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Spotted African Leaf Fish


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#1 fish_fetish65

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 04:16 AM

so... i was at the LFS today and saw a tank with 'spotted african leaf fish' in it. they were listed as semi-aggressive tropical fish. they're very small (though it says they can grow to be about 3 inches), and it said that they need a 10gal tank. now, i have tried to research this species, but it seems that EVERYTHING i pull up on google is about an amazon leaf fish, a south american leaf fish, or something else. i haven't found any pictures that look like this fish, and i am positive i have the name right.

what i want to know is: can i keep one in a 10gal planted tank, do they need to be in groups or are they fine solo, and are there any special requirements for them?

if any of you have ever heard of/owned an african leaf fish, please let me know. i'm quite baffled at the lack of info on them.

EDIT: it looks a bit similar to this... but smoother.
Posted Image

Edited by fish_fetish65, 30 June 2006 - 04:27 AM.


#2 Synirr

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 06:22 AM

Do they perhaps mean a leopard ctenopoma? :huh:
If it's really an African leaf fish, the species name is Polycentropsis abbreviata... hope that helps :)

#3 fish_fetish65

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 06:27 AM

no, i don't believe so... it was clearly labelled "spotted african leaf fish". do you know anything more about the species?

thanks for the info! :)

#4 vancouver

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 06:33 AM

It's probably the ctenepoma.. I have a similar type ctenepoma that I absolutely love...

The african spotted leaf ones are probably semi aggressive, and will probably stay under 5''... I don't know if I'd keep one in a 10g.. seems too small to me.. A 29g would probably be a lot better, or at least a 20... but I personally wouldn't stick one in a 10g.

#5 fish_fetish65

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 06:37 AM

i think i may go ahead and do it anyway. i plan to get a larger (20 or 29 G at least) tank fairly soon, so i will be able to move him in plenty of time. the ones at the LFS are less than an inch long right now... so they would take a good while to grow. so then an african leaf fish it is... along with two small cories and an african dwarf frog. hopefully i will be able to upgrade very soon. i'm quite excited about this planted tank!

but are they okay by themselves??

Edited by fish_fetish65, 30 June 2006 - 06:41 AM.


#6 andywg

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 07:08 AM

Just because an lfs has a fish labelled up as something, doesn't mean it is that.

If it truly is a leaf fish, however, then you will be buying a heavily piscivorous fish that is notoriously hard to get to eat anything other than live fish.

CFC had some I seem to recall, and he had no luck getting them off live fish.

If you do get one, you will want a good source of fry to feed it, such as breeding livebearers, snakeheads or convicts. Also they are a species fish, due to the massive mouth they have compared to their body size.

The profile is here: http://www.fishforum...showtopic=58484

If it is a Ctenopama then life is a lot easier.

Edited by andywg, 30 June 2006 - 07:09 AM.


#7 Fella

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 08:30 AM

And here is a picture of a leaf fish's mouth -

Posted Image

Edited by Fella, 30 June 2006 - 08:30 AM.


#8 fish_fetish65

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 01:50 AM

perhaps it is a ctenopama, then...
i talked to my manager (i work at the lfs) and he said that they're not too hard to manage as long as you have at least a 10 gal and heavy planting. which fits my plan! they aren't carnivorous fish (whatever they are), and they eat fish flakes.

EDIT: just did a google search for ctenopoma, and realized that it IS one! thanks very much, guys- you have been extremely helpful... leaf fish indeed, hah. :rolleyes:

Edited by fish_fetish65, 01 July 2006 - 01:56 AM.


#9 nmonks

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 11:46 AM

If it is Ctenopoma acutirostre, that's a very nice fish. In the wild, as well as in captivity, it eats primarily mosquito larvae and bloodworms. While it will eat small fish, it neither needs them, nor expects them. All in all, this is an easy fish to care for. Earthworms and river shrimps make good extras.

