Spotted Ctenopoma 101: The Ultimate Care Guide

Spotted Ctenopomas have fascinating leopard-like spots and strikingly elongated dorsal fins, which are an aquatic spectacle to behold. 

These nocturnal beauties hail from the calm river systems of Central Africa, bringing an exotic allure to your home aquarium. 

And in this guide, I’ll walk you step by step through everything you need to know about caring for these unique freshwater companions. 

From tank conditions to diet, and even common diseases to watch out for, this ultimate care guide is your roadmap to creating a happy and healthy environment for your Spotted Ctenopoma. 

Spotted Ctenopoma Summary

Common NamesSpotted Ctenopoma, Leopard Bush Fish, Two-Spot Climbing Perch, African Climbing Perch
Scientific NameCtenopoma acutirostre
SpeciesC. acutirostre
ColorA mix of browns and greens covered with numerous spots
SizeUp to 6 inches (15 cm)
Lifespan8-10 years with proper care
pH Level6.0-7.5
Water Temperature75-80°F (24-27°C)
Water Hardness4-12 dH
Water TypeFreshwater
Minimum Tank Size30 gallons for a single fish, larger for a community
Community TankYes, with larger, peaceful species. Smaller fish may be seen as food due to their predatory nature.
Care LevelIntermediate
CompatibilityCompatible with larger, non-aggressive species. Not suitable for a tank with small, slow-moving fish.

Spotted Ctenopoma History

Let’s jump in our time machine and journey back to the origins of the Spotted Ctenopoma. 

Our fishy friend, the Spotted Ctenopoma, comes from a family known as Anabantidae which also includes bettas and gouramis.

Now imagine yourself near the lush and diverse Congo River Basin in Africa, where the waters flow slowly, carrying an array of aquatic life with them. 

That’s the homeland of our Spotted Ctenopoma. Picture this fascinating fish swimming along the water bodies, amidst the verdant vegetation, darting between submerged logs and sneaking through leaf litter. 

This is where they’ve thrived and adapted, evolving their unique characteristics, such as their leaf-like appearance.

But, how did this African native make its way into our homes and hearts? 

Well, like many unique and captivating species, the Spotted Ctenopoma couldn’t remain Africa’s best-kept secret for too long. 

With their exotic looks and hardy nature, they piqued the interest of fish enthusiasts around the world.

Over time, these fascinating creatures started gaining popularity in the aquarium trade, turning heads wherever they went. 

Now, they’re sought-after pets for both novices and experienced aquarists alike, gracing aquariums across the globe with their charm and unique leaf-mimicking behavior. 

Spotted Ctenopoma Behavior

The Spotted Ctenopoma, known for its impressive camouflage abilities, is an inhabitant of the dense waters of the Congo River Basin. 

Its body shape and coloration mimic a floating leaf, allowing it to blend seamlessly into its environment. 

This camouflage serves a dual purpose: it helps evade predators and also aids in ambushing prey. 

The Spotted Ctenopoma remains almost motionless, indistinguishable from the surrounding leaves, until an unsuspecting small fish or invertebrate ventures too close. 

In an instant, the Spotted Ctenopoma will strike, securing its meal with a swift and precise movement.

Along with being a master of disguise, the Spotted Ctenopoma is remarkably resilient, thanks to its labyrinth organ. 

This specialized organ allows it to breathe atmospheric oxygen, equipping it to survive in water with low oxygen levels. 

Additionally, it provides these guys with the ability to move across wetlands during temporary dry spells, thus earning them the nickname “climbing perch”. 

This survival strategy underscores the fish’s ability to adapt to less-than-ideal conditions, emphasizing its hardy nature.

In terms of social behavior, it tends to be a solitary creature. It doesn’t engage in schooling behavior and instead occupies its own territory. 

Preferring to stay amongst the undergrowth or hidden under a log, the Spotted Ctenopoma leads a reclusive lifestyle. 

Its low-key demeanor contributes to survival, as fewer movements mean it’s less likely to attract unwanted attention from predators.

