Skip to content

Elephant Nose – Complete Care Guide

elephant nose

Elephant Nose Information

The Elephant Nose is a very unique fish that is sometimes forgotten about in this hobby. It’s easy to skip out on a fish that doesn’t have flashy colors and hides a good portion of the day. However, you should really look passed that and check out this oddball! The Elephant Nose is an oddly shaped fish with a part of it’s body that looks like an elephant’s trunk. It uses this trunk to look for food, for self defense and communication. Furthermore, this fish releases very weak electrical signals (like sonar) to help find food.

Be patient with the Elephant Nose because they are incredibly shy and reclusive animals. They will often dart and hide into caves to avoid contact with humans. Overtime and with a lot of patience it should get more comfortable with you. It will grow to be about 9 inches in length when fully grown but will still find ways to hide from you.

Aquarium Requirements

Elephant Nose does best in aquariums that are 50 gallons or larger. Because of their length as adults, I would personally keep them in nothing smaller than a 75 gallon aquarium. They do great in planted aquariums filled with rocks and wood where they can hide to get away from the commotion of the aquarium. Many hobbyists will purchase a clear plastic tube to mimic a cave. This gives the Elephant Nose cover but still allows you to view it. This species of fish also does best with fine gravel over large stones or sand.

Like with many other fish, I would recommend providing a cover or lid for the aquarium because this fish can potentially jump out of the aquarium. That not the most common escape artist but there’s always a possibility.

Although it has a fairly decent range of water parameters that it can be kept in, the Elephant Nose should be kept in the following ranges:

  • Water Temperatures between 73° and 80° Fahrenheit
  • pH Levels between 6.5 and 7.0
  • KH levels between 0 and 10

At the end of the day water stability is probably one of the most important aspects of an aquarium. Be very mindful of how stable your water is.

Food & Diet

Elephant Nose are carnivorous fish. As a result, you should provide frozen food such as bloodworms and Mysis shrimp. Furthermore they will love eating cut up earthworms as well as pellet and flake food. Only give brine shrimp as an occasional treat because it is not very rich in nutrients. I would recommend providing a variety of foods to give Elephant Nose a broad spectrum of nutrients.

Tank Mates

The Elephant Nose does well with larger and peaceful fish. They will not do well with fish that are smaller such as Neon Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Ember Tetras and many others. They will do great with fish such as:

  • Denison Barbs
  • Angelfish
  • Blood Parrots
  • Rainbowfish
  • Black/White Skirt Tetras

All these fish are larger so should not become a snack for the Elephant Nose. They are also peaceful and should not harass the Elephant Nose. There are many other fish that will do well with this species, I only named a few to give some ideas.

The Elephant Nose is not recommended to be kept with other fish that give off electrical currents. Specifically, it is not recommended to keep multiple Elephant Nose fish or Ghost Knifes with this. The electrical currents that these fish release will cause stress to the others. The battling electrical currents will over time lower the fish’s health which will cause it to die.


Breeding Elephant Nose is incredibly difficult if not impossible in an aquarium setting. The fish is highly aggressive to another fish of the same species. The dominant fish will pick on the weaker one until the weaker of the two dies. On top of that, it is practically impossible to distinguish whether an Elephant Nose is male or female.

Final Notes

The Elephant Nose is an incredibly unique fish that can be kept in the aquarium keeping hobby. It is an amazing talking point and anyone interested should really look into getting one. The interesting shape and colorations of this fish will keep you enjoying every moment of owning it.

Image by OpenCage on wikiMedia