One thing I will say about Ctenopoma acutirostre is that they are very shy, especially in small tanks. I had one for ~10 years before giving it away, so they are also very long lived. Keep either a single specimen or a group of three or more as they can be a little territorial. I'd suggest keeping them in the largest tank possible, plant it thickly with things like giant vallis, and add a few dither fish (Congo tetras are ideal) so that the fish settle in quickly.

Ctenopoma should usually not be kept with cichlids; while Ctenopoma can be territorial, they simply aren't in the same league as aggressive cichlids. Even a pair of kribs will terrify an adult Ctenopoma acutirostre!

I've kept 3 or 4 species of Ctenopoma over the years, and consider them good aquarium fish even though they have a bad reputation in some quarters. I've written a little primer on them for Tropical Fish Finder you might find useful.

Cheers,

Neale

Incidentally, you may see some Ctenopoma under the Microctenopoma name. These names are misleading; Microctenopoma doesn't mean these are "micro" versions, smaller than regular Ctenopoma. The name refers to anatomical structures, not body size. There are Microctenopoma species that are bigger than Ctenopoma species, e.g., Ctenopoma ashbysmithi is less than 4 cm long, so is less than half the size of Microctenopoma congicum.

Edited by nmonks, 01 July 2006 - 12:02 PM.


#10 fish_fetish65

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 05:28 PM

thankyou for the info, nmonks! it is quite helpful.

#11 andywg

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 06:45 PM

It may just be my experience, but I have never experienced shyness with my two C. acutirostre. They are always out for food, often racing the snakehead to be first to the food.

I would agree to be very careful with housing them in smaller tanks, as mine exhibit some territorial aggressiveness, though as they are in a 6x2x2 they have enough space to not get overly serious.

Mine feed on floating sticks, prawns, river shrimp, and whitebait. I have not noticed them particularly eating the bloodworms now that they are large (around 4" or so)

#12 nmonks

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 07:06 PM

Andy,

Yes, you're right, I should have phrased that better. They are shy when cramped, but outgoing in big aquaria. They don't like hurly burly they can't escape from. I kept mine (initially) in a 20 gallon tank, and they were much more reserved than when moved to a much bigger aquarium.

Cheers,

Neale

I would agree to be very careful with housing them in smaller tanks, as mine exhibit some territorial aggressiveness, though as they are in a 6x2x2 they have enough space to not get overly serious.



#13 fish_fetish65

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 08:21 PM

i plan to only get one to avoid any potential territorial issues. thankyou for the help, guys!

#14 Dwarfs

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 01:37 AM

Which does the fish look closer to?
This (Polycentrus schomburgki , Schomburgk's leaf fish)
Posted Image

Or this (Ctenopoma acutirostre)
Posted Image

The Ctenopoma are usually more commonly found, and are all around better fish to keep for feeding and viewing purposes.

A leaf fish will only eat live food (brine shrimp works IME) and will be rarely seen. Also, leaf fish should not be kept with other fish, other fish may be too intimidating, meaning that the leaf fish will not leave it's hiding place to feed.

#15 bymauldin

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 08:07 PM

I saw some of these fish in the pet store the other day. They are very interesting. The pet store had them housed with Dwarf Puffer Fish. Would this work on a long term basis?? Or was that just a quick fix for the pet store?

#16 severum boy

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 09:47 PM

Its not a Ctenopoma sp. from the picture provided. The fish could be a Ctenopoma, but the one in the picture is not.
It is a Polycentropsis abbreviata, The African leaf-fish, family Nandidae. The LFS was right, it will get to around three inches, maby a bit larger. They dont really need large tanks, the 10gal would do for life. They will eat live foods and can be weaned onto frozen, even pelleted foods! They do like warm water though, so keep it at around 28*C. They are peaceful with fish bigger than them that also ignore them, so plec and other inactive catfish are fine. You should be able to keep a pair of them, they dont tend to attack other ALF. They also may get lost in a large tank and feel intimidaded and not really move from one corner.

I saw some of these fish in the pet store the other day. They are very interesting. The pet store had them housed with Dwarf Puffer Fish. Would this work on a long term basis?? Or was that just a quick fix for the pet store?


