Channa barca - Barça's snakehead - AquaInfo (2023)

Share on Facebookshare on twitterShare on PinterestShare on WhatsAppShare on redditshare in pocket

chana in general


chana in general


Physical properties

channa the boat



Created by Channa Barca


Channa, commonly known as snakeheads, are primitive predatory fish and members of the Channidae family. They are a group of perch-like fish whose affinities are unknown, although recent studies on the molecular phylogeny of bony fish find snakeheads most closely related to labyrinthine fish (anabantoids) and branchless eels, which include spiny eels.

The genus Channa includes 31 species native to all of Asia.
Southeast Iran and East Afghanistan East through Pakistan, India, South
Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Sumatra, Indonesia,
Vietnam, Korea and China north of Siberia. 3 species of the closely related genus Parachanna are native to parts of Africa.

Channa barca - Barça's snakehead - AquaInfo (1)

The size of different types of Channa varies greatly. The term Dwarf Snakehead was coined by aquarists to describe a group of Channa species that only grow to 10 inches tall:Channa Bleheri, Channa cachua,Channa OrientalisYtent. These species are best suited for aquariums due to their large size and relatively mild temperament.

Most species are no more than 30-90 centimeters long. In addition to size, this intermediate category contains the most diversity in behavior, as some of the species are closely related to dwarf species and others are more in the monster fish category.

5 types (Channa Argus,channa the boat,Channa Marulius,Channa-MikropeltesYChanna a rayas) can grow up to 100 cm or more and are considered monster fish that are hardly suitable for aquariums.


Fossils dated to 50 million years ago indicate an origin in the southern Himalayas (India and East Pakistan). 15 million years ago, animals spread across the expanding intertropical climate zone into parts of Europe, Africa and larger parts of Asia.

Physical properties

Channa have an elongated body and are characterized by their long dorsal fins and large mouths full of teeth. They were given the common name snakehead because of their flattened shape and the scales on their heads, which resemble the large epidermal scales of snakes.

Like most other fish, Channa have gills to breathe in water. However, subadults and adults can also breathe air to supplement their oxygen needs. Snakeheads are in fact obligate air breathers and must have surface air or they will suffocate. Unlike many other air-breathing fish, Channa have a series of hollows at the back of their head. These suprabranchial chambers are filled with folded tissues that have a large surface area and allow the exchange of oxygen directly between air and blood. Unlike mammals, they don't have a diaphragm and use water to turn old air into fresh air with every breath. As a result, their ability to breathe air outside of the water is limited. They seem to breathe air more often when they are actively swimming.

The genus Parachanna (native to parts of Africa) is described separately from the genus Channa due to a more primitive implementation of the air breathing section.

Snakeheads have been known to migrate short distances across land to find other pools of water, using their ability to breathe air. When moving on land, they first curve their body into an S-shape before charging into a powerful opening. In high humidity conditions, channa can survive 2 to 4 days out of water. However, when exposed to direct sunlight, they dry out and disappear in a matter of minutes to several hours. Contrary to popular belief, snakeheads have not been known to leave water for any reason other than returning to the water after a flood. The only true snake heads that actively come out of the water are some of the smaller species, Channa gachau, Channa orientalis, Channa asiatica and Channa amphibeus, and yet there must be an obvious reason for the change.

Snakeheads can live in different water conditions. Some species are linked to a subtropical climate zone. For good health, these species require cooler water temperatures for at least a seasonal period. Most snakeheads tolerate a wide range of water parameters (temperature, PH, GH, oxygen content). However, they are very vulnerable to sudden changes.

To behave

Channa are predatory fish that hunt plankton, insects and snails when they are young. As they grow larger, the larger species switch to a menu consisting mainly of fish, frogs, crabs, shrimp, small aquatic mammals and birds.

Before adulthood, most Channa species hunt in packs. When they reach sexual maturity, they begin to live a solitary life and develop great aggressiveness against their own species and other fish. Once a pair is formed, most species will not tolerate other fish.

