snakeheads do have some reddish tone just a little at the end of their tails or sometimes across the sides of their body but that is definitely not enough either to name them as the Red Snakehead, just look at the following adult Giant Snakehead pictures. And anyone who does not know of the Red Snakehead could definitely mistaken it as a Snake-headed fish that is in red colour. I am sure some of you Giant Snakehead fans do feel as I do. Something that remains on the Giant Snakehead is its white belly, so white unlike any other species of Snakeheads. The name The Great White Snakehead would sound far better in my ears than the Red Snakehead.

I personally prefer calling this vicious predator as The Giant Snakehead, what an amazing killing machine, The Giant Snakehead among Snakeheads is like The Great White Shark among Sharks. But I love calling it the T-Rex of the freshwater.:nod:
[snapback]1204127[/snapback]​
Boy i want one sooo bad!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
Boy i want one sooo bad![/quote]

So do I, I do not own them now. I have had three Giant Snakeheads in my childhood, they were placed at the back of my house ( an apartment ) in a small plastic tank when they were juveniles. One jumped out of the tank, moving its head and tail from side to side as if slithering like a snake and fell from my apartment before I could stop it, that was a sad experience. The rest of the two then grew and ruled the tank, I finally moved them to the living room into a big glass tank when they started out growing the small plastic tank. My parents could not handle them for how aggressive and strong they were, no fish survived in the tank, they brutally killed and ate any fish put in there. You could even see blood in the water after they were done feeding. They were still young and were always hungry, striking anything that hits the water, my dad had to spend a lot for their food, only live, their normal meal were roseyreds, they have had Goldfish, Balloon-Platy and my mom would sometimes give them a slice of chicken meat while she would be making lunch.

I tried to put a black + red Oscar which was too large for them to swallow, the Oscar was there for about a few days and one morning, all I saw were my two Giant Snakeheads swimming as if the Oscar was never put there. I was dumb founded thinking how did they eat the Oscar which was really big for them, plus their bellies were not puffed. I even tried to see if the Oscar had jumped out but no, no sign, no trace of the Oscar was left. The same thing happened to my Algae Eater.

I was later forced to take them away by my parents which was very saddening to me. They were amazing fish, never seen anything like that. I am definitely having them again once I move to Arizona. Yes, but I have been thinking, are Snakeheads illegal in Arizona too? As much as I know, there are no Snakehead violation reports in Arizona. I believe Snakeheads are not illegal in all states of America like New York. I must have them again. I had no control when I had them for being a little boy, I definitely wasn't the decision maker.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
And below is one of my favourite Giant Snakehead pictures, just look at that fierce face..
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
Altuvie631 said:
what size of tank you need a giant for life
[snapback]1204216[/snapback]​
A Giant Snakehead can grow up to 5 feet in length.

Common name: Giant Snakehead

Family: Channidae

Order: Perciformes

Class: Actinopterygii

Maximum size: 150 cm / 60 inches / 5 feet

Environment: freshwater

Origin: Channa micropeltes (Giant Snakehead) is found near the coast of India, Thailand, Mekong basin of Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Southeastern Sumatra

Temperament: Aggressive and predatory.

Company: Channa micropeltes (Giant Snakehead) should not be kept with smaller species.

Water parameters: Temperature 22-28C / 72-82 F; pH 6-7.5

Aquarium setup: Channa micropeltes (Giant Snakehead) is as adult only suitable for large ponds, The aquarium or pond should be decorated with open areas and hiding places. There should be several planted areas available. They need surface access to survive.

Feeding: Channa micropeltes (Giant Snakehead) accept most large meaty food types.

Breeding: Channa micropeltes (Giant Snakehead) build a nest in among plants by clearing an area. The eggs float up to the surface where they are guarded by both parents. The parents guard both eggs and fry.

So seriously you would need a big tank for it, rectangular shape is definitely the best but not the ones which are long on the front and back parts but too short on the sides. You would have to measure it, many have adult Giant Snakehead that struggles to turn due to the sides that aren't large enough and all they would do best is go back and forth or just lazying around and only move when feeding time is on. It is like locking ourselves in a room where we can barely move freely, it is abusive in my opinion, it is not all about wanting it, but also being able to give what it needs. You would definitely need a big tank, a 5 feet monster to move around freely, what size of a tank do you think would be the best? Read on..
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The Giant / Red snakehead, Channa micropeltes

Many a fishkeeper has unwittingly introduced this month's featured fish into the aquarium as a colourful youngster - but the bright colour fades as the fish grows... and grows. RICHARD HARDWICK of Wharf Aquatics explains why the Red snakehead should be handled with the utmost of care...

The Red Snakehead originates from Asia including India, Thailand, Burma and Malaysia. It inhabits rivers, lakes and swamps and can survive drought when oxygen levels are low. This is done with the use of an accessory breathing organ that enables it to take in atmospheric air.

Red snakeheads are extremely desirable particularly when young, displaying vivid colouration with red being the most dominant. However, this gives way to more subdued shades of colour, but it is still a striking fish.