As an opportunistic carnivore, the Spotted Ctenopoma feeds primarily on smaller fish, crustaceans, and insects. Its hunting strategy revolves around its leaf-like appearance. 

The fish waits patiently, blending into its surroundings, and when prey comes within reach, it swiftly captures it. 

This behavior demonstrates a remarkable synchronization with its environment, which allows it to thrive in the rivers and pools of the Congo Basin. 

Spotted Ctenopoma Origin & Habitat

The Spotted Ctenopoma, also known as the leopard bush fish or the climbing perch, is a native of Central Africa. 

It hails from the Congo River Basin, an expansive and diverse region that spans six countries

As its nickname, “climbing perch”, suggests, it thrives in a wide range of freshwater habitats, not just the river itself, but also swamps, marshes, and floodplains.

The Congo River Basin, the Spotted Ctenopoma’s playground, is an ecological wonder. 

It’s the second-largest river basin in the world, brimming with diverse aquatic and terrestrial life. 

And our friend, the Spotted Ctenopoma, feels right at home amid the sprawling vegetation, slow-moving waters, and leaf litter that characterize this habitat.

In this fertile environment, this fish has everything it needs – shelter, food, and space to roam. 

You’ll often find them lurking around the bottom of the water column, hiding amongst the plant life or in the shadows of submerged logs. 

Here, they blend perfectly into the leaf litter with their body shape and coloration mimicking floating leaves. 

This helps them to stay hidden from predators and to lie in wait for their prey.

Despite their African origin, Spotted Ctenopomas have now found their way into homes and aquariums around the globe. 

They’re prized for their unique appearance, interesting behavior, and relative hardiness, which makes them an excellent choice for both beginner and experienced fish keepers. 

But remember, even though they’re far from the Congo River Basin, they still enjoy a habitat that mimics their natural home – so a well-decorated aquarium with plenty of hiding spots will make them feel right at home!

What Are the Features of Spotted Ctenopoma?

1. Appearance 

First, we have the body. The Spotted Ctenopoma boasts a robust, slightly elongated shape, tapering towards the tail.

Now, let’s talk about the coloration. Picture the dappled sunlight filtering through a dense canopy of leaves, creating a stunning play of light and shadow. 

That’s the color of our Spotted Ctenopoma. It has a base color of brownish-grey to green, with beautiful golden speckles scattered across the body. 

These gold spots give the fish its name and lend an almost ethereal quality to its appearance.

As for its fins, they aren’t left out of the style parade. The pectoral and ventral fins are elongated and resemble the limbs of a leaf, further aiding in its disguise. 

The dorsal and anal fins stretch out almost to the tail, creating a continuous, flowing silhouette. 

And, let’s not forget the tail fin which is rounded and colorfully spotted just like the rest of its body.

The Spotted Ctenopoma’s eyes are another feature that deserves special mention. Have you ever looked into a pair of eyes and felt like they were peering into your soul? 

These cuties’ eyes have that captivating quality. They are large, expressive, and have an intriguing horizontal stripe that adds a dash of mystery to their overall charm.

2. Body Size

Typically, in a well-maintained home aquarium, a Spotted Ctenopoma can comfortably reach a size of up to 6 inches, or about 15 centimeters, in length. 

But that’s not all. Reports from the wild suggest that they can grow even larger when given more space and abundant resources. 

In the vast expanses of the Congo Basin, these fascinating creatures can grow up to 8 inches, or around 20 centimeters

Spotted Ctenopoma Lifespan

The Spotted Ctenopoma has an average lifespan of about 8 to 10 years in a well-maintained aquarium environment. 

Spotted Ctenopoma Life Cycle

1. Egg Stage

The journey of the Spotted Ctenopoma begins as a tiny egg. In preparation for laying, the female usually selects a calm spot with a surface for the eggs to adhere to. 

This could be the underside of a leaf, a piece of driftwood, or even the aquarium glass in a home setting.

The eggs themselves are quite small, only a few millimeters in diameter, and they have a sticky exterior. 

