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Chitala blanci


Chitala blanci
Royal Knife Fish
皇冠刀
Previously considered a subgenus of Notopterus, there are currently four described species of Chitala. All have adapted swim bladders, allowing them to breathe atmospheric air to a certain extent. As a result, they can enter and survive in poorly oxygenated and even stagnant waters in nature. They may also be seen for sale with the common name "featherback", in reference to their elongate anal fin. Despite sharing a common name, Notopterids are not closely related to the electricity-producing Gymnotid knifefishes of South America. They are actually members of the order Osteoglossiformes, commonly referred to as bony tongues. Other well-known bony tongues include Arowana and Arapaima. 

Arguably the most attractively patterned of the genus, the royal knife is similar in appearance to the more commonly seen clown knife, C. chitala . Sadly, it is often offered at a small size as being suitable for the general community tank. Obviously this is not the case, and many public aquaria and zoos have several large animals on display as a result of them outgrowing their owners' tanks. These are the lucky few, as countless specimens must die before they reach this size. Unless you have the facilities to house it for life, leave this species to the few that can. When kept in favourable conditions, though, it proves a hardy and long-lived aquarium subject. A fully grown adult provides a magnificent spectacle with its lazy, undulating movements.
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