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FAQs on the Leaffishes

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Polycentropsis abbreviata, sys.      4/26/13
Hello crew,  I had a brief question about compatibility. Today the LFS where I work got in 2 juvenile Polycentropsis abbreviata, which our distributor mistakenly sent us as Ctenopoma.
<Mmm, easy to do>
They are currently eating brine and Mysis shrimp. I took them home and they are currently in a 20 gallon long aquarium with 3 Pareutropius buffei, 3 Synodontis lucipinnis, 1Pantodon bucholzi, and a Macrognathus Siamensis. PH is at 7.6,
<High for this Nandid>
 temperature is at a constant 80° Fahrenheit.
Substrate is sand and there are several pieces of wood with Anubias and Java moss growing on them. Is this setup appropriate (if small for the time being)?
<Better for the water to be more acidic... warmer not good for some of your other fishes>
 I haven't been able to find a great deal of information, and I'm guessing their care would be quite similar to my Monocirrhus Polyacanthus,
<Mmm, yes; and the Ctenopoma>
but I wanted to hear from the experts.
Thank you very much,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Where to find Leaf Fish  12/12/05      I was wondering if you may know any mail order sites where I could acquire a South American Leaf Fish (Monocirrhus polyacanthus)? I once owned two of these rare and amazing fish around 15 years ago. Unfortunately these two were the only two I have ever seen in local fish shops around New Orleans. I have never taken a chance on mail order fish, but would be willing to try if I could find a Leaf Fish. Thanks for the help. Steve <I see them being sold on Aquabid once in a while. That's the first place I look for hard to find species. Don>

Leaf Fish Compatibility Hi! I would like to know what size of fish would be safe to keep with fully grown South American Leaf fishes. I still have a few cardinals and I'm sure they would be all quickly eaten. I wander if a full grown common hatchetfish (sternicula) would already be too big to be eaten? And what about South American dwarf cichlids (ramirezi and cacatuoides) and Otocinclus? In any case leaf fish should do well with discus, right? One last thing, do they do well in group? Let's say 3 or 4 in a 90 gal tank.  Thanks for your time! Dominique < South American leaf fish require soft acid warm water. The do ok in groups as long as there is not too much current. They will any fish up to half the length of their body. So a four inch leaf fish can eat any fish up to two inches. Sometimes if they are really hungry they will try and eat an even larger fish. Fish that they don't think they can eat will generally be left alone.-Chuck>

Peruvian leaf fish (URGENT HELP needed) Hi Bob I think that I am in trouble!  I  have just bought 2 leaf fish (tropical) about1.5" long today.  I was told it would eat chopped up food but they refused my live bloodworms, chopped raw shrimp and cockles!  Please advise what is the 'best' food, which is easily obtainable for them!  How much do they eat normally?  Hope you can answer before they die from hunger.  I have fairly big rainbow fish, Corydoras in the tank.  Thanks. < True tropical leaf fish from South America are ambush predators that feed on small fish. They are the most demanding of the leaf fish and usually will only eat live small fish. I recommend that you get some feeder guppies and give them a quick dip in a commercial medicated solution then feed them to your leaf fish. Once they get a couple fish in them then you can try other foods. I would recommend that you get some guppies and start treating them so when you feed them  to the leaf fish  they will not contaminate the tank.-Chuck> Kwan

Sick South American Leaf fish -- how to treat with a new medication? (02/15/03) I have a South American Leaf fish (Monocirrhus polyacanthus) who I believe is infested with Camallanus sp. parasites.  He has the swollen anus with red fibers that move in and out.   <That is the primary symptom...> I have tried Piperazine (which I did not expect to work) and Discomed (Levamisole).  I dosed the Discomed at 1 tab/8gallons per an article I read on a cichlid site.  The results have been mixed: fewer fibers, but some remain.  There is one other drug I have seen talked about, Ivermectin.  I have this "gold standard drug" but I can not find any recommendations on dosing.  For humans the dose is 150-200mcg/kg.  Should I dose per volume (kg=liters) of the aquarium?  That would be a lot of Ivermectin (almost 21 mg). <If you choose to try this, I would dose by the weight of the fish, and administer the Invermectin in food.> I thought about moving him to a quarantine tank, but his current tank would remain infected and will have to be treated with Ivermectin anyways and the problem of dosing the quarantine tank remains. <You might want to put the fish into a quarantine tank anyway -- the substrate and decorations in the main tank need to be cleaned, and you can somewhat mitigate the problem by "screening" the larvae away from the fish. Dieter Untergasser's "Handbook of Fish Diseases" suggests suspending a fine screen above the bottom of the aquarium, which the larvae will fall through, preventing the fish from eating them off of the bottom of the tank.> Also, I have read several articles about the use of Ivermectin with salmon to treat sea lice, so I assume Ivermectin is safe for fish.  Any thoughts or ideas? <On Invermectin, no. Untergasser suggests a couple of different methods for treating this, which I'll summarize. One is Concurat L 10%: dissolve 2gm in 1 litre of water. Soak live bloodworms in this until the first ones die, and then immediately feed the still-live ones to the fish. Another is Flubenol 5%: add 100mg to 100gm feed mix. Then give that five times every second day, with only one normal feeding on those days. The book includes recipes for the feed mix, also. This is a book I recommend to every serious aquarist with expensive or unusual fish!> This is a very interesting fish and from what I understand this infestation is fatal unless treated.  I would appreciate any advice or anecdotes you have to offer on my attempt(s) to help it. <Do get the Untergasser book. You might also be interested in its "big brother", Edward Noga's "Fish Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment". I would be interested in hearing which approach you take and how it works out.> Thank you Steve Thornton MD <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Leaffish Hello, I'm looking for Leaffish help!! Joe <hi, Joe... Ask a simply question, get a simple answer <G>. Help yourself: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/Leaffishes. htm  use the species names and keywords on this page to continue with your search on the web (fishbase.org and beyond). Best regards, Anthony>

Leaffish Hello, I'm looking for Leaffish help!! <Hello. Try inserting the name "Leaffish", "Nandidae"... the genera or common names of species you're interested in, in the search tool on the bottom of our homepage: http://www.wetwebmedia.com / Joe

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