Channa are not active swimmers, and when not feeding, they only move when they surface to breathe. They spend much of their time gliding in mid-water or resting on the bottom as ambush predators. However, some large snakeheads live more pelagic lives and are much more active swimmers. All snakeheads are capable of powerful bursts of acceleration. They bend their bodies into an S shape and move forward, stretching.

Parental care is a behavioral trait of Snakeheads. Both parents vigorously guard and protect their young. Most species store their eggs on the surface of the water. Some of the smaller species are mouths. Only a few species are cave spawners.

Among specialist aquarists, the channa is a popular aquarium fish. Snakeheads are elegant, alert, intelligent, calm and powerful fish with lots of personality. Their communication with their conspecifics, their hunting skills and their reproductive behavior are fascinating. Some aquarists even specialize by dedicating their large aquarium to the largest specimens. Sometimes they maintain a pet bond with their monster fish. Some rare and attractive species (such as C. barca) are among the most expensive aquarium fish on the market.

Some snake heads show significant changes in color pattern as they grow. This caused a lot of confusion in the early days of fish species classification, when color was still the criterion for classification.
With the exception of a few dwarf species, many juveniles have more attractive markings than adults. As they age, species often develop a more brown and drab appearance. Due to this phenomenon, some aquarists lose interest in fish as they grow. Anyone considering their first purchase should know what they're getting into.

Due to their predatory nature, none of the Snakehead is a viable choice for a social tank. Most species will quickly empty a general community tank of smaller fish. Therefore, a separate aquarium is needed to keep snakeheads.

Aquarists have very different experiences when it comes to pairing channa species with other hardy fish species. In general, most species are probably best kept individually. The level of tolerance to other fish varies by species, but also appears to vary by specimen or specific situation. Pairing channa with other aggressive and territorial fish species, such as members of the Cichlid family, is a strategy that doesn't work well. A frightened Channa will hide, try to escape the tank, and refuse to eat.

dwarf species

Due to their size and relatively mild temperament, most dwarf species can be paired with fish 2/3 their length or larger, as long as their tankmates are not overly aggressive. Note that most members of dwarf species are native to areas with seasonally variable water conditions. A seasonal drop in water temperature is necessary to maintain good health.

medium-sized species

Many medium-sized channas (30-60 cm) should be paired with hardy, relatively fast-swimming fish such as larger cyprinids. The general consensus is that the changes are best when the snakeheads are not fully grown and the other fish are already established. Newly introduced fish often die even if they don't fit in the mouth. Most of the time, however, the coexistence is temporary: when a couple is formed, all the other fish are usually hunted and killed.

Large species (60 – 130 cm)

These species need a lot of space. Most private aquariums are big enough to accommodate 1-2 adults. Young species generally get along very well with their congeners and other hardy fish. Newly introduced fish tend to tear right away. Adult fish (especially formed pairs) develop the highest level of aggression. They are usually the last fish in an aquarium setup.

channa the boat

Channa barca is a large snake-headed species that grows to 80-90 cm. It is endemic to northern India, on the Brahmaputra River (northern Assam and Nagaland).

Channa barca - Barça's snakehead - AquaInfo (2)

The habitat consists of a micro-ecosystem with tropical forest and a strong monsoon. In winter, the river mostly dries up and temperatures drop. In summer, the area is flooded with rainwater and melting snow from the Himalayas. Channa Barca hides in caves with a maximum depth of 1 meter during the dry winter period. A burrow houses a single specimen or a pair and never more specimens. One chamber is at groundwater level. There are often one or more inputs and outputs.

Canna barca has a specific habitat that is also very scarce. It is said that only 10-20 specimens are kept in aquariums around the world. A pair can be worth at least 5,000 euros. Most specimens offered commercially (especially in Japan) are asChanna auranticulata, which is closely related and also quite rare.

Channa barca is best performed individually or in pairs. To form a pair, a group of juveniles must be maintained until a pair is formed. Once a pair forms, all other fish must be removed as the pair will likely kill them. To keep them in groups you need a big tank with lots of hiding spots and a little bit of luck. This species is reported to be extremely intolerant, even when young, and capable of inflicting serious injuries on each other. If a pair is formed, the games end. Most of the time, the couple will have a close relationship. However, there have been reports of sudden aggression after mating or change of environment, often ending in the death of one of the partners. It is advisable to have a hand separator screen or a spare aquarium.

