Synonyms: Bedula hamiltonii, Coius nandus, Nandus marmoratus
Physical description: An oval-shaped fish with an arched back and lateral compression. The first 12 rays of the long dorsal fin are spiny, while the rest are not. The caudal fin is fan-shaped and the mouth is deeply cleft. The body coloration change, although it is generally gray with irregular brown markings. The eye has two brown stripes passing through it: one running from the mouth to the origin of the dorsal fin, and the other running from the throat to the eye. The fins are grayish, also with brown markings.
Size/Length: To 8" (20 cm)
Similar species: Other Leaf fish
Habitat: Inhabits swamps, coastal lakes, and rivers in Southeast Asia; Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, India
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: A 36" (91 cm) or 35-45 gallon (132-170 L) tank is suggested. The tank should be densely planted with a cover of floating plants. Use rocks, roots, and wood to create hiding places.
Water chemistry: pH 6.9-8 (7.4), 8-15 dH (12), 73-81°F (23-27°C). A 0.5-1.0% addition of salt is recommended to keep the fish in top condition. Add 4-7.5 Tsp. salt for every 10 gallons (5-10 g/10 L).
Social behavior: A large, predatory fish that will feed on smaller companions at night. The Nandus is best kept in a species tank although can be combined with other large, robust species.
Suggested companions: Giant Gourami, Mystus Cats, Knifefish, large barbs.
FOOD: Live; fish, insects, insect larvae, crustaceans, worms
Sexual differences: Difficult to distinguish, males may be darker colored and have larger fins.
Breeding techniques: Use water with a pH from 6.8-7, a water hardness from 6-9 dH, and a temperature from 7-81°F (25-27°C). As many as 300 tiny eggs are scattered. These hatch after two days are ignored by the parents. The fry can be raised on Artemia nauplii.
Breeding potential: 9. Breeding is unusual and rarely accomplished.
Remarks: This species is nocturnal.
Difficulty of care: 7. This predatory species requires a diet of live foods.
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