Elephant Nose Fish Care: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

If you’re looking for a unique and fascinating addition to your aquarium, the Elephant Nose Fish is a great choice. These fish are known for their unique appearance and interesting behavior. However, they also require a bit of extra care to keep them healthy and happy in your tank.

Elephant Nose Fish is a freshwater fish species that requires a minimum tank size of 75 gallons. They prefer a pH range of 6.0-7.5 and soft to moderately hard water. They are carnivorous and should be fed a varied diet of meaty foods. Regular water changes and proper filtration are necessary for their well-being.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when caring for Elephant Nose Fish is their sensitivity to water conditions. These fish require clean, well-oxygenated water with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. You’ll also need to ensure that the water is soft to moderately hard, with a temperature between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another key factor in Elephant Nose Fish care is their diet. These fish are carnivores and require a diet high in protein. You can feed them a variety of foods, including live or frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, and small pieces of fish or shrimp. It’s important to avoid overfeeding, as Elephant Nose Fish are prone to obesity and other health issues if they eat too much.

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Species Summary

If you’re considering getting an Elephant Nose Fish, it’s important to know all about their care requirements.

Here’s a summary of everything you need to know about this unique and fascinating species.


Elephant Nose Fish are native to Africa, specifically the Congo River Basin.

They prefer slow-moving waters with plenty of vegetation and hiding places.


With proper care, Elephant Nose Fish can live up to 10 years in captivity. However, their lifespan can be shorter if their needs are not met.


As their name suggests, Elephant Nose Fish have a long nose that resembles an elephant’s trunk. They have a dark brown or black body with a white or silver underside.

Their fins are transparent and delicate, and they have large eyes that are adapted for low-light conditions.


Elephant Nose Fish can grow up to 10 inches in length, but most are around 6-8 inches when fully grown.

Growth Rate

Elephant Nose Fish grow relatively slowly, only adding about an inch per year.

It’s important to provide them with a suitable environment and proper nutrition to ensure they grow at a healthy rate.

Behavior & Temperament

Elephant Nose Fish are peaceful and shy creatures that prefer to hide during the day and come out at night.

They can be kept with other peaceful fish, but should not be housed with aggressive or territorial species.

They are also sensitive to water conditions, so it’s important to maintain a stable and clean environment.

Male vs Female

It can be difficult to distinguish between male and female Elephant Nose Fish, as they have similar physical characteristics.

However, males may have a slightly longer nose and be slightly larger than females.

Personally, I’ve found that Elephant Nose Fish make fascinating and rewarding pets. Their unique appearance and behavior make them a standout species in any aquarium. Just be sure to provide them with the care and attention they need to thrive.

Tank Setup

Setting up a suitable environment is crucial for the health and happiness of your Elephant Nose Fish. Here are some key factors to consider when creating the perfect tank setup:

Tank Size

The minimum recommended tank size for Elephant Nose Fish is 50 gallons, but larger tanks are always better. These fish are active swimmers and need plenty of space to move around.

A larger tank also means a more stable environment, which is important for their sensitive nature.


Elephant Nose Fish prefer dim lighting, as bright lights can cause stress and anxiety.

Use a low-intensity light or provide plenty of hiding places to create a more natural environment. Avoid using colored lights, as this can also be stressful for your fish.

Filtration & Aeration

A good filtration system is essential to maintain a healthy tank environment.

Elephant Nose Fish are sensitive to high levels of ammonia and nitrites, so a strong filter is necessary to keep the water clean and clear. Aeration is also important, as these fish require plenty of oxygen to thrive.


Elephant Nose Fish are tropical fish and require a consistent water temperature between 75-82°F. A reliable heater is necessary to maintain the proper temperature range.


Choose a soft substrate, such as sand or fine gravel, to avoid injuring your Elephant Nose Fish’s delicate body. Avoid using sharp or coarse substrates that can scratch or damage their skin.


Provide plenty of hiding places and decorations for your Elephant Nose Fish to explore.

Use natural-looking decorations, such as rocks, driftwood, and caves, to create a more natural environment. Avoid using plastic decorations, as these can be harmful to your fish.


Live plants can provide a natural source of food and oxygen for your Elephant Nose Fish.

Choose plants that are compatible with their sensitive nature, such as Anubias or Java Fern. Avoid using sharp or spiky plants that can injure your fish.

By following these guidelines, you can create a safe and comfortable environment for your Elephant Nose Fish to thrive in.

Remember to monitor the water parameters regularly and make any necessary adjustments to maintain a healthy tank.

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Personally, I have found that providing plenty of hiding places and dim lighting has helped my Elephant Nose Fish feel more comfortable and less stressed.

