Last updated on December 1st, 2023 at 08:47 pm
The Channa Andrao is the most common species of dwarf snakehead from West Bengal, India (Teleostei: Channidae). That makes it one of the most beautiful species of fish you can keep in an aquarium, which means it will require space and proper tank mates.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to care for your Channa Andrao, but if you don’t do your research on these fish first, you might find yourself having to rush it to the pet store right away!
Even though the Channa Andrao is relatively new to the freshwater aquarium hobby, it has already become one of the most beloved fish in this industry, thanks to its colorful pattern and peaceful nature.
However, its popularity can also lead to confusion when it comes to determining which type of individual you have and what you need to do to care for it properly. To help you answer these questions, we’ve put together a detailed species profile guide that explains everything you need to know about caring for Channa Andraos in your own freshwater aquarium.
If you’re interested in keeping the stunning Channa Andrao, this article will help you make sure you do it properly. From what environment to keep it in, to how to feed it and water it, we’ll cover everything you need to know about keeping the channa andrao happy and healthy at home.
We’ll also discuss some of the other species of this genus that are becoming more popular with aquarium hobbyists, so you can keep your eyes open if you decide you want more than one!
Origin and description
Channa andrao, commonly known as the Indian snakehead, is one of three species of Asian snakeheads. It was first described in 1839 by Francis Day from specimens sent to England from Kolkata, India. Channa andrao is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India (West Bengal), Nepal, and Pakistan.
Channa andrao is a vegetarian species of snakefish, though it does have small serrated teeth on its upper jaw. This species is quite rare in captivity and has not been bred for sale very often. The fish prefers to consume live food in their native habitat, which makes them difficult to breed in captivity.
Channa andrao is considered endangered due to habitat loss. As a rule, many fish owners are hesitant to purchase captive-bred channa andraos because they are concerned about how difficult it will be to care for one. Understanding how to care for your pet properly can help you learn whether or not you’re ready for a channa andrao as an exotic pet!
Channa andrao are great beginner fish for many reasons. Firstly, they are very hardy, with a high tolerance to water parameters that many other species don’t tolerate well (such as fluctuating pH). As juveniles, they have smaller demands for both food and space and often enjoy tank mates such as tetras, dwarf cichlids, or even catfish.
As Channa grows larger in size you may want to consider removing any tank mates; there is potential for conflict as males reach sexual maturity. Because of their robustness, it’s easy to get Channa Andrao into an aquarium—just add them at any point during your cycle!
Habitat and distribution
Channa andrao is a species of fish that inhabits rivers, ponds, ditches, and shallow lakes in Sri Lanka. It is a freshwater fish that feeds on smaller creatures such as small insects, tadpoles, and mollusks found in its habitat. Channa andrao prefers shallow waters with plenty of vegetation so it can blend into its surroundings better.
This species naturally occurs near human settlements as well, usually when there are no deep bodies of water nearby. Human activities have also led to an increase in population near urban areas because they need to be stocked with other types of food than what they normally would find in their natural environment.
Channa andrao lives up to 10 years depending on how well taken care of they are by their owners. They tend to hide away from humans until they get used to them but once comfortable, these fish will swim towards people for food or just for attention.
Channa andrao size and weight
Adults’ sizes range from 4 to 5 inches (10 – 12cm) in length and weigh up to 7.5 pounds (3.4 kg), although larger fish can reach 10 or more pounds (4.5 kg). The largest specimens are found in Malaysia, and a world record of nearly 21 pounds (9.5 kg) was set by Eric Ng of Singapore at a tournament in China.
Channa andrao tank size
This Channa requires a large aquarium of at least 50 gallons and should not be kept in anything smaller. If you want to make sure your fish is healthy, you need to provide it with plenty of space to swim and plenty of hiding places. Once they reach a certain size they can become aggressive toward other species in their tank so bear that in mind before selecting your tank mates.
Channa andrao tank set up
Channas are native to Southeast Asia and India. In captivity, they thrive in tanks with a pH of 7.0 – 8.2 and hardness of up to 12dH. They do best in tanks with lots of rocks, driftwood, and broad-leaved plants such as Java Fern or Anubias species. A sponge filter is recommended as these fish are messy eaters (food particles will fall between gravel).
An undergravel filter is not advised due to their digging habits. Provide plenty of hiding places among rockwork; they’re shy by nature and prefer dimmer tank conditions. Juveniles can be kept in smaller tanks, but adults require at least 50 gallons per individual or larger communities.
Channa andrao tank mates
If you’re planning to keep more than one fish in a tank, carefully choose tank mates for your channa. You don’t want to have fish with a very different diet from your channa, as it could cause a food fight that upsets or even kills your sensitive new pet.
Also, be aware of potential aggression among tank mates; cichlids are notorious fin-nippers. Choose fish that aren’t overly aggressive—such as zebra danios, tetras, and pearl gouramis—and avoid large bottom feeders such as plecostomus catfish (they can crush small or thin-skinned species) and oscars (they’ll bully all other types of fish).
