Rainbow Snakehead (Channa bleheri)

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Rainbow Snakehead

Channa bleheri 2391.jpg
Rainbow Snakehead

Channa bleheri

246 Litres (65 US G.)

12.7-33cm (5-13 ")




6.0 - 7.5

14 -25 °C (57.2-77°F)

5-19 °d

1:1 M:F

Live Foods
Other (See article)

8-12 years



Additional names

Rainbow Snakehead, Walking Snakehead, Asiatic Snakehead, Smooth-Breasted Snakehead


Asia: India.


Mature females will be fuller in the belly, but only significantly when in breeding condition. They are exceptionally difficult to breed in captivity.

Tank compatibility[edit]

This is an aggressive fish which doesn't like to be with too many of its own kind. A group can be kept, but only in very large aquaria with plenty of hiding places, and fighting may still occur. Robust fish of similar size should be tolerated by this Snakehead such as large Plecos and larger Synodontis, but with caution. Smaller fish are likely to be eaten.


Live foods are generally preferred, with the possible exceptions of pellets by some fish, but not all. They eat tubifex worms, bloodworms, crickets, mussels, shrimp, whitebait, and earthworms. Any feeder fish or frogs, which form part of their wild diet, should be fed with caution not to pass on parasites.

Feeding regime[edit]

This species should be fed once a day, they are exceptionally greedy fish.

Environment specifics[edit]

A spacious dimly lit tank with plenty of hiding places is best for this fish. The tank should be mature and well filtered with a secure lid, these fish are known escape artists. Does best in a sub-tropical set up as opposed to tropical.


While one of the more peaceful Snakeheads, it's still comparatively aggressive and will not tolerate it's own kind in close quarters.


A very attractive Snakehead, the body is typical Snakehead in shape, with a broad head and long dorsal and anal fins with a rounded caudal fin. There are several pattern colourations, but it is generally a deep olive in base colour with many iridescent bands and spots across the body and fins in red, blue and green.



External links[edit]