If you suddenly wanted to buy a large aquarium, and you have not yet picked up future residents for it, you can put some African fish in it, for example, a leopard ctenopome. In common people, this fish is also called African perch, but we will be expressed in scientific terms, because not everyone will understand who we are talking about.
This beautiful aquarium fish lives on the African continent only in the Congo River and its various tributaries. This fish got to the aquariums of Europe in the 50s of the last century.
Ctenopoma leopard has a camouflage color, which is its hallmark, allowing to distinguish it from other species of fish.
The main color of the body of the fish is dark yellow, and over the entire surface and on small fins, there is a scattering of dark spots. The presence of these dark spots caused an association with the leopard, thanks to which the fish received such a name.
This color allows the fish to perfectly merge with the underwater landscape of the bottom, underwater vegetation and other shelters. But sexual dimorphism is extremely weak.
Male from female can be distinguished only in times of mating. The maximum lifespan of a fish in natural conditions is about 10 years.
Under good conditions in the content in the aquarium, the leopard ctenopoma is able to live an order of magnitude longer.
To keep a pair of African perch you will need an aquarium with a capacity of 100 liters or more. To create conditions as close to nature as possible, it is recommended to plant a large number of aquatic plants with goose and large foliage in the aquarium, where the fish will hide and rest during the day.
There is no fundamental difference in plant species, because the plant food of the hemphoma is indifferent, since it is an ingrained predator. And besides, it was not noticed that the aquatic animal is interested in digging.
The only condition is that the planted vegetation has similar requirements for the composition of the water, like the fish itself.
When arranging an aquarium for a ctenopoma, you must put snags and various grottoes in it in the required order. But you should not clutter up all the free space in the aquarium, nobody canceled the place for swimming, so you should not forget about it when planning.
Coarse sand or small pebbles can be used as a substrate; this does not play a special role.
With regards to the chemical parameters of aquarium water, they should be:
- Temperature 23 – 28 degrees;
- The active reaction of the medium is neutral 6 – 7 pH;
- Stiffness 4 – 10 degrees.
Fish prefers clean water, so the presence of a good filter is a must. Yes, and not superfluous will organize biological filtration. To create the effect of a small current in the aquarium and to provide the fish with oxygen, aeration in the aquarium should work constantly.
Once a week it is also necessary to change the water in the aquarium in the amount of 1/5 – of the total volume.
The light in the aquarium should be moderate, but the plants should not suffer from a lack of lighting. Otherwise, problems with algae are waiting for you, and aquarium plants will suffer and lose their aesthetic appearance.
You can feed leopard ctenopomes with any organic protein feed, it is better that it is a live feed, but you can also give frozen food. Experts recommend feeding worms and small fish to fish, for which “perches” will be happy to hunt in an aquarium. If you want to teach your pets to vegetable feeds, you can not even try.
The only thing you can try – expensive commercial vegetable feed. If these feeds are eaten, consider that your predator is omnivorous.
It is better not to lodge small fish as neighbors, since any small ornamental hydrobiont will be perceived by the Ktenopoy as food. Spotted African perch will gladly eat all the fish that fit in her mouth, which she opens very widely.
Under aquarium conditions, fish can grow up to 20 centimeters, therefore, small haracin (neons, rhodostomy, tetras) cannot be used as neighbors.
So who should be addicted to these spotted predators? As practice has shown, marble and pearl gourami, corridors, antsistrusy, girinohaylusy, metinnis and plekostomusy get along well with this fish.
In general, any proportional fish that does not crawl the ctenopome into their mouths.
But with the reproduction of this fish there will be problems, since the ctenopomous is imported from Africa and in the conditions of the aquarium, it does not want to multiply. In the entire history of keeping this fish, there have been only a few cases of successful breeding, but overwhelmingly, the fish in the aquarium do not spawn.