Banded Archerfish Care Guide

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Basic care guide for banded archerfish (Toxotes jaculatrix). More information is in the video, however, I have dropped some key points below. Almost 1000 subscribers!!! Let's Go!!! Thank you!!!

Archerfish aka Toxotidae, Spinner Fish – Toxotes jaculatrix (most commonly available)

*Archer fish can be found in estuaries with brackish water around mangroves
*They often venture into lakes and rivers in search of food
*These fish migrate to saltwater and freshwater areas; however, they do not do so for breeding like most other fish
*Widespread geographically, ranging from East Africa, through the coastal waters surrounding Asia, all the way to Australia
*Eaten as a food fish in many of its native countries.
*Inhabits various biotopes, including freshwater rivers, streams, lakes and ponds
*It’s primary habitats though are brackish mangrove swamps and estuaries
*It tends to be found in shady areas where there is dense growth of marginal and/or overhanging vegetation

*Have an elongated body that is laterally compressed, thin
*Easy to medium care level
*Pursed mouth acts as a primitive gun barrel
*Silver body with dark blotches on its sides, dark band along the outer edge of the anal fin
*The dorsal fin is marked with black, caudal is clear
*Eyes are set well forward
*Long, tapered head with a protruding lower lip
*Pointy around the mouth
*Dorsal fin sits further back than most fish, rounded tail
*Uses its jaw muscles to pump water through a tube formed by its tongue and a unique channel in the roof of its mouth
*Lifespan 10 years with great care, less in the wild
*Get up to 12 inches long, usually smaller
*The name archerfish reflects its ability to take down prey above the water by spitting an arch of water at it (also under water)
*Toxotes is Greek for archer, jaculatrix is a Latin word for a female javelin thrower
*WWII submarine the USS Archerfish was named after this fish
*Prefer brackish water
*They can shoot up to seven streams of water in one mouthful
*They also jump well
*7 different species of archerfish, they all vary in band pattern
*Banded is the most common
*Moderately aggressive
*Their body is silver with a gold tint across the back, they have 4 to 6 verticle bands across the body
*More developed eyes than most fish
*The binocular vision allows them to focus forward and judge longer distances to aid their hunting technique
*While archer fish mouths go above the surface to shoot down prey, the rest of the body remains submerged
*Their eyesight does not account for refraction of light against the water, so they must learn to aim for accuracy
*They tend to stay near the surface for finding prey and for spawning.
*These fish have been observed shooting at prey 5 feet (1.5 meters) above the surface of the water
*When preparing to take down prey, they suck in water, place their tongue on the roof of their mouth, and then shoot
*The mouth protrudes above the surface for best aim
*With one gulp of water, they can shoot six to seven times. 
*Live in schooling groups, do best in smaller groups of about 4 (do best when they are all similar sized as well
*There are reports that juvenile archers can be kept in fresh water but it is recommended that a brackish setup is always used

*Ideally should have ample swimming space, with some above water plant roots
*The aquarium can be part of a paludarium
*77 – 86F (25-30C)
*pH 7.0 – 8.0
*Hardness 20-30dGH
*When they reach 4 to 5 inches in size 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per 1 gallon of water should be added to the aquarium water
*90 gallon aquarium minimum
*The tank lid must be secure as they jump
*Keeping the water level a few inches below the top is also advised, so that they have room to practice
*Providing aquarium plants that grow above the water surface is advisable but be sure not to crowd the surface area as they need space to practice their shooting
*Salinity - Banded Archerfishes will do well in typical brackish water aquariums at a specific gravity of 1.005
*Fluctuations in salinity (i.e. between 1.002 and 1.007) are well-tolerated and may even be beneficial

Tank Mates
*They shouldn't bother fish that remain at lower levels
*Somewhat peaceful, may eat smaller fish
*Can be kept with other larger sized brackish fish such as scats, monos, green chromides
*Can be kept alone, but prefer small groups

*Archer fish are primarily carnivores
*Unique because they look for food outside the water column
*They feast on insects, spiders, smaller fish, worms and crustaceans
*They can prey on smaller fish
*Tend to stay at the surface for feeding
*Will accept flakes and floating pellets

*Extremely difficult to breed, can't tell gender by looking at it, more information in video

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