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Giant Tigerfish (Hydrocynus goliath)

Giant Tigerfish (Hydrocynus goliath)
Name: Giant Tigerfish
Other Names: Giant African Tigerfish, Goliath Tigerfish
Scientific Name: Hydrocynus goliath
Family: Alestiidae

Distribution: Found only in large water systems in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania (including Lake Tanganyika)
Length: 60"
Water Temperature: 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (22-28 degrees Celsius)
Diet: These are almost exclusively piscivorous and need live foods at first, but might be weaned to fish flesh and/or beef heart. There are reports that they will eat crustacean prey as well.
Water Chemistry: Well-oxygenated water is a must, slight to moderate hardnesses are optimal.
pH: 6.5-8.3
Lifespan: 8 years

Species Description These are large, sleek, almost torpedo-shaped silver fish with dark bands. Their scales are very reflective and may, in some instances, seem to have all the colors of a rainbow (but green is almost always most prominent among those). The pronounced hump of their back, deep chest and powerfully-built head all help to give them the image of a powerful predator.

When the gaping maw is in full view, the fishkeeper can see the large conical teeth of his or her pet.

Species Behaviour These are just aggressive predators that will eat nearly anything smaller than them. Fishkeepers' hands are not off-limits to a hungry H. goliath.

While smaller adults and juveniles shoal in the wild, some large, dominant individuals lead solitary lives. The GTF is often kept in aquaria as a specimen fish and has done quite well for many aquarists when kept in this fashion.

They are active swimmers, so tanks should be very large in order to accommodate this habit.

Natural Conditions Pretty much found in any well-oxygenated body of water in Africa.

Natural Range Found only in large water systems in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania (including Lake Tanganyika)

Minimum recommended tank size 2000 gallons

Water Temperature 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (22-28 degrees Celsius)

Water Quality Well-oxygenated water is a must, slight to moderate hardnesses are optimal. A slightly acidic (6.5) to alkaline (8.3) pH range is a good goal for the long-term care of captive ATFs.

Sexing There are no obvious morphological differences between the sexes.

Breeding Not reported in captivity

Feeding These are almost exclusively piscivorous and need live foods at first, but might be weaned to fish flesh and/or beef heart. There are reports that they will eat crustacean prey as well.

Miscellaneous Info Hydrocyon goliath is the only junior synonym for this fish.

Mark Phillip Smith's "Tetras and Other Characins" and FishBase provided much of the information used in this report.
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