for Your New Wolffish
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Appeal: Only people who like large predators want to keep a wolffish. When you look them full in the face, you see their protruding “wolf teeth.” If you pick one up with your bare hands, have a first-aid kit handy. Unlike piranhas that slice their food into bite-size chunks, wolffish grab their prey in the middle, shake the tar out of it to stun it, then swallow it head first (usually). Smaller stuff they just swallow in one fast gulp.
Keep Covered: In the wild these guys can travel long distances overland when it rains. They use their swim bladder to help them absorb atmospheric oxygen. (Do not give this info to the feds.) In captivity, they like to get out of their tank in search of greener pastures. They survive only a few hours on a dry carpet. Keep them well covered. They bail if given only half a chance.
Size: Most wolffish top out at around a foot because people keep them in too small tanks. They need more than a 55 to attain their full 20-inch potential.
Foods: Wolffish love live fish (except the armored catfishes). They can easily overpower and swallow a fish two-thirds their length – especially skinny ones. They also enjoy most chunky frozen foods and night crawlers. This guy above even bites the net when we move his piece of slate.
Water: Because wolffish use their auxiliary breathing organ, they can live in pretty crummy water with low oxygen levels. Since they devour vast quantities, you need to filter their water well. Make frequent large water changes.
Housing: As mentioned earlier, wolffish need lots of room. If you have a 70, a wolffish will grow nicely. Give them a lurking place to hang out. They feel more comfortable when hiding from other predators (such as alligators).
Tank Mates: Wolffish pretty much chew on anything they can reach – including larger cichlids. Large fish that learn to stay out of their way will survive (with scars).
Temperature: Keep your
wolffish at tropical temperatures – 75o or so.
They do not do well in cool water as their disappearance from
Temperament: Nocturnal by nature, they like to hide until food appears. Then they rush out and snap it up. Because wolffish prefer the night shift, they like you to feed them in the evening. However, they will adjust to your schedule.
Décor: Because wolffish grow so large, they’ll knock your plants loose. And since they prefer lower light levels, you can’t keep most live plants. Stick with plastic plants. Add wood and rocks to taste -- yours, not theirs.
Breeding: In the wild wolffish breed in caves. The females lay thousands of eggs over a two-week period. They hatch in four days. The larger ones undoubtedly eat the smaller ones. You will not spawn them in captivity.
Last Word: Keep their
water clean. You cannot over filter
your wolffish’s water. LA.
Chris Kenny, February 10, 2009
Picture 1-16-09 /011is the male and female.
IMG 0692 & IMG 0694 is the male fanning the eggs (they were layed/spawned on Jan. 9, 2009 at 5:30 p.m)
Baby fish 011.jpg are the fry I believe the day they hatched (Jan.11 2009 at 7:00 a.m).
Baby fish 023 jpg baby fry a couple days old.
I would say she had apprx. 4,000 eggs as of today 2-10-2009. We have a little over hundred babies that have survived. We have them ALL in their own single containers as of right now trying to avoid them eating one another (which we had A LOT of). I will try to get some new photos today and send them to you. They are all about a good inch as of now. Thanks for your interest.
A: Thanks. I added your pics to the bottom of my Wolffish page. LA
jkenny0419, March 18, 2009
New pics of baby wolffish for ya. I believe they are around 9-10 weeks old here. In the one picture with the fish under the rock you could see a tail sticking out of its mouth. It got hungry and ate one of its siblings.
A: Raising wolffish has to be a pain. They cannibalize each other at the drop of a hat. Congratulations on your successful spawning. We haven't seen these toothy little varmints in our neck of the woods for about a year. I'm adding your comments and photo to my wolf page.Thanks. LA
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