Four-eyes, Four-eyed Fish Anableps anableps | PicturesSynonyms: Anableps
anonymus, A. gronovii, A. lineatus, A. surinamensis, A. tetrophthalmus, Cobitis anableps Physical description: The body is long and cylindrical, while the head is flat with protruding eyes.
back is flat and the dorsal fin is small and set far back on the back.
The thick pectoral fins are paddle-shaped.
back is olive to gray and the flanks are gray-yellow to white with a violet to white iridescence under some lights.
eye is separated into two separate parts by a narrow bridge of tissue.
Size/Length: To 12" (30 cm)
Similar species: A.
dowi, A. microlepis Habitat: Brackish water tidal river estuaries in Central and South America; on the Atlantic
Coast from Southern Mexico to Columbia
Aquarium: A tank measuring 48" (122 cm) with a capacity of 50-70 gallons (190-266 L) is
The tank must only have a depth of 8-12" (20-30 cm) and should have a large surface area.
tank should have a beach, or some partly emerged stones or wood, as this species likes to leave the water.
a tight-fitting cover.
Use a good filtration system for this species produces a lot of waste.
Water chemistry: pH 7-8.5 (7.5), 8-25 dH (14), 75-81°F (24-27°C).
The water should have a 2.5-3% addition
This can be accomplished by adding 19-23 TSP. of salt/10 gallons (25-30 g/10 L)
Social behavior: A large, schooling fish that is best kept in groups of 6-10 fish.
This species, due to its different tank
set-up, is limited to a specific community tank.
Small fish may be consumed.
Suggested companions: Archerfish, Mudskippers, Scats,
FOOD: Live; fish, earthworms,
Tubifex, flying insects, insect larvae,
crustaceans; pellets; flakes.
Foods are taken off the surface and rarely off the bottom.
SEX: Males have a gonopodium.
In a large tank with favorable conditions, breeding is likely.
Fish are mature at about 8 months, when
the fish measure 6-8" (15-20 cm).
After a gestation period of eight weeks, the 2-2.8" (5-7 cm) fry
These rarely number more than 15, and stillborns are likely.
The fry should be removed and placed
in a tank of their own with a water level of 4-6" (10-15 cm).
Start feeding with
Artemia, insect larvae, and
young grow quickly.
Breeding potential: 6.
A fairly easily bred fish, under favorable conditions.
The main trouble arises with the general
maintenance of this species.
Remarks: The upper parts of the eye which are usually emerged above the water, allow the Four-eyes
to spot predators lurking above the water.
Four-eyes are strong jumpers.
The gonopodium of males is twisted either
to the right or left as is the genital opening of the female.
Thus right-sided males can only mate with left-sided
females, and vice versa.
Difficulty of care: 6.
A large species with special tank requirements.
This species requires a diet that includes
Frequent partial water changes are a must for this messy species that produces copious amounts of