Marbled African Lungfish / Protopterus aethiopicus
- Regular price
- Regular price
- Sale price
- Unit price
Considered by many to be the most beautiful lungfish, the Marbled African Lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus) is a fish that is certainly unique in numerous ways.
This lungfish has an eel-like appearance, smooth and slimy. Its cylindrical body has beautiful spots along its entire length. These spots vary in color from gray to dark brown, on a grayish-green base typical of wild specimens.
Its small eyes are positioned in the middle of the head and pointed slightly upwards. The mouth, which looks more like a tear, can sometimes resemble a small beak with lips, especially when the fish is breathing on the surface.
From its cylindrical body, for long fins come out, which are very similar to tentacles. The fish uses them as support to stay close to the substrate and help push them along; it's a surprising behavior to see, as the Marbled African Lungfish resembles a quadrupedal animal.
Its long tail is pointed, with a sharp appearance. The tail is formed by the junction of its anal and dorsal fins. The Marbled African Fish is an extremely robust fish.
Of peaceful and sedentary behavior, its always recommended to keep them alone in the aquarium. Because they are slow, it will hardly be able to compete for food with quicker fish; while also trying to eat their tank mates whenever given the opportunity. Due to its soft skin, it can easily injure if attacked by other species. While many aquarists have had success with keeping Marbled African Lungfish in community tanks, the best way to ensure success with this species is to keep them alone.
They are carnivorous animals that will quickly feed on mollusks, insects, crustaceans, worms, amphibians, and other fish. Diet is opportunistic and adaptable to local conditions.
Juveniles require an almost exclusive diet of insects. In the aquarium they will accept live fish exceptionally well, as well as pieces of fresh fish, worms, and crustaceans. They also readily accept prepared foods like sinking pellets. They are far from fussy eaters. They capture food in a quick sucking motion followed by a powerful bite; breaking bones and shells and smashing their food into a paste between the hard boney pallets at the top and bottom of their surprisingly large mouths. They then proceed to repeat a process of chewing their food, spitting it out while mixing it with slime, and chewing it again until their food is formed into a fine soft paste, and then they swallow. It’s a very bizarre eating behavior that is unique to lungfish and very fun to observe.
Marbled African Lungfish are definitely the ideal species for those aquarists looking for just a highly unique and inquisitive species to keep as the centerpiece of their tank!
Scientific name: Protopterus aethiopicus
Common name: Marble African Lungfish
Order: Ceratodontiformes — Family: Protopteridae
Distribution: African continent. Tanzania, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan. Specifically, it lives on the Nile River and in lakes such as Albert, Edward, Tanganyka, Victoria, Nabugabo.
Adult Size: 30-40”+
Life Expectancy: 20+ years
pH: 6.0 to 8.0
Temperature: 77 to 86 F
Minimum size tank: 180 gallons
Reproduction: Oviparous. Reproduction usually takes place during the arrival season. After the first rains, the males will prepare a "pit" nest or a deep hole, where one or more females will lay their eggs, and the male will fertilize them. They show parental care, with the male protecting and oxygenating the nest for eight weeks.
Sexual Dimorphism: Imperceptible sexual dimorphism.
Additional Information: In nature, these fish inhabit seasonal pools, swamps, and lakes, mainly on their banks. Their fins are also used out of the water to move between puddles of water during the dry season. Among the genus Protopterus are ancient, primitive fish, with slightly amphibious characteristics. They can live in dry river beds for months, even years. They breathe atmospheric air.
Shipping Information, General Information & DOA Policy
- In-stock Livestock under $599: Flat Rate $49.99
- In-stock Livestock over $599: FREE SHIPPING
- Pre-Order Livestock under $999: Flat Rate $69.99
- Pre-Order Livestock over $999: FREE SHIPPING
- In-stock Livestock under $299: Flat Rate $19.99
- In-stock Livestock over $299: FREE SHIPPING
- Pre-Order Livestock under $499: Flat Rate $29.99
- Pre-Order Livestock over $499: FREE SHIPPING
- In-stock Livestock: Flat Rate $99.99
- Pre-Order Livestock: Flat Rate $119.99
- We do not ship to Hawaii.
Live Arrival Guarantee / DOA Policy
We take great pride in our packaging and losses are a very rare occurrence, even when shipments are unexpectedly delayed. Live arrival is always guaranteed given the conditions listed below are met. If there are any DOA's, we offer full store credit towards your next purchase for the lost items, minus any shipping charges if Free Shipping was not included in your order. No cash refunds. Shipping charges are non-refundable.