I hope these tips will help you create a happy and healthy home for your fish!

Water Quality

Keeping the water quality in your aquarium optimal is crucial for the health and well-being of your Elephant Nose Fish.

Here are the main factors you need to consider:

Water Temperature

The ideal water temperature for Elephant Nose Fish is between 75°F and 82°F. Make sure to use a reliable aquarium thermometer to monitor the temperature regularly.

Avoid sudden temperature changes, as they can cause stress and health problems for your fish.

Water pH

Elephant Nose Fish prefer slightly acidic water, with a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5.

Keep in mind that pH levels can fluctuate due to factors such as water changes, adding new fish or plants, and the natural cycling process of the aquarium.

Test the pH level regularly and adjust it if necessary using a pH stabilizer.

Water Hardness

Elephant Nose Fish prefer soft to moderately hard water, with a hardness level between 2 and 10 dGH. If your tap water is too hard, you can use a water softener or add peat moss to the filter to lower the hardness level.

On the other hand, if your water is too soft, you can add a mineral supplement to increase the hardness level.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are essential for maintaining good water quality in your aquarium. You should aim to change 20-30% of the water every week, or at least every two weeks.

Use a siphon to remove debris and waste from the substrate, and replace the water with dechlorinated tap water that has been heated to the same temperature as the aquarium water.

Personally, I find that keeping a schedule for water changes helps me stay on top of this important task. I write down the date of the last water change and the next scheduled water change on a calendar or in a notebook. This way, I never forget when it’s time to perform a water change and I can ensure that my Elephant Nose Fish are always swimming in clean and healthy water.

Tank Maintenance

Keeping your Elephant Nose Fish healthy and happy requires regular maintenance of their tank. Here are some tips to help you keep your tank in top shape:

First, make sure to clean your tank regularly. This means removing any uneaten food, dead plants, and waste from the bottom of the tank. You should also clean the filter and change the water about once a week. This will help keep the water clean and clear, which is important for the health of your fish.

Another important part of tank maintenance is monitoring the water temperature and pH levels. Elephant Nose Fish prefer a temperature between 75-82°F and a pH between 6.5-7.5.

You can use a thermometer and pH testing kit to ensure that the water is within these ranges. If the temperature or pH levels are off, you may need to adjust the heater or add chemicals to the water.

It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the overall cleanliness of the tank. Algae can quickly build up on the sides of the tank and decorations, which can be unsightly and harmful to your fish. You can use an algae scraper or scrubber to remove any algae growth.

Additionally, you can add live plants to the tank, which can help absorb excess nutrients and keep the water clean.

Finally, be sure to check on your Elephant Nose Fish regularly. Look for any signs of illness or stress, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or unusual behavior. If you notice any issues, take action immediately to address the problem and prevent further harm to your fish.

Personally, I have found that maintaining a regular tank maintenance schedule not only keeps my Elephant Nose Fish healthy, but it also helps me feel more connected to them. It’s a great opportunity to observe their behavior and check in on their well-being. With a little effort, you can create a beautiful and healthy environment for your fish to thrive in.

Tank Mates

When it comes to keeping Elephant Nose Fish, it’s important to choose the right tank mates. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Compatible Fish Species

Good tank mates for Elephant Nose Fish include other peaceful, non-aggressive fish that won’t compete for food or territory. Some good choices include:

  • Cory Catfish
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Small Tetras
  • Dwarf Gouramis

These fish are all relatively small and won’t pose a threat to your Elephant Nose Fish. They also have similar water requirements and won’t cause any compatibility issues.

Incompatible Fish Species

There are certain fish species that you should avoid keeping with Elephant Nose Fish. These include:

  • Cichlids
  • Aggressive Catfish
  • Larger Predatory Fish

These fish are all known to be aggressive and territorial, which can cause stress and even injury to your Elephant Nose Fish.

Do Elephant Nose Fish Need to be in Groups?

While Elephant Nose Fish can be kept solo, they do better in groups. In fact, they are social fish that thrive in groups of three or more.

When kept in groups, they are less stressed and exhibit more natural behaviors.

Personally, I’ve found that keeping my Elephant Nose Fish with a group of Cory Catfish has been a great combination. They all get along well and create a peaceful and lively aquarium environment.


Proper nutrition is essential for the health and well-being of your Elephant Nose Fish. Here’s what you need to know about their diet:

What To Feed

You should feed your Elephant Nose Fish a varied diet that includes both live and frozen foods. They are carnivorous and need a diet rich in protein. Good options include:

  • Bloodworms
  • Brine shrimp
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Daphnia
  • Small pieces of fish or shrimp

It’s important to avoid feeding them only one type of food, as this can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Additionally, avoid feeding them anything that is too large, as they have small mouths.