No. They should really not be housed with them ever. Dwarf puffers are to out going and agressive for the leaf fish, and they would be toataly out competed for food. That is , if the puffers managed to survive for that long.

#17 Fruitbat

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 03:02 AM

Having kept (and currently keeping) both Ctenopoma acutirostre and Polycentropsis abbreviata I can authoritatively say that C. acutirostre is a MUCH easier proposition than the 'true' African Leaf Fish. In my experience, while a rare few P. abbreviata will take frozen foods, the vast majority of them will starve to death before they eat anything other than live food. I've never had or seen one that would eat pellets or other prepared foods of any kind.

The African anabantids - Ctenopoma, Microctenopoma and Sandelia are my second favorite group of fish after the Polypterids and I currently have 5 species of Ctenopoma/Microctenopoma in my tanks. I've also got three Polycentropsis abbreviata which are thriving on a diet of well-quarantined live guppies.

There is an additional genus of 'African Leaf Fish' - Afronandus - but they are so rare in captivity as to be virtually impossible to acquire.

BTW....most of what are being sold as 'Spotted African Leaf Fish' are indeed young Ctenopoma acutirostre.

-Joe

#18 severum boy

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 10:03 PM

Ive not heard any info on Afronandus, as you say they are rare.

In my experience, while a rare few P. abbreviata will take frozen foods, the vast majority of them will starve to death before they eat anything other than live food.


In a lfs they had an adult that was taking pellets and I would have brought it, but dident have anywhere to keep it. What live foods is yours feeding on?

#19 aaandyyy

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 07:18 AM

So as this an old thread, did you get it in the end?

For what it's worth in my opinion (I've got most leaf fish varieties), that is definitely not a Ctenopoma but a Nandus, probably Nandus nandus. Not sure how to add pictures of mine here but they are pretty much identical. Nandus are also different to Ctenopoma in that the Ctenopoma's are Labyrinth fish with an auxillary breathing organ - basically an African gourami - whereas Nandus are gill dependant from the Perciformes family.

Assuming it is a Nandus, then potentially it will reach 20cm + although in reality I've never seen more than 15cm and they are slow growers but have incredible appetites and all-consuming mouths.

#20 kittykitty

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 05:20 PM

I also work at a fs and have one of these. It is accurately labeled as an african spotted leaf fish, of course that being the common name. Usually these max out at 4." They do well in pairs, and mine isn't shy at all. He frequently meets me at the glass and loves bloodworms and plankton. I feed him flake food also which he does eat. I don't have pictures at the moment, but he is all white with black fins and black spots, and about 1" currently. He was unusually tiny at purchase, which prompted me to "rescue" him. There doesn't seem to be much info about them on the web.

#21 Eigdoog

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 05:15 PM

Well i have two of these Polycentropsis abbreviata and i think i am going to take them back *ill try them a week more* as i cant feed them any thing other than live, but i have been told to just feed all my fish as i do and let them fight for flake! as they will live for up to 3 months without food and they are not dumb and will eat atfer a little while but if you do not have the time or room do not buy these fish!

There cheap but very hard to keep! alot of others have let them die as they cant do the job right.

#22 Feral123

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 06:26 PM

will a Leopard Ctenopoma eat bloddworms.....srry for being random but they look life the one you've shown and i was just wondering

lol, never mind, i did some reading and found my answer :lol:

Edited by Feral123, 05 July 2007 - 06:27 PM.


#23 Fruitbat

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 05:41 PM

The leopard bush fish (Ctenopoma acutirostre) will eat almost anything 'meaty'. Mine are currently feeding (heavily) on a variety of foods including: Hikari sinking carnivore pellets, flake food, frozen 'krill', frozen bloodworms, frozen beef heart (rarely) and small frozen 'silversides'. This is why they're a much easier fish to keep than any of the 'true' leaf fishes.

-Joe

#24 ArauraDiscus

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 06:42 PM

Most stores label the Cpetenoma Acoustrie ambigously as spotted african leaf fish. Thats a very broad term. When they say that, theres a 90 percent chance they mean the fish in the last picture posted. It's probably the most common leaf fish now and I have four of them. Places like petsmart sell them at amazing sizes of less than .25 inches.