This stickiness is a crucial feature that allows the eggs to firmly attach to the chosen surface and keeps them in place amid water currents.

Once the eggs are laid, a fascinating process of development begins. 

Enclosed within the tiny confines of these eggs are future Spotted Ctenopomas waiting to emerge. 

Inside each one, cells start dividing and differentiating, and gradually, the initial signs of a fish begin to take shape.

During this period, the eggs are incredibly vulnerable to predation and disease. 

As a result, many Spotted Ctenopomas display a form of parental care, often with the male taking the role of guardian. 

The father will watch over the eggs, fanning them with his fins to provide oxygenated water and prevent fungus growth, and chase away any potential threats.

After several days (typically around 4-7 depending on water conditions), these eggs hatch into the next stage – the larval stage. 

The transition from egg to larva marks the beginning of an entirely new set of adventures for our little Spotted Ctenopomas.

And to think, it all starts with a cluster of tiny, sticky eggs! Isn’t nature just incredible?

2. Larval Stage

At this point, these tiny creatures are just a few millimeters long. The hatching process usually occurs over several hours, and the newly hatched larvae are quite a sight to behold.

Despite their small size, these larvae are equipped with everything they need for their early survival. 

For starters, they have a yolk sac attached to their bodies. 

This yolk sac is a leftover from their egg stage and serves as a source of nutrition for the larvae. Think of it as a packed lunch for the first days of their life.

During this phase, the larvae have limited mobility. They stay close to the egg-laying site and use their tiny, underdeveloped fins to make small movements in the water. 

Their primary goal during this stage is growth. They absorb nutrients from the yolk sac, slowly transforming these nutrients into new body tissues.

As the larvae develop, the signs of their future fishy form begin to emerge. 

The outline of their body starts to take shape, and rudimentary eyes and mouths begin to form. 

However, it’s important to note that at this stage, the larvae are still very vulnerable to environmental changes and predators, so utmost care is needed in an aquarium setting.

After about a week, when the yolk sac is completely absorbed, the larvae transition to the next stage of their life – the fry stage. 

This marks the beginning of their journey as free-swimming and independent creatures. 

3. Free-Swimming Fry Stage

The transformation from larva to fry marks the onset of a new set of exciting abilities for these tiny fish. 

Unlike their previous larval stage, where their movement was quite limited, the fry now have developed fins that allow them to swim freely in the water. 

This newfound mobility opens up a world of exploration and learning for them.

With their transition into fry, the Spotted Ctenopoma also begins to feed independently. 

Instead of relying on a yolk sac for nourishment, they start hunting for microscopic organisms in the water such as infusoria or finely ground flake food in an aquarium setting. 

This marks the onset of their carnivorous dietary habits that they’ll continue into adulthood.

As the fry continue to grow and develop, their features become more distinct. 

You’ll begin to see the markings and patterns that make Spotted Ctenopomas so unique start to appear. 

At this stage, they might still be small, but they’re brimming with potential.

4. Juvenile Stage

Following the free-swimming fry stage, Spotted Ctenopoma enters its juvenile stage. 

This phase is essentially the “teenage” period of the fish’s life and is marked by significant growth and development.

At this stage, the juveniles have fully formed fins and well-developed eyes, and their mouths are perfectly suited for capturing prey. 

They resemble miniature versions of their adult counterparts, although they might lack the full coloration and detailed patterns of the mature Spotted Ctenopoma.

These buddies continue to feast on small food items, just like they did in the fry stage. 

However, as they grow bigger, they begin to incorporate larger food items into their diet, including insects and small crustaceans. 

In an aquarium, this could translate to larger-sized pellet or flake foods, brine shrimp, or other suitable feed for growing fish.

It’s also during the juvenile stage that the fish begin to display more complex behaviors. 

They explore their surroundings more confidently, showing signs of the curious and somewhat shy nature that Spotted Ctenopomas are known for. 

You may notice them hiding amongst plants or decorations in the tank and venturing out to feed or explore.