Channa barca is reported to mix well with other hardy fish species.


A dimly lit aquarium with a densely planted area, open swimming areas and lots of retreats. Wear a tight-fitting hood, as the Channa species are great escape artists. A space is needed between the surface of the water and the bell, as they need to breathe from the surface.

Keep the temperature in summer to a maximum of 24-25 degrees C. In winter, subtropical variations require the temperature to drop to 16-18 degrees C. During this period, less food is needed and a lower level of water is needed. enough. A cold spell is necessary for good health: a high temperature often leads to general weakness and (fatal) bacterial infections. Depending on your climate zone, it may be possible to keep the Channa barca outdoors in a pond during the summer and inside an aquarium during the summer.


carnivore. All types of live fish food such as Artemia, worms, mosquito larvae, shrimps, insects, snails are accepted.worm and pieces of fish. Frozen and dry pallets are accepted.

Created by Channa Barca

Captive breeding is possible. Spawning takes place throughout the year. To activate the brood, lower the water temperature to 20 degrees Celsius.



patrick piper

Copyright protected images


Last updated on Jan 8, 2022 byJohn

Share on Facebookshare on twitterShare on PinterestShare on WhatsAppShare on redditshare in pocket


What water parameter for Channa Barca? ›

The pH levels for a Barca Fish tank should range between 6.0 to 8.0. That means they'll do best in waters that aren't too acidic or alkaline. Finally, water hardness levels should range between 37 to 355 ppm. It's also essential to equip a Barca's tank with a robust water filter.

What are the characteristics of Channa Barca? ›

Channa barca (Barca Snakehead)

This is a relatively large snakehead, reaching a total length of up to 105 cm (3.4 ft). The species is regarded as an excellent food fish, and it is also highly desired by aquarists, but its rarity, behavior and large size makes it unsuitable for most aquariums.

What is the diet of Channa Barca? ›

DIET: All kind of living fishfood is accepted like artemia, bloodworm, mosquito larvae, shrimps, insects, snails earthworm and pieces of fish. Frozen and dried pallets are accepted. FACT: Channa barca is best kept solitary or as a couple.

Where was Channa Barca found? ›

Channa barca or the Barca snakehead fish, a rare species of snakehead endemic to the upper Brahmaputra river basin in northeastern India and Bangladesh.

What is the minimum tank size for Channa? ›

An aquarium with base dimensions of 120 ∗ 30 cm or equivalent is recommended. Depth is less important but should not be less than 30 cm. It is advised to find a filter which has a water flow between 4-5 times the volume of your aquarium. At a volume of 108 litres, the filter we recommend can be found here.

What kind of water do snakeheads like? ›

Snakeheads are an aquatic fish that live in freshwater streams, rivers, wetlands, or ponds. They prefer low moving to stagnant waters. Snakeheads can survive the cold winters and low oxygen environment.

Can Channa live with other fish? ›

Splendid snakehead (Channa lucius)

This fairly aggressive species should only be kept with large, robust tank mates — if at all.

How do you take care of Channa Barca? ›

barca must not be maintained at a constant temperature but provided with natural seasonal variation in the form of defined winter and summer periods. During the colder period the fish do not require much food and the water level can be allowed to fall without additional top-ups.

What are snakeheads known for? ›

Snakeheads are voracious and aggressive predators that eat a variety of animals, including fish of all sizes, frogs, small reptiles, crustaceans, insects, sometimes young birds and mammals, and their own young if other food sources are limited.

How fast does Channa grow? ›

Within 2 years they grow to a 50- 60 centimetres. From then on the growth rate stabilizes somewhat to the maximum of 106 cm and a weight of 22 kilograms. Channa micropeltes is found in South-East Asia in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Borneo and Sumatra, Java and Singapore. The species is absent throughout India.

What is the price of Channa Barca fish? ›

Chana Barca Fish at Rs 75000/piece | Baruipur | Kolkata | ID: 22765334830.

