Elephant Nose Tropical Fish Information

Gnathonemus petersii
Elephant Nose
Behaviour Generally peaceful, but will harrass weaker fish of the same type
Typical size 20cm
Max size 25cm
Tank Area Bottom
Min Tank Size 90cm
Min Number in Tank 6
Temp Min: 22℃ Max: 28℃
Feeding Sinking foods, live or frozen foods
pH Range 6-8.5
Hardness vs,s,m,h
Elephant Nose Gnathonemus petersii
  • Elephant Nose Gnathonemus petersii - thumbnail

Elephant Nose (Gnathonemus petersii)

Elephant Nose Tropical Fish Learn all about the Elephant Nose's feeding habits and food types, its behaviour, its origins, its natural habitats, is it male or female, breeding advice and information, suitable tank mates, its sizing and growth range, minimum tank size, water PH and more. Use our fish community creator tool to plan your tank set up and ensure that the Elephant Nose is the right fish for your aquarium.

The Elephant Nose is often seen for sale, and purchased due to its unusual appearance and activity. This fish however, is not for beginners, and should not be purchased unless you know exactly how to keep the fish properly. An interesting feature of these fish is their possession of electroreceptors covering the head, dorsal, and ventral areas. The fish uses electrical discharges to find food, communicate with other fish of a similar type, and for breeding purposes. Elephant Nose's are also excellent hearers, and are very sensitive to noise and vibrations. The fish are naturally nocturnal, and requires dark hiding spots in the aquarium. Because of their very sensitive 'noses', it is vital that the aquarium contains only a sandy bottom, since gravel substrates will damage the fish, leading to infections.

Elephant Noses are shoaling fish that need to be kept in groups of 6+. However, a group needs a lot of personal space, and most aquaria are simply not large enough. They are therefore only suitable for the largest home aquaria.” Minimum tank size for a successful group is about 240 x 120cms. 

It is not wise to keep pairs or smaller groups, as the fish are likely to bully weaker individuals. Given the fishes demanding requirements, and because they are nocturnal, the initial 'novelty factor' will wear off, we would suggest that the fish is avoided for home aquariums. This is a species for expert fishkeepers only


This fish is excluded from the Compatibility Checker as it is unsuitable for community aquariums or may require expert care.

Elephant Nose Facts

Family Mormyridae (Elephantfishes) | Synonyms Mormyrus petersii, Gnathonemus brevicaudatus, G. histrio, G. pictus | Other names Peters Elephantnose, Long-nosed Elephant Fish | Origin Central & West Africa | Natural Water Conditions pH 6-8 Soft to medium-hard

Elephant Nose Help and Advice

If you have a question about keeping Elephant Nose's then please use our Elephant Nose help forum. Join 100's of other fish enthusiasts with 1000's of years experience between them caring for and keeping fish like these.

Check tank mates for the Elephant Nose fish species

You are in the thinkfish community creator for the Elephant Nose fish species, you can learn all about how the tool works in assessing fish tank mate compatibility at the link provided or use the tool tips provided to guide you. Create a test fish community that includes the Elephant Nose species and any other types of fish or crustacean you'd like to introduce - You can assess the best companions, tank size suitability, stocking levels based on filter type and volume and possible negative interactions and warnings as you build up your aquarium.

Please do check your water type for compatibility with your fish, which can be found on the Elephant Nose information box above and your local water company providers website. Don't waste your money and endanger your fish!
Tank Details
question mark  Rename your tank:
question mark  Length: (cm)
question mark  Volume: (Litres)
question mark  Filter type:

* Recent changes to stocking & filter advice October 2018
* This fishtank will only last for this session - to save your tank please Join/Log in

question mark  Max Stocking level: 0cm
0-1 months 20%: 0cm
1-3 months 40%: 0cm
3-6 months 60%: 0cm
question mark  Current stock level: 0cm
Stock percentage: 0%
question mark  Suggested maximum
fish size for your tank:
My Fishtank Quantity Stock cm

There are currently no fish in your fish tank. To add fish, you can click the 'Add the Elephant Nose to your tank' button. Or search for a different fish using the options presented above

sample fish tank
See an example tank as it would show on a user profile with enabled settings and community tanks.

To save your tank details in the Fish Community Creator you must be logged in CLICK HERE to login or create an account further down the page below

If you'd like to talk about the "Elephant Nose" with our users, then we have a buzzing community of fish enthusiasts where you can talk about tank issues, Elephant Nose fish behaviour, Elephant Nose tank stocking and any other issues related to the Elephant Nose fish or other types you may have.

Help us keep great tools like this online by becoming a think fish supporter . You will help with our hosting and development costs. From as little as £1.16 per month - Become a Supporter today

Click to read the Latest Tropical Fish discussions from Thinkfish users.

Think Fish Tropical Fish Forum
Tropical Fish Market Place
Fish of the month

Helping Fishkeepers With Their Fishkeeping Needs Since 2006