The Australian native Archerfish (Toxotes jaculator) shoots strong jets of water to bring down insects and other small prey resting on overhanging vegetation. It does this by pushing its tongue against a groove on the roof of its mouth to form a tube. It then snaps its gill covers shut, forcing out a powerful spurt of water. The jets of water reach up to 3m (10′), but the Archerfish is only accurate to about 1.5m (5′). This fish has good binocular vision with large eyes located close to its mouth, allowing it to judge distances and focus well. It learns to correct for refraction between the water and the air, usually shooting from directly below the target where there is the least amount of distortion. When the insect falls into the water the Archerfish is waiting to gobble it up.
Archerfish prefer a heated tank with ‘brackish’ or slightly salted water. Fish cost from $20, and a basic tank set-up will cost around $120.