30-03-2020, 12:34
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Pterophyllum leopoldi

The Pterophyllum leopoldi is a very rare fish that is not often found in aquarists' collections. Therefore, there is limited information available regarding the care and breeding of these fish in captivity. In the wild, the scalaria fish live in the Amazon basin of South America.

The bulk of Pterophyllum leopoldi are supplied to the domestic market from their natural habitat, which requires quarantine measures to be observed. The fish may have parasites and diseases acquired in the wild or during transport. If preventive measures are neglected, there is a great risk of infecting the entire aquarium.

Pterophyllum leopoldi

Pterophyllum leopoldi differs from other members of the genus Pterophyllum in the absence of a pre-dorsal notch and the presence of a black spot under the dorsal plumage. Unlike other species of scalaria, the dorsal and anal plumage are not completely spread out. The body is diamond-shaped or rounded, strongly flattened at the sides. The mouth of a fish directed downwards. As the fish mature, unpaired fins become orange-red or reddish-burgundy shades, the entire body, especially in the head, begins to iridescent blue-green glitter. The mature specimens are particularly beautiful: they literally look like gemstones, glistening with all the colours of the rainbow in the reflected light. To date, this is the most colourful scalaria. The males are slightly larger than the females and more brightly coloured. The maximum size of fish in an aquarium is 5-6 cm.

The Pterophyllum leopoldi are peaceful fish. Despite this, do not keep them in a common aquarium with very small fish, which the scalarias can still eat. The most suitable option is to keep in a common tank with Rasboras and large Tetras. Fish spend most of the time in the middle layer of water.
Leopold Scalarias should be kept in an aquarium of 150 liters. There should be numerous places where the fish can hide: thick bushes of aquatic plants, snags. Also provide space for the fish to swim.

Water parameters: temperature 21-26° C, hardness dH 6-16°, pH 6,2-7,8. Need aeration and filtration of water, as well as a weekly change of ¼ of fresh water. Create a weak water current in the aquarium, e.g. by draining the water filter along the rear wall of the aquarium.

Pterophyllum leopoldi

The fish are omnivores. They will eagerly eat almost any food that is offered to them. Their menus may consist of live and frozen Artemia nauplii, Daphnia, chaff, flake food and granular food containing Spirulina. Feed the fish twice a day.


Pterophyllum leopoldi reach sexual maturity at the age of about 1 year.

Breeding fish in an artificial environment is not an easy task. Until now, there is very little information about successful breeding of these fish in aquarium conditions. If you want to try breeding them, it is advisable to buy a small group of juveniles and let them form pairs naturally. The fish become brightly coloured during the spawning period.

Place large, flat stones at the bottom of the aquarium or plant broad-leaved shrubs. Depending on the physiological state of one female spawns from 300 to 600 eggs on the surface of a stone or plant leaf. The eggs incubate for 4-5 days. Hatch fry the first 4 days feeding on substances in their yolk sacs, after which they begin to swim under the care of their parents.

Pterophyllum leopoldi

The fry are fed live dust and artemia nauplii 4 times a day.

Life expectancy for Leopold's scalarecrows under aquarium conditions is 5-10 years.

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