You should feed your Elephant Nose Fish once or twice a day, but be careful not to overfeed them. They have a slow metabolism and can easily become overweight.

Feed them only what they can eat in a few minutes, and remove any uneaten food from the tank.


Here are some tips to keep in mind when feeding your Elephant Nose Fish:

  • Use a feeding dish or target feeding to ensure that all the food is eaten and doesn’t sink to the bottom of the tank.
  • Try to mimic their natural diet as much as possible.
  • Feed them at the same time every day to establish a routine.
  • Monitor their weight and adjust their diet accordingly.

I personally like to feed my Elephant Nose Fish a mix of bloodworms and brine shrimp. They seem to enjoy it and it provides a balanced diet.

Just remember to always provide them with a variety of foods and monitor their feeding habits closely.

Common Diseases


Elephant Nose Fish are generally hardy and disease-resistant, but they are still susceptible to some common fish diseases.

One of the most common diseases is Ich, which is caused by a parasite that attacks the fish’s skin and fins.

Another common disease is Fin Rot, which is caused by bacteria and can lead to the deterioration of the fish’s fins and tail.

Dropsy is also a common disease that causes the fish to become bloated and develop raised scales.


If your Elephant Nose Fish is sick, there are several symptoms to look out for. Signs of Ich include white spots on the skin and fins, while Fin Rot can cause the fins to become frayed and discolored.

Dropsy causes the fish to become bloated and develop raised scales, and the eyes may also bulge out.


If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to treat your fish as soon as possible. For Ich, you can use a medication that contains malachite green or methylene blue.

Fin Rot can be treated with antibiotics, and Dropsy can be treated with Epsom salt baths. It’s important to follow the instructions on the medication carefully and to remove any carbon from the filter before treatment.


The best way to prevent diseases in your Elephant Nose Fish is to maintain a clean and healthy environment.

Regular water changes and proper filtration are essential, as is avoiding overfeeding. You should also quarantine any new fish before introducing them to your tank to prevent the spread of disease.

By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your Elephant Nose Fish stays healthy and happy. Personally, I have had to deal with Fin Rot in my own Elephant Nose Fish.

I noticed that his fins were becoming frayed and discolored, so I immediately started treatment with antibiotics.

After a few days, I saw a noticeable improvement in his fins and he was back to his normal self in no time. Remember, early detection and treatment is key to keeping your fish healthy.

Signs of a Healthy Elephant Nose Fish

If you have an elephant nose fish, you want to make sure it’s healthy and happy. Here are some signs to look for:

  1. The fish is active and swimming around the tank.
  2. It has a healthy appetite and is eating regularly.
  3. The fish’s eyes are clear and bright, not cloudy or dull.
  4. The gills are a healthy pinkish-red color and not inflamed or swollen.
  5. The skin and scales are smooth and free of any discoloration or lesions.
  6. The fish is not gasping for air at the surface of the water.

It’s important to keep an eye on your fish’s behavior and appearance to catch any potential health issues early.

For example, I once noticed that my elephant nose fish wasn’t eating as much as usual and was hiding behind a plant.

After doing some research, I discovered that it was likely due to poor water quality. I did a water change and added some aquarium salt, and my fish perked right up.

Remember, a healthy elephant nose fish is a happy elephant nose fish. By keeping an eye on its behavior and appearance, you can ensure that your fish stays healthy and happy for years to come.

Signs Your Elephant Nose Fish is Sick

If you are a proud owner of an elephant nose fish, you know how important it is to keep them healthy and happy. Unfortunately, like any living creature, they can get sick. It’s important to know the signs of illness so you can take action quickly. Here are a few things to look out for:

  1. Loss of appetite: If your fish is not eating, it could be a sign of illness. Observe their behavior and see if they are still active or lethargic.
  2. Abnormal swimming behavior: If your fish is swimming erratically or struggling to swim, it could be a sign of a swim bladder issue or other health problem.
  3. Visible signs of illness: Look for any discoloration, spots, or other abnormalities on your fish’s body. These could be signs of a fungal, bacterial, or parasitic infection.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action quickly. A sick fish that goes untreated can quickly deteriorate and even die.

Consult with a veterinarian who specializes in fish care or a knowledgeable pet store employee to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.

When I first got my elephant nose fish, I noticed he wasn’t eating and was swimming erratically. I took him to a fish veterinarian who diagnosed him with a swim bladder infection.

With the right treatment, he made a full recovery and is now back to his happy, healthy self. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you notice any signs of illness in your fish.


Breeding Setup

To breed Elephant Nose Fish, you need to set up a separate breeding tank. The breeding tank should be at least 20 gallons and should have plenty of hiding spots.