Many experts also recommend adding an invertebrate (crayfish or shrimp) to your tank so they eat algae and help keep your channa’s water clean.
Channa andrao breeding
There are two basic types of Channa: egg-layers and livebearers. Egg-layers typically do not fare well in captivity due to their specialized needs, whereas livebearers (including Channa gachua) are more resilient and much easier to breed. It is vital that you research what type of Channa you have before attempting to breed them, as they can be difficult to differentiate at a young age.
In general, egg-layers become sexually mature by about one-year-old. Livebearers become sexually mature by about six months old. Both egg-layer and livebearer species require specific water parameters to ensure fertility; it is essential to create an environment conducive to breeding.
When performing water changes, never add tap water directly into your aquarium—it contains chlorine and other chemicals that could kill your fish. Instead, use RO or distilled water to prevent any issues during spawning season. To find out whether your eggs are fertile, perform a vinegar float test.
Take a small amount of aquarium water from near where you expect your spawn will occur and place it into a clear container large enough to hold all of your eggs without overcrowding them. Add one tablespoon vinegar per cup of water (you’ll need 1–2 tablespoons total). If there are bubbles forming around individual eggs or groups of eggs after 15 minutes, these likely contain fertilized embryos.
Are Channa andrao aggressive or peaceful?
Although they’re usually peaceful, channa andrao can be quite territorial. Make sure you keep your fish in a tank with plenty of room to roam! In smaller quarters, they might become aggressive towards each other. If you have multiple fish, try to buy juveniles and add them at about 3-4 months old—and don’t forget a bigger tank!
Channa andrao care
Channa Andrao are fun to keep as pets, but they require regular upkeep. In order to keep these fish healthy and happy, some effort must be made on your part. First, a quality aquarium or pond is needed; it should be about 2 feet deep for one adult specimen, with plenty of places for hiding and swimming.
Fish like Channa Andrao are easy to take care of, as long as you provide them with what they need. Not only that, but invertebrates tend to be easier to find than many other species. You can find one in any pet store. However, some types do require specific care and set-ups. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about taking care of Channa Andraos.
Channa andrao diet
One of the most common questions regarding Channa Andrao is what they eat. They have a specialized diet, as with any fish species. Channa Andrao is insectivores, meaning they feed on insects and other small invertebrates, or animals without backbones.
Like many fish, their diet will often depend on what’s available in their habitat at that time; however, there are certain species of vegetation that they do consume with frequency. For example, while young, they will feed mostly off of plants such as duckweed and floating algae; however, once older, their diets shift to include anything from daphnia to crustaceans such as brine shrimp and copepods—smaller organisms similar to krill.
Soft, acidic water is ideal for keeping Channa and other loaches, as these fish originate from India and Pakistan and live in soft, acidic waters with high oxygen levels. You will want to monitor your water parameters very closely, as these fish are very sensitive to poor water quality and can become ill or even die if you keep them in soft, acidic water that has not been well cared for.
50% weekly water changes using RO (reverse osmosis) water is a good standard of care here; that said, when acclimating new additions, use only regular tapwater at first and slowly mix in RO over time until they have fully acclimated. This can take anywhere from 2 weeks up to 6 months depending on how long they’ve lived at their previous location before getting added into your tank/system.
Channa andrao lifespan
Channa Andrao have a lifespan of 5-7 years. Some specimens may even live longer than that if they are well cared for.
Parasites and diseases
Channids are generally quite hardy, but there are a few conditions and parasites to look out for. First of all, consider tetrahydrofuran (THF), which is often fatal in channids that aren’t kept heated to 28 degrees Celsius. Redbugs, Ich and Trichodina are also common in wild-caught specimens.
The latter two can be treated with aquarium salt, while THF can only be treated via heat or fish antibiotics. Parasites aside, channids don’t show any signs of stress until their last days. They will eat right up until they pass away—which may take some time given their longevities!
The Channa andrao is a very small fish that doesn’t have many natural predators. Their main predator is humans which will eat them as food. Other predators to be aware of are channel catfish, walleye, bass, northern pike, eels, etc. Anything larger than a smallmouth bass can be considered a potential predator.
Channa andrao are freshwater fish belonging to the family channidae found in India. These fishes are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower bad cholesterol levels, therefore reducing the chances of heart diseases. Hence these fishes should be consumed at least twice a week.
Aquarists prefer keeping these fish as they become very active during dusk and dawn. While choosing any ornamental fish for food, it is necessary to consider its nutritional value and other effects on the fish.
Does Channa andrao make good pets?
No. Channa andrao are illegal to own as pets in some states, this alone makes them unsuitable to own as pets. It’s important to note that these fish have very specific dietary requirements and have a particularly aggressive nature; therefore, it’s incredibly difficult for home aquariums to meet their needs.
If you absolutely must get your hands on one of these species, try contacting a nearby university or professional aquarist and arranging a visit.