26-11-2018, 15:37
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Rhaphiodon vulpinus

The chaparine, also known as the biara and needlefish, lives naturally in the Amazon basin in Brazil, Venezuela, Guyana, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. The fish can be found among the channels that run through the rainforest, as well as in river channels and lakes.

The fish is very large and predatory. They must be kept in very large aquariums, which explains why it is rare to find chaparins in aquarists' collections. These fish are not for novice aquarists.

The Rhaphiodon vulpinus has a slender, elongated body with a silvery colouration. The head and mouth are large. The entire mouth is studded with sharp teeth. The dorsal and anal plumage are displaced towards the tail. The shape of the pelvic fins resembles wings, which largely explains why this fish is a very fast predator that can make a swift acceleration and catch its prey in a flash. These fish reach a size of 60 - 80 cm.

Rhaphiodon vulpinus

The fishes can only be kept in large aquariums with a volume of more than 1,000 litres, which is only possible for exhibitions or private installations in large rooms. The fish can be kept singly or in small groups. The fish can only be kept in a shared aquarium with larger fish, anything smaller than a puffer fish will certainly be eaten.

The aquarium should ideally be designed to mimic a river current with a substrate made up of different sized gravel, stones and sand. Large snags and tree branches should be additionally placed at the bottom, but plenty of open space should be left for the fish to swim freely.

Water parameters: temperature 24-28° C, hardness dH 2-15°, pH 6,0-8,0. Like many fish in running water, biara is intolerant of the high concentration of organic matter in the water, which requires a strong canister-type filtration. Strong aeration of the water is also required. Create a water current in the aquarium, e.g. by draining the water filter nozzle along one of the long aquarium walls or by using a water pump. ½ of the aquarium water must be changed weekly with fresh water. The fish are very fast and can jump high above water, so an aquarium cover is a must.

Rhaphiodon vulpinus

The Rhaphiodon vulpinus  feeds on fish in the wild. Newly purchased specimens often refuse any food other than fish, but they can be accustomed to substitute foods over time.

Like with an overwhelming number of predatory fish, Rhaphiodon vulpinus  should not be fed with mammal or poultry meat, as it is not completely digested by the fish. The fish should be fed once or twice a day.


The Rhaphiodon vulpinus  does not breed in aquariums. All fish that occasionally appear in trade are imported from their natural habitats.

Rhaphiodon vulpinus

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