Leopard bush fish

Leopard bush fish
Ctenopoma acutirostre
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Anabantidae
Genus: Ctenopoma
Species: acutirostre
Binomial name
Ctenopoma acutirostre
Pellegrin, 1899

The Leopard bush fish (Ctenopoma acutirostre ), also known as Leopard bushfish, Spotted ctenopoma, Leopard ctenopoma, Spotted climbing perch, Spotted leaf fish, African leaf fish, Spotted cichlid or Spotted bushfish, is a freshwater fish. It is part of the unique Anabantidae family, that is freshwater fish that originate from South East Asia and Africa and is therefore related to the Siamese fighting fish (Betta Splendens). It is relatively common in the aquarium industry and is often sold as a beginners' "oddball" fish.



The Leopard Bush Fish is endemic to the Congo river basin in Africa and has adapted to suit many different biotopes within this system from fast flowing streams to stagnant ponds.

The Congo River the Leopard Bush Fish's natural habitat


The Leopard Bush Fish is slow growing and may take several years to reach an adult size which in the wild can easily reach 8" or 20cm however in captivity a fish of 6" or 15cm is considered large.

In the Aquarium

In the Aquarium the Leopard bush fish is often seen as a hardy oddball that fits into most community tanks. The Leopard bush fish in the wild is a predator so it will take small fish up to the general size of an adult female guppy anything larger than this will for the most part be ignored. It is not generally a good idea to mix this fish with large aggressive cichlids as they may injure the Leopard bush fish or out compete it for food. Good tank mates for the Leopard bush fish include all gourami species, Bala shark, silver dollar, Corydoras, Plecostomus species, Ancistrus catfish, and anything that won't fit into its mouth. They can be kept in a tank as small as 30 gallons if it is not overstocked, and has good filtration.


In the wild Leopard bush fish will eat any fish or insect that they come across small enough to fit into their mouths. In the aquarium however they will readily learn to accept dead alternatives such as bloodworms (chironomid midge larvae) and some sinking pellets, however that said few learn to accept flake foods and many people prefer to feed them with live food so that they are able to watch the Leopard bush fish's unusual stalking method.


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