As the fish continue to grow and reach their maximum size, they transition into the adult stage, signaling the end of their “teenage” years. 

5. Adult Stage

After passing through the egg, larval, fry, and juvenile stages, Spotted Ctenopoma finally reaches adulthood. 

This is the final stage in their life cycle, and by now, the fish is fully grown, reaching a size of up to 6 inches (15 cm) in a home aquarium.

Adult Spotted Ctenopomas possess the striking colors and patterns that make this species so sought after by aquarists. 

Their bodies are typically dark brown to black with a smattering of cream or gold spots, which gives them their common name.

The adult Spotted Ctenopomas are well-equipped for their predatory lifestyle. 

They have large mouths capable of swallowing sizable prey and their bodies are sleek and powerful, allowing for quick, darting movements when hunting.

At this stage, they also display all of the behaviors that are typical of the species. 

They are somewhat shy and will often seek out hiding spots in the tank, but they’re also curious and will come out to explore or when food is present.

Importantly, adulthood is when the Spotted Ctenopomas reach sexual maturity and are capable of reproduction. 

This enables them to lay eggs and thus continue the cycle of life, bringing us back to the beginning of their life cycle.

Is Spotted Ctenopoma Hardy?

Spotted Ctenopoma is a hardy fish. It has developed the ability to adapt to a range of water conditions, which contributes to its resilience. 

This hardiness makes them suitable for both beginner and experienced aquarists.

While they are hardy, it’s worth noting that sudden and extreme changes in water conditions can still stress them. 

So it’s essential to maintain stable water parameters and provide a well-maintained aquarium environment.

How to Care for Spotted Ctenopoma?

a.Water Requirements

1. Water Quality

Water quality is of utmost importance when it comes to maintaining the health and vitality of your Spotted Ctenopoma. 

Regular water changes and monitoring of toxin levels are essential for providing your fish with a suitable environment.

These changes help remove waste products and potential toxins such as ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. 

Typically, a 25% water change on a weekly basis is ideal, though this can vary depending on the specific conditions in your tank.

When conducting water changes, always ensure to treat the new water with a dechlorinator before adding it to the tank, as the chlorine present in tap water can be harmful to fish.

Monitoring the levels of toxins is another crucial aspect of fishkeeping. The primary toxins to be aware of are ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.

Ammonia is produced by fish waste and uneaten food. 

In a healthy aquarium, beneficial bacteria break down ammonia into nitrites. 

High levels of ammonia can be harmful, even lethal, to fish, so it’s important to keep the ammonia level at 0 parts per million (ppm).

Nitrites are the byproduct of the breakdown of ammonia. These are also harmful to fish, and like ammonia, their levels should ideally be at 0 ppm.

Nitrates are less toxic than ammonia or nitrites and are the final byproduct of the nitrogen cycle. 

While nitrates are less immediately harmful to fish, long-term exposure to high nitrate levels can cause stress and harm to your fish. 

As a general rule, the nitrate level should be kept below 20 ppm, but lower is always better.

2. Water Temperature

Spotted Ctenopoma (Leopard Bush Fish) prefers a range between 75 and 80°F (24-27°C)

It’s crucial to maintain a consistent temperature within this range, as sudden changes can cause stress to your fish, potentially leading to health issues.

To maintain a consistent temperature, you’ll need a reliable aquarium heater. 

There are many types of heaters available, such as submersible heaters and in-filter heaters, each with its pros and cons. 

For example, a submersible heater can be placed directly in your tank, giving you control over the temperature. 

In contrast, an in-filter heater will heat the water as it passes through the filter, providing even heat distribution.

Alongside the heater, an aquarium thermometer is an essential tool. 

It allows you to monitor the water temperature regularly and ensure it remains within the appropriate range.

For instance, if you’re keeping a Spotted Ctenopoma in a 30-gallon tank, you might opt for a 100-watt submersible heater. 

After setting it to the desired temperature (say, 77°F, which is a comfortable middle ground within the ideal range), you should check the thermometer daily to ensure the heater is functioning correctly.

