Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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jeppun21 05-24-2011 01:41 PM

Spotted african leaf fish
So I just got a spotted african leaf fish from petsmart.. A smaill one about 1 or 2 inches. So i put him in my biocube 14 gallons.. So far the only inhabitants in my tank are a clown pleco, the spotted african leaf fish and a female guppy which i will move later on today.. Do u thnk adding a oto catfish a good fit.. Also my water perameters are ph 7.6 amonia and nitrate and nitrite levels are all good.. temp is at 80-82..

thank you

Byron 05-24-2011 02:07 PM

First, as I see you recently joined, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

You have some trouble looming with the leaf fish, but first I'll comment on the oto. Otocinclus are shoaling fish, meaning they live in groups. Shoaling fish need the group for security and "comfort" but they also frequently have social/behavioural interactions among group members that are important for the health of the fish. A lone oto might make it, but the experience of the majority is that a single oto will waste away, literally. These fish are all wild caught and experience severe stress in capture and transport, leaving them in a weakened state. This makes them even more susceptible to inappropriate housing. You can read more in our profile of this fish. Profiles are under the second tab from the left in the blue bar at the top of the page, and you can click on the fish name in posts when it is shaded, example Oto Catfish.

The leaf fish also is in our profiles under its common name Leopard Ctenopoma. As noted therein, this fish has some unique needs and behaviours. It also needs a much larger tank in order to grow properly. I won't get into all that, as the Profiler covers it and I would only be repeating. Please have a read of the profile.


jeppun21 05-24-2011 02:16 PM

Thank you so much byron.. the input u gave me really helped out.. So i was wondering is my clown pleco ok for my 14 gallon tank. I heard they grow to about 3-4 inches... but i was wondering what u can suggest for a unique freshwater fish for my tank.. i got the leaf fish thnking it would be ok since i read that it gets up to 4 or 4.5 in.. but i didnt thnk it would grow to 6 or more...

thank you so much

redchigh 05-24-2011 02:17 PM

A small school of celestial pearl danios might work... Or a CPO.

jeppun21 05-24-2011 02:33 PM

I didnt knw CPO's are that small.. Do u knw if they are difficult to take care of or are they like similiar crayfish?


Byron 05-24-2011 02:37 PM

I personally would not have a 4-inch pleco in so small a tank, but more for the visual than anything else. Pleco are different behaviour fish again, and if the water is well maintained it would (or should) not have health issues. But it may look, or it would to me, out of place in a relatively small space.

I'm hoping you can return the leaf fish, that would be wise and best for the fish, hoping someone who understands its needs can acquire it. But we can't stop stores from selling inappropriate fish.

I like to see small fish in "small" tanks and usually recommend such because having small fish means you can have more fish, and that means more interest in the aquarium, which will be more enjoyable and less likely to cause one to give up out of despair. There are many "dwarf" type species available, though sometimes one has to look for them. Many of these will be wild caught, which means paying close attention to their needs in water parameters (hardness, pH, temp).

Those fish profiles we have include many of the dwarf types, under the Cyprinids and Characins particularly, but there are also Endlers in the livebearer group that are not yet in the profiles. If you can tell us your tap water parameters (hardness and pH) this would allow us to suggest some options.


jeppun21 05-24-2011 02:48 PM

Well i spoke to the store they said the fish is returnable... So my water perameters are ph level 7.8, ammonia 0.25, nitrite 0.25, nitrate 5.0... My Tank is well planted and im using sand as my substrate

Byron 05-24-2011 03:02 PM


Originally Posted by jeppun21 (Post 682079)
Well i spoke to the store they said the fish is returnable... So my water perameters are ph level 7.8, ammonia 0.25, nitrite 0.25, nitrate 5.0... My Tank is well planted and im using sand as my substrate

Any idea on the hardness of the tap water? This is important because hardness actually has more of a direct impact on some fish than a steady pH, and also the hardness serves as a "buffer" to maintain a stable pH. You can find this out from your water supply folks, many now have a website with water data posted.

The ammonia and nitrite bother me, they should be zero. Which test kit are you using (some are more reliable than others)?

jeppun21 05-24-2011 03:15 PM

Im yousing the API master test kit for freshwater aquariums.. i thnk my fish tank hardiness level is 8 degrees...

jeppun21 05-24-2011 03:16 PM

sorry i have a lot of questions.. im fairly new to freshwater aquariums thats why.. still learning and learning

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