What kind of fish is Channa? ›

Channa is a genus of predatory fish in the family Channidae, commonly known as snakeheads, native to freshwater habitats in Asia. This genus contains about 50 scientifically described species.

What is the biggest snakehead in the world? ›

11.79-kilogram (26-pound).

Is Channa barca endangered? ›

The Barca snakehead (Channa Barca) is a rare species of snakehead fish. It is endemic to the upper Brahmaputra river basin in northeastern India and Bangladesh. Overall it has been assessed as data deficient by the IUCN, and in 2014 it was assessed as critically endangered in Bangladesh by the IUCN.

Is snakehead based on a true story? ›

A decade-long labour of love for documentary filmmaker Evan Jackson Leong (Linsanity, 1040: Christianity in the New Asia), Snakehead is inspired by the real-life Cheng Chui Ping, a.k.a. Sister Ping, who ran one of the largest snakehead operations — gang-led human-smuggling rackets — for nearly 20 years before her ...

Which Channa is best? ›

Black chickpea or kala chana is popularly known as a good source of protein. It can be added to your daily diet to control diabetes and blood sugar levels naturally. Most people consume boiled kala chana every morning as it offers numerous health benefits.

How long can snakeheads go without water? ›

Because snakeheads are obligate air-breathers, they can live in poorly-oxygenated stagnant water. Out of water, they can survive for up to four days. The juveniles can migrate overland.

Can snakehead fish bite you? ›

All snakeheads are aggressive predators and may eliminate other fishes in waters they invade. They have even been known to bite humans who got too close to a guarded nest. The Northern Snakehead (Channa argus) is fairly cold tolerant, and could probably survive winters in many parts of the United States.

What is the best bait for snakehead? ›

Many snakehead anglers like to fish live baits under a bobber.
That said, the best snakehead fish baits include:
  • Mummichog minnow (the bigger the better)
  • Other small fish of any species.
  • Frogs.
  • Crayfish.

What time of day are snakeheads most active? ›

Generally, the hotter the water gets, the more active the snakehead feed. Seasoned fishermen have said the best time to fish is from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Be sure to bring a net – these fish are escape artists, and thrash around when you bring them in. Snakehead are getting into more and more rivers and creeks.

How long can Channa stay out water? ›

It can survive outside of water for up to four days. However, snakeheads can also use their gills to respire underwater, which they often do in the winter months. In summer, and in warmer conditions—which necessitates more oxygen—the fish solely breathes air though its suprabranchial organ.

Does Channa fish need air pump? ›

Snakeheads are obligate air breathers, which means they must have access to atmospheric air or they will drown.

Which is the most colorful Channa fish? ›

Channa bleheri (the rainbow snakehead) is a species of dwarf snakehead that is endemic to the Brahmaputra River basin in the Indian states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. It is among the most colorful species of snakehead.

What is the best food for Channa? ›

Trash fish was a recommended feed for Channa striatus compared to bloodworm and Acetes shrimps.

How big can a Channa grow? ›

The largest and most splendid of all snakeheads belong to the relationship of Channa marulius. This species occurs in India and attains a maximum length of about 120 cm. The largest specimen ever collected is said to have had a length of 183 cm and a weight of 30 kg. But most often the fish become „only“ 40-60 cm long.

Do snakeheads need air pumps? ›

Snakeheads are obligate air breathers, which means they must have access to atmospheric air or they will drown.

Can you keep snakeheads in the US? ›

In some places, yes, snakehead fish can still be kept as pets, but under several constraints. Specifically, importation and interstate transport of live snakeheads is prohibited. Many states prohibit possession of snakeheads, and several of those states have done so for decades.

How long can a snakehead live? ›

The protection allows more young to survive, increasing the number of these fish — including in areas where they are invasive. Northern snakeheads have an average lifespan of 10 years but have been documented living as long as 15 years.

Can snakeheads walk on land? ›

Snakehead fish have evolved to “walk” on land! They propel themselves forward by moving their head and back fin in opposite directions. Underwater, a snakehead absorbs oxygen through its gills, just like other fish.

What is the biggest Channa fish? ›

Channa micropeltes, giant snakehead, giant mudfish or toman harimau, is among the largest species in the family Channidae, capable of growing to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in length and a weight of 20 kg (44 lb).

