Characins / Curimatidae / Banded Leporinus

Black-banded Leporinus, Banded Leporinus
Leporinus fasciatus

Synonyms: Salmo fasciatus, Chalceus fasciatus, Leporinus novem fasciatus  
Physical description: An elongated, tall fish that has large eyes and a small head. The body coloration is lemon yellow to beige and marked with 9-10 black bars. The first extends over the forehead and through the eye, while the last extends at the base of the tail. The tail is deeply forked and transparent, as are the other fins. Males often have an orange to red throat.
Size/Length: To 12" (30 cm)
Similar species: Many-banded Leporinus ( Leporinus affinis), Eight-banded Leporinus ( L. octofasciatus ), and the various sub-species.
Habitat:  Widespread throughout South America; from the Orinoco River to the Rio de la Plata.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: 40" (122 cm) or 40 gallons (150 l).   Provide many hiding places with wood, rocks, and stones.  Use a powerful filter that creates a strong current.   A tight-fitting cover is essential for these fish jump.  The lighting should be strong to promote the growth of algae.   This fish prefers a sand bottom, but will tolerate a fine gravel substrate instead.  Live plants cannot be used, as they will be eaten.
Water chemistry: pH 5.5-7.5 (6.8), 2-20 dH (8), 72-82°F (22-28°C)
Social behavior: A peaceful fish recommended for a community tank.   Occasionally it may nibble at the fins of its own species.
Suggested companions: Catfish; Armored Catfish, Pimelodids, Loricarids, Doradids, Synodontis; Central and South America cichlids; characins; tetras, piranha (and allies); Knifefish; Arawana; gouramis; barbs; and Loaches.
FOOD: Algae; vegetable; spinach, lettuce; fruits; vegetable flake food; plants; live; worms, crustaceans, aquatic insects, insect larvae.
SEX: Adult females are plumper
Breeding techniques: Unsuccessful.
Breeding potential: 10.  No reports of successful spawning in captivity have been reported.
Remarks: This species swims in head pointing downwards position, grazing algae off rocks and searching for fallen food. This fish may jump when frightened. Will eat plants. There are several different color variations. There are five different sub-species; L. f. affinis, L. f. altipinnis, L. f. fasciatus, L. f. tigrinus, and L. f. holostictus.
Difficulty of care: 5.  A fairly hardy fish that will eat plants.   It reaches a large size.

By Rhett Butler


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