You can use plants, PVC pipes, or rocks as hiding spots. The tank should be heated to around 80°F and the pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5. You should also use a sponge filter to keep the water clean.

How To Breed

To breed Elephant Nose Fish, you need to introduce a male and female to the breeding tank. The male will start to chase the female around the tank and will eventually lead her to a hiding spot.

The female will lay her eggs in the hiding spot and the male will fertilize them. After the eggs have been fertilized, the male will guard them and keep them clean. The eggs will hatch in around 5 days.


Once the eggs have hatched, you need to remove the parents from the breeding tank. The fry will start to swim around the tank and will need to be fed small amounts of brine shrimp or crushed flakes several times a day.

You should also do frequent water changes to keep the water clean. I have found that breeding Elephant Nose Fish can be a rewarding experience.

It can be exciting to watch the male and female interact and see the eggs hatch. Just remember to set up a separate breeding tank and provide plenty of hiding spots for the fish.

Product recommendations for Elephant Nose Fish:

  1. Hikari Micro Pellets – This is a high-quality fish food that is perfect for Elephant Nose Fish. It contains all the essential nutrients that your fish need to stay healthy and vibrant.
  2. API Aquarium Test Kit – It is important to keep an eye on the water quality in your aquarium, and this test kit makes it easy to do so. It includes tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH.
  3. Seachem Prime – This is a water conditioner that helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium. It is safe for use with Elephant Nose Fish and other freshwater fish.
  4. CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate – This substrate is perfect for creating a natural environment for your Elephant Nose Fish. It contains live bacteria and is easy to maintain.
  5. AquaClear Power Filter– This filter is highly effective at removing debris and maintaining water quality in your aquarium. It is also very quiet and easy to maintain.
  6. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer– This device makes it easy to perform regular water changes in your aquarium. It is designed to be safe and easy to use, and can help to keep your Elephant Nose Fish healthy.
  7. Finnex FugeRay LED Aquarium Light – This LED light is perfect for illuminating your aquarium and showcasing your Elephant Nose Fish. It is energy-efficient and easy to install.
  8. Seachem Flourish Excel – This is a liquid carbon supplement that is perfect for promoting healthy plant growth in your aquarium. It is safe for use with Elephant Nose Fish and other freshwater fish.
  9. Coralife BioCube Protein Skimmer – This protein skimmer is perfect for removing organic waste from your aquarium. It is easy to install and maintain, and will keep the water in your aquarium clean and healthy.


Now that you have learned everything there is to know about Elephant Nose Fish care, you are equipped to provide your fish with a happy and healthy life. Remember to keep their tank clean, feed them a balanced diet, and provide them with plenty of hiding places and stimulation.

By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure that your Elephant Nose Fish thrives in its environment. Always remember to monitor your fish closely and seek professional help if you notice any signs of illness or distress.

As a personal anecdote, I have found that my Elephant Nose Fish responds well to a variety of foods, including bloodworms, brine shrimp, and high-quality pellets. Experiment with different types of food to find what works best for your fish.


As a new Elephant Nose Fish owner, you might have some questions about how to take care of your new pet. Here are some commonly asked questions:

Q: How often should I feed my Elephant Nose Fish?

A: Elephant Nose Fish are nocturnal feeders, so it’s best to feed them at night. They have a high metabolism, so you should feed them small amounts of food several times a day. It’s important not to overfeed them, as this can lead to health problems.

Q: What kind of food should I feed my Elephant Nose Fish?

A: Elephant Nose Fish are carnivores, so they need a diet that is high in protein. You can feed them live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and krill. You can also give them commercial fish food that is specifically designed for carnivorous fish.

Q: Can I keep multiple Elephant Nose Fish in the same tank?

A: Yes, you can keep multiple Elephant Nose Fish in the same tank, but you should make sure that the tank is large enough to accommodate them. They are social fish and enjoy the company of others of their own kind.

Q: Do Elephant Nose Fish need a heater in their tank?

A: Yes, Elephant Nose Fish are tropical fish and require a water temperature of around 78-82°F. You should use a heater to maintain a consistent temperature in their tank.

Q: How often should I clean my Elephant Nose Fish’s tank?

A: You should clean your Elephant Nose Fish’s tank once a week. This involves changing 10-20% of the water, cleaning the gravel, and removing any debris or uneaten food from the tank.

Personal Anecdote:

When I first got my Elephant Nose Fish, I was worried about how to take care of it properly. But after doing some research and talking to other fish owners, I learned that they are relatively easy to care for as long as you provide them with the right environment and diet. Now, my Elephant Nose Fish is thriving and has become one of my favorite pets.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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