Black Ghost Knife "Apteronotus albifrons"

Care Level



Fore Ground



Reef Compatible


Plant Safe


Max Size

18" +

Minimum Size

75 gallon


Black, White



Water Conditions

Neutral (6.2 to 7.8 pH), Intermediate water hardness (6 to 12dH), 74 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit

General: The Black Ghost Knife (Apteronotus albifrons) is a unique, Indonesian fish species. The Black Ghost Knife will reach almost two feet in length, and live up to fifteen years if kept in optimal conditions. Naturally, they behave in a similar manner to many eels. "The Black Ghost Knife utilizes a sensory organ that exerts an electrical current for navigation purposes" (Animal-World). During the Indonesian wet season, the Black Ghost Knife will travel from rivers into flooded wetlands. This fish should be kept in an aquarium 100+ gallons, and with fish species with a semi-aggressive nature.

Preferred Water Chemistry: Neutral (6.2 to 7.8 pH), Intermediate water hardness (6 to 12dH)

Aquarium Diet: Brine Shrimp, Ghost Shrimp, Blackworms, Insects

Compatibility: The Black Ghost Knife (Apteronotus albifrons) should be kept with other relatively large, semi-aggressive fish species. The Black Ghost Knife are typically compatible with South American Cichlids, Mono Sebae, and larger members of the scientific family Botia.

Animal-World. (2018, January 23). Black Ghost Knifefish. Retrieved from

Animal-World References: Freshwater Fish and Plants
Dr. RĂ¼diger Riehl and Hans A. Baensch, Aquarium Atlas Vol. 1, Publisher Hans A. Baensch, 1991
Glen S. Axelrod, Brian M. Scott, Neal Pronek, Encyclopedia Of Exotic Tropical Fishes For Freshwater Aquariums, TFH Publications, 2005
Joseph S. Nelson, Fishes of the World, Wiley, 2006.
Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod, Aquarium Fishes of the World, TFH Publications, 1998
Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod, Dr. Warren E Burgess, Dr. Cliff W. Emmens, Neal Pronek, Jerry G. Walls, Ray Hunziker,
Dr. Axelrod's Mini-Atlas of Aquarium Fishes, Mini- Edition, T.F.H. Publications, Inc., 1987
Apteronotus albifrons (Linnaeus, 1766) Black ghost,