These fish are victims of the all-too-familiar Red tail catfish syndrome: people just cannot resist that cute little fellow. As a result, the fish are bought from dealers who don't know the eventual sizes, or by people who are ignorant as to the long-term well-being of this species.
This fish can reach 90cm/36" or more, even in the aquarium, so they need spacious accommodation and excellent filtration. I would use large, external bucket filters because being piscivores (see fact file), they can be rather messy feeders.

A steady flow back to the tank is best as snakeheads use their auxilliary air-breathing organs to obtain some oxygen. Ensure there is a good gap between the covers and the water's surface or the fish will drown.
Twice weekly water changes of 25% are beneficial. This is due
to the food they consume,
which is very rich in protein.

Take care...
Red snakeheads are best kept singly when adult unless they can be provided with aquaria in excess of 2270l./500 gal. Make no bones about it - this fish can inflict serious injury not only to other fish, but also to its keeper. It's one of the most dangerous oddballs one could wish to keep in an aquarium.

Some people do keep the snakehead with other fish; all I would say to them is to keep a close eye on the situation as this fish rarely takes prisoners...
If someone came into our shop asking for the freshwater equivalent of a great white shark, the Red snakehead would be for them. With its dark top, white underside, temperament and fine set of teeth, who would argue...?
But this really is a fish for experienced fishkeepers only.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Continues...

Fact File

The Red snakehead
Channa (Ophicephalus) micropeltes

Size: This fish can grow to over 90cm/36" - even under captive conditions.
Guide price: Prices start at around £6 for a juvenile and £40-50 for a 30-38cm (12-15") specimen.

Aquarium care: Because this fish will reach its full potential in captivity, I would suggest a tank size of 180 x 90 x 60cm (6' x 3' x 2') as a minimum, although I would start them off in aquaria much smaller than this during the growing-on process because it is easier to offer food.

The best tank set-up would include some surface cover in the way of floating plants to give it a sense of security. Other plants would be beneficial, but anchoring them can prove difficult with such a large fish parading around.
Fine gravel makes the ideal substrate as anything lighter such as sand will end up being suspended in the water by the movements of such a monster. This will in turn block most filter systems.Standard aquarium lighting will suffice.

Water parameters: These fish like slightly warmer water than many tropical fish at around 26-27°C/78-82°F.

General hardness and pH values are
not critical - just avoid extremes.

Diet: This fish is a true piscivore, devouring large amounts of fish as well as the occasional water vole that passes by. However, they do not require live fishes in their diets, readily accepting sprats, mussels, large earthworms and chunks of beef heart from the butcher.

Young snakeheads need feeding on a daily basis while they are growing, but once they reach 45-90cm/18-24", two feeds a week will do fine.
Fully grown fish should be fed using forceps to prevent injury - to the human.

Breeding: Little is known about breeding behaviour, but they are said to be fiercely protective of their young, even to the point of attacking humans who so much as dare to invade their space.

Richard Hardwick (published online: 11.04.02) 665 words, 6234 hits
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
timmy said:
Altuvie631 said:
what size of tank you need a giant for life
[snapback]1204216[/snapback]​
Depends, at least soemthing 4ft wide and 8-12 feet long..
[snapback]1204221[/snapback]​
True, or 5 feet wide and 8-12 feet long, it would be happy. But don't get surprised and frustrated if it breaks the tank.:laugh: The glass must be very thick, but something that breaks rods, stretches hooks, cuts 40lbs braided wires and finally tries to bite your fingers off..hmm..I wouldn't be surprised.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good read regarding the Giant Snakehead.

Feeding habits: Primarily a daytime feeder (Ng and Lim, 1990). Accounts of this species almost invariably describe it as a vicious predator on other fishes. Adult and perhaps subadult Channa micropeltes feed in packs, usually in midwaters or near the surface. Parents guard their eggs and young, and are reported to have attacked humans that approached a nest (Smith, 1945; Lee and Ng, 1991). Kottelat and others (1993) stated that anglers and swimmers who got too close to young were attacked, some seriously wounded, and that there have been fatalities. The report of fatalities was from local fisheries officials (Maurice Kottelat, personal commun., 2003).

Peter Ng (personal commun., 2002) commented that he knew of one instance where a man was nearly castrated by an attacking giant snakehead. Prey includes other fishes, frogs, and birds (Lee and Ng, 1994). Lee and Ng (1991) commented that authorities at the Singapore Botanic Gardens planned to remove C. micropeltes from ponds at that facility because this snakehead was feeding on cygnets. Ng and Lim (1990) referred to this species as the "most ravenous" of snakeheads, and they, Mohsin and Ambak (1983), and Roberts (1989) noted that it is known to kill more fishes than it consumes in its natural habitat.

Ng and Lim (1990) described the enlarged canine teeth of C. micropeltes as being knifelike, "with two cutting edges in crosssection," the edges arranged perpendicular to the body axis. This allows shearing of prey.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
Lifespan and a flashback to my two Giant Snakeheads.

A Giant Snakehead's lifespan is from 10 to 15 years, who knows it could live longer. As much as I know, a German Shepherd dog lives that long. So this predator is truly a pet or is like apart of the family than just a fish in a glass tank. I truly miss having Giant Snakeheads, I can't wait to have them again.