But remember, heaters and thermometers can fail, and room temperature can significantly affect the water temperature, especially in smaller tanks. 

However, regular checks and maintenance will help you spot any problems early and ensure your Spotted Ctenopoma stays healthy.

3. pH Level

The pH level measures how acidic or alkaline the water is, on a scale from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline). A pH of 7 is considered neutral.

Spotted Ctenopomas thrive in water with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5, which is mildly acidic to neutral. 

It’s important to keep the pH within this range, as levels too far above or below can cause stress or even harm to your fish.

Regular testing is required to keep an eye on the pH level. For this, you can use a pH test kit, which often consists of a test tube, a testing solution, and a color chart. 

By adding a few drops of the testing solution to a water sample from your tank, you can determine the pH level based on the color it turns.

For example, suppose you have set up a new tank for your Spotted Ctenopoma. You fill it with tap water, which often has a pH of around 7.5

After using a pH test kit, let’s say the water turns a color corresponding to a pH of 7.8.

This is too alkaline for your buddies. You can lower the pH using natural or chemical methods, such as adding driftwood, peat moss, or a commercial pH reducer.

After making adjustments, retest the pH to make sure it’s in the suitable range. Once it’s stable, you can add your Spotted Ctenopoma to the tank.

It’s important to note that sudden, significant changes in pH can be harmful to fish. 

Therefore, you should make any adjustments should gradually, and the pH level should be kept as steady as possible.

As part of routine tank maintenance, continue to test the pH regularly to ensure it remains within the appropriate range. 

If it doesn’t, make the necessary adjustments, always keeping changes gradual to avoid shocking your fish.

4. Water Hardness

Water hardness is a measure of the concentration of certain minerals in the water, primarily calcium, and magnesium. 

It’s typically measured in degrees of hardness (dH), with 1 dH equaling approximately 17.9 milligrams of calcium carbonate per liter of water.

For Spotted Ctenopomas, moderately soft to slightly hard water is ideal, which is typically around 4-12 dH.

There are two types of hardness that aquarists consider: General Hardness (GH) and Carbonate Hardness (KH). 

GH measures the overall mineral content, while KH measures the bicarbonates and carbonates, which can impact the water’s buffering capacity – its ability to resist changes in pH.

You can test water hardness using a water test kit. 

These often work similarly to pH test kits, involving adding a few drops of a testing solution to a water sample and then comparing the color change to a reference chart.

For example, if you test your aquarium water and find it has a hardness of 2 dH, which is too soft. 

You might choose to add a commercial product designed to increase water hardness or add some crushed coral or limestone, which slowly dissolve and increase the mineral content.

After adding the chosen solution, you should retest the water after a couple of days (as changes don’t happen instantly). 

If the hardness has increased to within the ideal range (4-12 dH), no further action is required. 

If it’s still too soft, you can make additional adjustments, always keeping changes gradual to avoid stressing your fish.

b.Tank Requirements

1. Tank Size

This fish is not small and needs adequate space to swim and explore. 

A mature Spotted Ctenopoma can grow up to 6 inches in length, so it requires a larger tank compared to many other tropical fish species.

A good starting point for a single Spotted Ctenopoma would be a 30-gallon tank

This provides enough space for the fish to move comfortably and exhibit natural behaviors. 

If you plan to keep more than one Spotted Ctenopoma or create a community tank with other species, you’ll need a larger tank to accommodate everyone comfortably.

For instance, if you decide to house two of these fish together, you should consider a tank of at least 55 gallons

The extra water volume also helps dilute toxins, contributing to better water quality overall.

Aside from the tank’s footprint, consider its shape. These boys are versatile and can swim at all levels, but they are primarily surface-dwelling fish. 

Therefore, a tank with a larger surface area could be more beneficial than a tall, narrow tank of the same volume.

2. Decorations

In their natural environment, Spotted Ctenopomas are accustomed to densely vegetated river systems. 

