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Spotted African Leaf Fish

Discussion in 'Oddball's institute' started by fish_fetish65, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. fish_fetish65

    fish_fetish65 Member

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    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.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Synirr

    Synirr "No one is a failure unless you try"

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    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

    fish_fetish65 Member

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    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

    vancouver - l l a m a s -

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    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

    fish_fetish65 Member

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    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??
     
  6. andywg

    andywg Bored into leaving

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    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.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=58484

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

    Fella Research!

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

    [​IMG]
     
  8. fish_fetish65

    fish_fetish65 Member

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    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:
     
  9. nmonks

    nmonks A stroke of the brush does not guarantee art from

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    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.
     
  10. fish_fetish65

    fish_fetish65 Member

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

    andywg Bored into leaving

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    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

    nmonks A stroke of the brush does not guarantee art from

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    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

     
  13. fish_fetish65

    fish_fetish65 Member

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

    Dwarfs Member

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    Which does the fish look closer to?
    This (Polycentrus schomburgki , Schomburgk's leaf fish)
    [​IMG]

    Or this (Ctenopoma acutirostre)
    [​IMG]

    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

    bymauldin Member

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    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

    severum boy Member

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    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.

    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

    Fruitbat Member

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    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

    severum boy Member

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

    aaandyyy Member

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    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

    kittykitty Member

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    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.
     

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