Ktenopoma leopard belongs to the Anabas family of fish. The homeland of fish is Africa. The main place of residence is the reservoirs of the Congo. I first "saw" Europe in 1955. Today it is used as an aquarium pet.
The representative of this family does not differ in particularly large dimensions. The size in an aquarium of a leopard ctenopoma can reach 15-20 cm, as in natural conditions. Such parameters are typical for adults.
The name of the fish is partly tied to their color. The general background is yellow or brown with dark spots scattered throughout the body. There is a dark spot in the shape of an eye at the base of the tail. Color saturation is individual. Some representatives have a more pronounced "pattern", while others are much darker, which makes their coloration not so contrasting.
The eyes are large, the body is flat and wide, the mouth is oblong.
For mature males, notches along the contour of the scaly coating are characteristic. Unpaired fins have a rich darkcolor. In females, the fins are strewn with small spots, which distinguishes them from males.
Leopard Ctenopoma is not a particularly brave fish. Most of the time it hides in thickets at the bottom of the river, it does not rise above the middle of the water layer. It is not often possible for predatory fish to catch it, as its specific camouflage color reliably hides it from their attention.
But, despite its natural fearfulness, the ctenopoma is a predator and lives by the principle of "fish eat fish". In addition, she is very vigilant and monitors her territory. The main activity occurs at night.
Who will get along with
Who does the leopard ctenopoma get along with? Definitely she will not make friends with unfamiliar neighbors. Therefore, it is better to pick up fish for the aquarium immediately and populate on the same day. Also, it is not necessary to populate fish of smaller breeds than the ctenopoma itself, this is fraught with the very principle “a fish eats a fish.”
It is best that the neighbors are larger than the ctenopoma itself. For example, ancistrus, gourami, catfish, labeo, scalar and so on. The main condition is the size and calm disposition, because the ctenopoma herself does not differ in violent moods.
No frills are required to keep a leopard ctenopoma. The main requirements are a spacious aquarium, a balanced diet and non-conflict neighbors.
More about the aquarium
As mentioned above, for ctenopomathe leopard issue of territory is tough. She absolutely does not like living with anyone in a cramped space. Even if it's another Ctenopoma.
Therefore, those who wish to have 2 or even 3 individuals must proceed from the calculation of 50 liters per fish. Otherwise, the fish will riot, despite their even-tempered nature.
The temperature regime is 23-28 degrees, and the level of water hardness is no more than 4-10. As for the pH index, it should be within the marks of 6, 0-7, 2.
It is important to equip the aquarium with filtration and an air exchange device. Change 20% of the total water weekly.
In addition to all of the above, the aquarium must be equipped with a lid, since the temperature regime of the air outside the aquarium is very different. And it is strictly forbidden to swallow it with a leopard ctenopome. The distance between the lid and the water surface should be about 3 cm.
Additional equipment should be special aquarium plants, pebbles, drainage, driftwood or stones. You can also purchase special houses, the ctenopoma will only be happy about this. Moreover, the number of all attributes is strictly determined by the number of fish. It is important for each individual to have its own “corner”. This is due to the fact that the shelter is a place to sleep and rest.
However, it is worth noting that some pairs of fish that have formed during the period of living together in the same aquarium can get used to each other and not conflict over territory. This feature is again noted by the ownersleopard ctenopoma. But it is impossible to guarantee the absence of aggression, so it is better to take care of individual space for each individual in particular.
What to feed
Ktenopoma leopard belongs to the class of omnivorous fish. Both dry and frozen types of food are suitable for her nutrition. However, live food deserves special love. Probably due to the fact that the ctenopoma is still a predator. In the role of living food are: bloodworms, worms, tubifex, amphibians.
For this type of fish, it is impossible to predetermine whether it will get sick or not, since the issue of immune characteristics in this species is individual. The only thing that was noted by the owners is that you cannot overfeed the ctenopoma. Also, you can not keep an aquarium without a lid (this was mentioned above). And, perhaps, all the neighbors of the leopard ctenopoma must go through the quarantine regime in strict order.
As a preventive measure, you can add peat extract to the water, which will provide support for the immune system.
Breeding the Leopard Ctenopoma is not an easy task. According to some owners, it is considered completely impossible at home. But some owners of these fish are still lucky!
First of all, you need to understand that older fish will no longer produce offspring. The ideal period is considered to be between five and six years of age. Such data are due to the fact that fish develop for a rather long time and form to a full-fledged sexually mature state.
Young ctenopoms, perhaps, will make their owners happy. True, for such a joyful event, a number of conditions must be met, and in the end this will not be a guarantee of obtaining offspring:
- Better get a few ctenopoms. In this case, it is much more likely that with a period of growth and development they will find a suitable mate for breeding.
- The spawning ground must have sufficient volume and contain a large amount of vegetation. In this case, the plants must also float on top of the water. This is a prerequisite, this will create a suitable climate for fry.
- Lighting should not be bright, these fish generally do not like light very much. Subdued lighting is considered the most acceptable.
- If the fish still managed to lay eggs, the latter will rise to the surface and will be among the plants. Ctenopoma leopard has a "habit" to scatter eggs.
- Adult fish should be transplanted immediately after their duty, as they have no parental instincts. What's more, they can eat their offspring without ever regretting it.
You will end up with a lot of caviar. In one spawning there can be 500-1000 eggs. According to the owners, there are much more. But only a few will survive, as a tougher “natural selection” takes place in an aquarium. One part of the fish will die immediately due to conditions that are far from natural. The other part of the fish - in the course of eating each other. Plus, fry are very prone to colds, and the slightestdraft can kill them. So only a few fish will remain "in the bottom line".
The fry themselves hatch after two days, this is how long the incubation period lasts. For the first couple of weeks, their diet should consist of infusoria, after which they can be transferred to brine shrimp nauplii. Although among the owners there is an opinion that it is possible to feed brine shrimp from the first days.
Water quality is very important for the young population of the aquarium, any discomfort in the conditions can lead to imminent death.