Choosing to have a freshwater dragonfish in your home starts a great new adventure. These long, slender fish are a great addition to your aquarium fun.
The freshwater dragonfish often grows to around 25 inches long in the wild, but most captive specimens average about half this length, at around 12 inches. This is still a very long fish for keeping in an indoor aquarium.
Your freshwater dragonfish requires massive amounts of water. Plan your aquarium size to allow for 25 gallons of water for each individual fish, with the tank being no smaller than 50 gallons. Just to give you an example, if you want to keep four adult freshwater dragonfish you will want a 100-gallon tank. A 100-gallon tank is around 6 feet long, 18 inches wide, and 20 inches high. This is a major investment in space in your home, but one which brings along great beauty.
As you are considering your tank size for the dragonfish keep in mind the need for changing water. The freshwater dragonfish requires exceptionally clean water, and you should change out about 15% of the water every week. This means on your 100-gallon tank you will be draining off 15 gallons and replacing it once every week. While this sounds like a lot of water, it is less water than you use in an average 10-minute shower.
Along with changing the water, you will want to have a high-quality filtration system rated to take care of 100 gallons of water. You can get one large filter or use two smaller filter systems with one towards each end of the tank. For even larger tanks you may need to add additional filters. When you use multiple filters it is always wise to change the filters on different schedules. This allows you to maintain consistent water quality instead of suddenly clean, then decreasing in quality as you wait to replace them all again.
Your freshwater dragonfish is very sensitive to temperature. You want to keep the tank water running between 77 degrees and 83 degrees. A thermometer and heater will be required and does require you watch closely on hot summer days when you turn off the air conditioner.
Feeding your freshwater dragonfish is very simple. They eat a diet high in protein which can be satisfied with many prepackaged fish foods or frozen fish food. Make sure to only give your fish enough food to be consumed within 2 to 3 minutes. Your fish only need to eat once per day.
One of the biggest problems with many fish owners is overfeeding. When you feed too much food the water quality is decreased as the food sinks and decays in the water. Feeding too often increases the number of fish feces produced with increases toxicity of the water quickly. Follow the above guidelines to keep your water clean and your fish healthy.
Freshwater dragonfish is both enjoyable to watch, a little more unique, and easy to take care of. If you have a large area of your aquarium they are a fun fish to own.