I also work at a fs and have one of these. It is accurately labeled as an african spotted leaf fish, of course that being the common name. Usually these max out at 4." They do well in pairs, and mine isn't shy at all.



Actually mine are 6 inches long and are only 3 years old.

Also they can be shy, but normally will be the first out to get food. They have large eyes and are nocturnal. A lot fo their "shyness" can be due to bright lights hurting their eyes. Dimming the lights during feeding time will often encourage them to feed. I have 4, and 3 of them eat out of my hand, the other one is very shy. They love live food, but will be great on frozen and flake. I give them live though because frozen foods get expensive. They especially love beefheart so give them that, especially as they grow larger, because they will start to ignore small flakes and anything but live, beefheart, and very large flakes at around 6 inches.

Edited by ArauraDiscus, 07 July 2007 - 06:50 PM.


#25 AshleySpatula

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 02:10 AM

which ones stay small would the Ctenopoma acutirostre be ok with tetras? i saw some in a fish store the other day that had longer side fins that were really round, they kinda reminded me of the saltwater clown fish side fins with how they were shaped and the way they moved them, and they were about an inch long (fish not fins) what are those? i would like one but would they work with tetras?

#26 AshleySpatula

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 03:28 AM

anyone? i read they are peaceful would they do ok with smaller tetras?(black neons, glowlights those sorts) the Ctenopama i mean

#27 Fruitbat

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 06:10 PM

AshleySpatula...

Any smaller fish that will fit into the surprisingly large mouth of a Ctenopoma acutirostre will likely become a snack. Black neons and glowlight tetras will not be safe in an aquarium with an adult-sized C. acutirostre.

-Joe

#28 fshlvr4life

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 07:23 PM

:good: THANK YOU so much! This is the best web-site. I also have had trouble finding any information on any kind of "leaf fish". I now know that I have two Leopard Ctenopoma acuitirlostre. However you say that. Is there a common name a little easier to say because it is obviously NOT an African Leaf Fish.

My two are approximately 2", they do take air from the top like a gourami at times (but mostly when they are looking for food). And boy do these two EAT. Mine are in no way shy and I have them almost eating from my hand. They will eat all forms of frozen foods such as brine & blood worms. But they go nuts over live earth worms and are now also eating Dainichi color supreme baby pellets.

They are housed with a 10" black ghost knife (who is also not shy), a 2" datnoid, 2 1" green tiger barbs, 1 Burmese Border Loach, 2 3" butterfly fishes, 3 really cool pleco's, a 4" zig zag eel and 1 orange finned mono. They are in a 65 gallon show tank and I am looking to double that size very soon.

I love the leaf fish a lot, they remind me of a pug dog, a little bossy (mostly with each other), the first to the front to eat and full of personality. They do well with confident fish of the same size or larger, but not aggressive. Due to the fact I was feeding earth worms they did give the eel a good look but he faced them and whipped his tail at them a few times and everyone is happy now.

#29 DarkEntity

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 10:40 AM

which ones stay small would the Ctenopoma acutirostre be ok with tetras? i saw some in a fish store the other day that had longer side fins that were really round, they kinda reminded me of the saltwater clown fish side fins with how they were shaped and the way they moved them, and they were about an inch long (fish not fins) what are those? i would like one but would they work with tetras?


Ctenopoma Acutirostre would be very happy with Tetras for the 5-10 minutes there were any in the tank....These are predatory fish and have rather large mouths to boot :)

#30 jourdy288

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 08:52 PM

Well i have two of these Polycentropsis abbreviata and i think i am going to take them back *ill try them a week more* as i cant feed them any thing other than live, but i have been told to just feed all my fish as i do and let them fight for flake! as they will live for up to 3 months without food and they are not dumb and will eat atfer a little while but if you do not have the time or room do not buy these fish!

There cheap but very hard to keep! alot of others have let them die as they cant do the job right.


I have one of those, I had no idea I could get him to eat flake though...




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