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Related FAQs: Genera Ctenopoma & Microctenopoma, Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives FAQs 2, Gourami Identification, Gourami Behavior, Gourami Compatibility, Gourami Selection, Gourami Systems, Gourami Feeding, Gourami Disease, Gourami Reproduction,

Related Articles: Anabantoids of the Genera Ctenopoma & Microctenopoma  by Robert Goldstein, Anabantoids/Gouramis & RelativesBetta splendens/Siamese Fighting Fish, Freshwater Fishes


Spotted Climbing Perch


by: Adam Jackson


Common Names:

Congo Gourami, Congo Perch, Spotted Ctenopoma, Climbing Perch, Bushfish, Leopard Gourami, Leopard Ctenopoma, Congo Leaf Fish, African Spot Fish


Latin/Scientific Names/Species:

Ctenopoma acutirostre


Kingdom:                     Animalia

Subregnum:                  Eumetazoa

Superphylum:             Bilateria

Clade:                                   Deuterostomia

Phylum:                     Chordata

Subphylum:                Vertebrata

Infraphylum:               Gnathostomata

Superclassis:                 Osteichthyes

Classis:                      Actinopterygii

Subclassis:                    Neopterygii

Infraclassis:                   Teleostei

Superordo:                   Acanthopterygii

Ordo:                           Perciformes

Subordo:                      Anabantoidei

Familia:             Anabantidae

Genus:              Ctenopoma

Species:                        Ctenopoma acutirostre


Appearance, Locales and Habitat:

By the genus alone we can already draw certain conclusions about this animal, the name Ctenopoma is derived from the Greek word Cteno, meaning comb or cover.  One can say that this either refers to the spines on the gill, the spiny dorsal fin crest or both.  The latter part of the name, acutirostre, refers to the Latin word acut meaning sharp rostrum, referring to the pointed nose of the animal.  Many favor this animal for their resemblance to the Leaf fish.  The leopard markings which goes towards much of their appeal also helps them camouflage in their niche, hiding from both potential predator and prey.  Hailing from Africa in the Congo River Basin, C. acutirostre is found in many of the stagnant lake/pond areas and even the fast moving rivers.  C. acutirostre is a predator, which is most active during the twilight hours (more on this in captive care).  The animal has reportedly reached lengths of eight inches in the wild though six is much more common and most specimens don't even reach that.



For the average and even not so average aquarist these animals are very difficult to sex as they have a minute amount of sexual dimorphism.  Most accounts of captive breeding come from zoos which have had specimens for several years in large planted aquaria.  They are free layers and do not care for the eggs or young.


Captive Care and Tank mates:

As aforementioned this animal has a very 'spiny' crest along their dorsal spine as well as spines along the gills.  This is important because they are easily damaged during capture and transit, which leads to infection and stress; this is the number one cause of the animal's death in captivity so please exercise caution.  If received in good condition the animal is relatively hardy when provided with the following minimum conditions:


Tank size:         40 gallon (look into the breeder variation)

Ph:                   6.0-8.0

dH:                   5-12

Temperature:    68-78F


As you can see these animals can handle a pretty large range of conditions, the key however is to not let theses parameters sway and to keep them stable.

            While these animals are not particularly aggressive or territorial (barring turf wars with conspecifics) they are predators and should be treated as such.  This means you should stock community tank-mates that aren't small enough to be eaten.  Having a lighting system that incorporates a dusk or moonlight phase will emphasize the viewing pleasure of these animals. As they are mostly nocturnal and feed during night-time hours this will encourage natural behavior and feeding in your specimens. 

            As far as feeding goes please refrain, if at al possible, from utilizing live foods.  Instead give this carnivore a mix a variety including but not limited to, crustacean flesh, mollusk flesh, blood worms, mysis and if your lucky a quality flake high in protein. 


The Point:

Obtaining a healthy specimen is the largest battle, if you can do this and provide them with a stable environment and appropriate tank mates you should be successful.













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