Incorporating live plants in your aquarium can help replicate this environment, fostering their natural behavior and contributing to their overall well-being.

Hardy plant varieties like Anubias, Java Fern, or Amazon Sword are suitable options. 

These plants can withstand the activities of your active Ctenopoma, providing an essential cover and refuge without being easily damaged. 

Spotted Ctenopomas also appreciate the cover provided by floating plants.

Driftwood and rocks are other crucial elements in decorating your tank. 

These create excellent hiding spots and visual barriers, providing your Ctenopoma with a sense of security and opportunities to explore. 

The strategic arrangement of these elements can create multiple hiding spots for your fish, simulating the complexity and shelter found in their natural habitats.

Adding cave-like structures, either by creatively arranging rocks and wood or by using commercial aquarium decorations, also provides your buddies with even more places to hide and explore.

3. Lighting

Just like you, your Spotted Ctenopoma has preferences when it comes to lighting. 

These fish are nocturnal by nature, meaning they’re most active during the evening and night. 

They’re accustomed to subdued, dappled light in their natural habitat, where sunlight filters through dense vegetation and reaches the water surface in patches.

To mimic these conditions, you should keep aquarium lights on for about 8-10 hours per day. 

This time frame aligns with the natural day-night cycle and gives your Spotted Ctenopoma enough time to rest during the darker hours, which is vital considering their nocturnal nature.

Spotted Ctenopoma Compatibility

The Spotted Ctenopoma is generally considered a peaceful fish, making it compatible with a variety of tank mates. 

However, it’s important to choose companions that share similar temperaments and requirements to ensure a harmonious community aquarium.

Here’s a table highlighting both good and bad tank mates:

Good Tank MatesBad Tank Mates
Small peaceful community fish such as tetras, rasboras, and gouramis.Aggressive or fin-nipping fish such as cichlids or barbs.
Peaceful bottom-dwelling species like corydoras catfish or kuhli loaches.Fast-moving fish that may out-compete the slow-swimming Spotted Ctenopoma for food.
Other labyrinth fish, such as bettas and gouramis, as long as there are sufficient space and hiding spots.Large and aggressive fish that may intimidate or harm the Spotted Ctenopoma.
Bottom-dwelling scavengers like shrimp or snails.Species that require significantly different water conditions, such as species from extremely soft or acidic water habitats.

Spotted Ctenopoma Diet & Feeding

In the wild, Spotted Ctenopomas have a diet primarily composed of insects, small fish, crustaceans, and small aquatic invertebrates. 

They are carnivorous by nature and rely on these prey items for their nutrition. Th

eir feeding behavior involves hunting and capturing their food using stealthy ambush tactics.

In captivity, you should provide them with a well-rounded diet that mimics their natural feeding habits. 

High-quality pellet or flake foods formulated for carnivorous fish can serve as the staple diet. 

These specially formulated foods offer a balanced nutrition profile. 

Additionally, live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and small insects like fruit flies or small crickets can be included in their diet. 

These live or frozen foods provide enrichment and can help satisfy their carnivorous instincts.

To maintain a healthy and varied diet, here’s a sample feeding schedule for the Spotted Ctenopoma throughout the week:

MondayPellet or flake foodLive or frozen bloodworms
TuesdaySmall insects (fruit flies)Brine shrimp
WednesdayPellet or flake foodLive or frozen daphnia
ThursdayLive or frozen bloodwormsSmall crickets
FridayPellet or flake foodLive or frozen brine shrimp
SaturdaySmall insects (fruit flies)Pellet or flake food
SundayLive or frozen bloodwormsDaphnia

Spotted Ctenopoma Breeding

Breeding Spotted Ctenopomas can be an exciting and rewarding experience for aquarists. 

To encourage successful breeding, it’s important to create the right conditions in the aquarium and understand the natural behaviors of these fish.

First, it’s essential to ensure that you have a compatible pair of Spotted Ctenopomas. 

You can visually distinguish males and females by their size and fin characteristics. 