I miss them making a mess all over the tank, I miss them not being able to accept a single fish still swimming in the tank and must eat it until their bellies are swollen, I miss that everybody would want to watch them feed, I miss seeing them doing the alligator death role, I miss seeing the blood and scales of the feeder fish all over the water once they are done feeding, I miss the heart racing just not knowing what they are going to do this time when cleaning the tank, I miss them jumping like almost six feet away and slither quickly right under the couch as soon as they land, I miss their powerful wiggle in the fishnet knocking on the complete news paper closing on them demanding release that drives you crazy, and that frustration on my mom's face knowing what she has to go through helping me do it, I miss realizing that I then have had a shower, I miss them following my finger and fist through the glass tank, the faster I moved my finger and fist, the faster they moved their heads, I miss watching their eyes looking straight at you and keep watching you and are aware of their environment. Wow and the list goes on, Giant Snakehead, you are magnificent.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Another interesting read about the Giant Snakehead


The Latest Tropical Fishing Challenge

Here in Thailand the Pla Shado or Giant snakehead fish has a legendary strength .
We are speaking about one of nature's mistake, a fish that should not be found in freshwater,
in fact his nickname in Thai is: "chalam nam tcheud" meaning: "freshwater shark".
What about his lifestyle?
Breaks rods, stretches hooks, cuts 40lbs braided wires and finally tries to bite you when practicing catch and release you take the hook off his mouth.
Powerful caudal and dorsal fins allow a mouth fully equipped to slash his preys on the strike.

The Giant snakehead attack is breath taking. When caught, he will dive deeply and rush to the nearest weedy spot then you will need all your skills to boat him.
Those qualities makes him the sport fish most search after in South east Asia.

Fly fishing for Giant Snakehead is not an easy game. Caught only by few fly fishers from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand
the fish own the reputation of almost impossible to catch on the fly.
Why?
Because, sight casting is difficult as the fish like to ambush in deep water among weeds waiting for fish to pass at his level or other preys on the surface of water.
Streamers and others baitfish patterns are difficult to bring into play considering the dense vegetation.
Therefore the use of poppers looks appropriate but the Giant Snakehead is very smart and most of the time he will follow the popper for few feet without striking it.

We know that the fish have strong sense of smell and are often caught with chicken intestine or baby mice.
Most of our catches happened on early morning and late afternoon when the weather was cooler and in low light conditions.
During spawning Giant snakeheads form couples to guard the nest then fingerlings. At this time of the year, for the period of the monsoon
(June to August), Giant Snakeheads are very aggressive and provide a great opportunity for fly fishermen to encounter the stunning predator.

Fly fishing for Giant Snakehead should be reserved to experienced fly fishermen willing to catch a fish of exception and to spend the time for it.

Lack of enthusiasm?
Keep in mind that there are far less Giant Snakehead caught on the fly than Permit!
 

·
EverY Dog Has His Day
Joined
·
5,059 Posts
Crzy pics guys, snakeheads #11
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
Snakeheads are also sensitive predators, some would become mad and break the glass tank when they find the tank to be so uncomfortable or small or they would just jump out to explore their environs which is in their nature to do so. But others, would just stay in the tank, growing bigger as the tank grows smaller for them and eventually their body would remain as how it remained in the tank, if it was bended in the tank, it is possible for it to remain in that posture. I have heard that happening a few times. Keeping in such a tank could limit the Snakehead's true ability and nature.

But you can see a Giant Snakehead's aggressiveness since an early age, mine would eat until their bellies were swollen and could no longer move, just like snakes do, especially phytons and anacondas. And when it begins to grow, that is when it shocks its owners making him realize what a fish it truly is, the top predator of the freshwater, it isn't the biggest freshwater fish but it tells you why it isn't, an Arapaima Gigas can grow from 10 to 15 feet, imagine a Giant Snakehead in such a size, I don't think people would even want to get in the water. So these owners eventually sell it or just dump it in the lakes which isn't a good idea if the lake isn't where Snakeheads belong.

Some aquarium store owners advice the buyers who come to buy Snakeheads, especially the Giant Snakehead since it is the most largest, longest and aggressive of all Channa species. Even those who know about it does not mean could take care of this vicious predator. My parents are a good example, my uncle who is my mother's older brother used to own a Giant Snakehead when I was small and so we all knew about this fish, even his neighbour had one, that I came across in a sudden while I was walking around that area, it was placed outside, how so big and deadly looking, it turned and looked at me and I backed away :laugh: . But still my parents could not tolerate this fish and forced me to take them out. Below are some pictures of those who became victims of whom I consider as the T-Rex of the freshwater.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,301 Posts
Great info fellows


For any info there is also a pinned giant snakehead profile. For this thread: here is my dime in the pocket, just one classic snakehead pic (from snakeheads.org)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
Wow thePACK, thank you so much for those amazing pictures. I remember seeing most of the pictures but
wow. And Jan, awesome and I am sure your Giant Snakeheads are bigger now. Any new pictures?
And here comes more jaws.
 
1 - 20 of 69 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top