How many gallons does a snakehead need? ›

Aquarium Care

Northern Snakeheads require and aquarium of 500 gallons (preferably larger) as they will grow to be up to 40" long. They appreciate a sandy to smooth gravel substrate with several large pieces of driftwood as well as rock caves for shelter.

How far can a snakehead walk on land? ›

Not only can they breathe air, but they can also survive on land for up to 4 days, provided they are wet, and are known to migrate up to 400 m (1/4 mi) on wet land to other bodies of water by wriggling with their bodies and fins.

How good is snakehead fish? ›

Northern snakehead and bullseye snakehead fish are excellent fish to eat. They are known for having flaky, white meat with a mild taste that is compared to that of Striped bass.

Which fish is very costly? ›

The ghol Fish, also known as Sea Gold, is one of India's most expensive varieties of fish.

Is Channa fish Hardy? ›

Species Information

Red Snakeheads are an extremely hardy, aggressive, and powerful species that are native to several countries throughout Southeast Asia (Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Cambodia, Sumatra, and Borneo).

What is the price of Channa snakehead? ›

Rainbow Channa Bleheri Fish, 8, Size: 4 Inch at Rs 270/piece in Kolkata | ID: 22103238133.

Are snakeheads good eating? ›

Snakehead fish meat provides chefs with multiple cooking options since it is firm, flaky, and white. The most popular cooking methods reported so far include frying the fish in a pan, baking it in the oven, or grilling it on a standalone grill outdoors. A meal of snakehead fish goes especially well with chips.

What does snakehead taste like? ›

Snakeheads bear a pink and white meat that can be cooked in any number of ways. Mills describes the taste as having a mild flavor with a texture that is not as firm as rockfish, but not as lean as halibut.

Are snakeheads hardy fish? ›

Many snakeheads are highly adaptable, being tolerant to a wide range of environments, including polluted waters.

What are the water quality parameters for fish farming? ›

Waters ranging in pH from 6.5 to 8.5 (at sunrise) are generally the most suitable for pond fish production. Most cultured fish will die in waters with pH below 4.5 and 10 or above. Fish reproduction and general performance can be greatly affected at pH below 6.5 and above 8.5.

What time of day is best for snakehead fishing? ›

Snakeheads can be caught all day but typically, the hotter the water temperature, the more active they feed. Many pros say the best time for snakehead fishing is from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

What substrate is best for Channa? ›

The results showed that sand substrate had better survival rate and blood glucose on snakehead (Channa striata) juvenile fish reared.

What is the price of Channa Barca? ›

Chana Barca Fish at Rs 75000/piece | Baruipur | Kolkata | ID: 22765334830.

Do snakeheads eat bass? ›

Northern snakeheads devour and compete with our native fish, including important sportfish such as largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). Juvenile snakeheads eat zooplankton, insect larvae, small crustaceans, and other small fish.

Can snakeheads bite you? ›

One species, the giant snakehead (Channa micropeltes) native to southeastern Asia, has been reported to be aggressive toward humans who got too close to their nest. Other snakeheads are not as aggressive toward humans.

What are the 4 main indicators of water quality? ›

Physico-chemical indicators are the traditional 'water quality' indicators that most people are familiar with. They include dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, salinity and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus).

What is good water quality for fish? ›

Optimum pH for fish growth and health is between 6 and 9. If pH is outside this range, fish growth will be reduced. Mortalities will occur when pH values are less than 4.5 or greater than 10.

What are the 3 main water quality parameters? ›

There are three types of water quality parameters physical, chemical, and biological [8, 9].


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jerrold Considine

Last Updated: 09/06/2023

Views: 6005

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jerrold Considine

Birthday: 1993-11-03

Address: Suite 447 3463 Marybelle Circles, New Marlin, AL 20765

Phone: +5816749283868

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Air sports, Sand art, Electronics, LARPing, Baseball, Book restoration, Puzzles

Introduction: My name is Jerrold Considine, I am a combative, cheerful, encouraging, happy, enthusiastic, funny, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.