Males tend to be slightly larger and possess elongated fins, while females are generally smaller and have shorter fins. 

Once you identify a suitable pair, you can introduce them into a well-maintained breeding tank.

To initiate breeding, replicate the natural environment of the Spotted Ctenopoma by providing suitable hiding places and vegetation. 

Dense plants, caves, or PVC pipes can serve as spawning sites and offer the necessary privacy for the pair to engage in courtship and egg-laying behaviors.

The male will typically initiate courtship by displaying vibrant colors, erecting his fins, and engaging in elaborate swimming displays. 

If the female is receptive, it will respond by displaying submissive behaviors, such as darkening in color and quivering. 

This dance of courtship often leads to the pair selecting a spawning site and preparing for egg deposition.

During the spawning process, the male will chase the female around the chosen site, nudging her abdomen to prompt her to release eggs. 

As the eggs are released, the male simultaneously releases sperm to fertilize them. 

The adhesive eggs will then attach to the substrate or nearby surfaces, such as plant leaves or the aquarium glass.

After spawning, it’s crucial to remove the adult fish from the breeding tank to prevent them from consuming the eggs. 

The eggs typically hatch within a few days, and the fry will emerge. 

At this point, you can feed the fry with suitable food options such as newly hatched brine shrimp or commercially available fry foods.

Spotted Ctenopoma Common Diseases

Like many fish species, Spotted Ctenopoma can be susceptible to a variety of health problems. 

Here are some common diseases that can affect these guys, along with their symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention measures.

Ich (White Spot Disease)Small white spots on the body and fins, rubbing against objects, loss of appetite, lethargyCaused by a protozoan parasite, Ichthyophthirius multifiliisRaise water temperature to speed up the parasite’s life cycle and treat it with an anti-parasitic medicationMaintain good water quality, and quarantine new fish before adding them to the main tank
Fin RotFins appear ragged and may have white or red edges, progressive deterioration of the finsBacterial or fungal infection often stems from poor water conditions or injuryAnti-fungal or anti-bacterial medications, depending on the causative agentMaintain good water quality, and handle fish carefully to avoid injury
Fish Tuberculosis (Fish TB)Loss of appetite, fading colors, lethargy, curved spineBacterial infection (Mycobacterium species)Often difficult to treat, may require a combination of antibioticsMaintain good water quality, avoid overcrowding
DropsySwollen or bloated belly scales standing out like a pineconeInternal problems such as bacterial infection or kidney failureDepending on the cause, might be treated with antibiotics or anti-parasiticsMaintain good water quality, feed a balanced diet
Swim Bladder DiseaseTrouble swimming may float or sink excessively swims at strange anglesVarious causes including overeating, constipation, physical deformity or damageTreatment varies based on cause and could include fasting, a change in diet, or surgery in severe casesFeed a balanced diet, and handle fish gently to avoid injury


What Is the Ideal Tank Size for a Spotted Ctenopoma?

The ideal tank size for a single Spotted Ctenopoma is at least 30 gallons. 

But if you plan to keep more than one or have a community tank with other species, you’ll need a larger tank – around 55 gallons or more. 

What Does a Spotted Ctenopoma Eat?

Spotted Ctenopomas eat insects, smaller fish, and various invertebrates in the wild. 

In the aquarium, they will readily accept live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. 

How Long Does a Spotted Ctenopoma Live?

Spotted Ctenopoma can live up to 8-10 years in captivity with proper care and under ideal conditions.

Is Spotted Ctenopoma a Hardy Fish?

Spotted Ctenopomas are hardy fish that are adaptable to a range of water conditions and are generally resistant to most common fish diseases. 


As promised, we’ve covered everything you need to know about caring for Spotted Ctenopoma. 

We’ve also explored their unique characteristics, dietary needs, ideal tank conditions, common diseases, and preventive measures. 

Just remember to provide a suitable tank size, replicate their natural habitat with plants and decorations, maintain proper water quality, and feed them a varied diet.

Do you still have questions? If so, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer them.

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