Leopard Bush Fish are voracious eaters, highly aggressive to smaller fish, and a slow moving ambush species that are most active during the evening hours. Recommended for the advanced aquarist. Adult size is 15 to 20 cm, minimum tank size 200 litres.
Leopard Bush Fish are also known as Spotted Climbing Perch, Congo Leaf Fish or Purple Bushfish and are found in the Congo River basin in Middle Africa living in densely vegetated streams, rivers, and even stagnant ponds where they prey on any fish or insect small enough to fit into their voracious mouths. They are a labyrinth fish that like to lie motionless close to the surface, mimicking a floating leaf, where they can easily attack unsuspecting fish. Like all labyrinth species, their special labyrinth organ allows them to breathe air and survive in muddy, oxygen depleted waters. It has evolved a body shape and colouration that mimics leaves that allows the Leopard Bush Fish to hunt by stalking and ambush.
Both sexes have pointed spines on their dorsal, but males possess more developed patches of spines on their gill covers and at the base of their caudal fin.
Behaviour They are a labyrinth fish that like to lie motionless close to the surface, mimicking a floating leaf, where they can easily attack unsuspecting fish. They are voracious eaters, highly aggressive, and slow moving ambush species that is most active during the evening hours. These fish are nocturnal by nature (as indicated by their large eyes) but, once settled, will be regularly seen out and about at all times, in particular when food is offered.
Tank Conditions Leopard Bush Fish can grow to over 15cm in captivity and do best in a densely planted aquarium of at least 200 litres, with a dark gravel substrate, plenty of driftwood roots, and lots of floating plants to subdue overhead lighting. They require a lot of swimming space, plenty of places to hide, good filtration, and a tightly fitted tank cover; especially if you want to try breeding the species.
A tank cover is mandatory as these fish are well know jumpers. Also provide a breathing space at the top of the tank as these are labyrinth fish.
Compatibility They can be housed in a community aquarium with peaceful fish larger than themselves, but cannot be kept with smaller specimens or aggressive species. Good tankmates include Gouramis, Bala Shark, Silver Dollars, Corydoras, Plecostomus, Ancistrus Catfish, and other larger peaceful species. Bush Fish have a reputation for not accepting tank mates once established, so be warned and consider creating a community tank early rather than later.
Feeding They will accept accept live, frozen, freeze dried, floating pellet food, or flakes. Foods such as tubifex, bloodworms, daphnia, krill, plankton, and artemia work well. Live foods such as small guppies or ghost shrimp etc. can be used. Live foods are preferred, but they can be acclimated to accepting prepared foods such as floating pellets and flakes.
Care They are not overly fussy about the pH of their aquarium water. They should be kept at a temperature of around 25 C. Keeping these fish can be very hit-and-miss as some specimens can be prone to a number of illnesses associated with aquarium fish yet others become long lived aquarium residents.
|Adult Size:||15 to 20 cm|
|Aquarist Experience Level:||Advanced|
|Minimum Tank Size:||200 litres|
|Temperament:||Voracious eater, Highly Aggressive to smaller fish, Peaceful to larger fish|
|Tank Level:||Top dweller|
|Diet:||Carnivore, live foods preferred|
|Lifespan:||8 to 15 Years|