Max Size: 12cm

Mottled Ctenopoma (Ctenopoma weeksii)

The Mottled Ctenopoma is a rather shy fish; however, they are generally sociable and can live well in a community tank, provided you choose the correct tank mates.

The Mottled Ctenopoma would be best kept in pairs; however, even though the males may get aggressive and territorial with each other, especially when in spawning conditions, you can still maintain them together with no problems as long as there is plenty of hiding places and broken lines of sight.

The Mottled Ctenopoma will do better in a species-only aquarium; however, you can keep them with other fish. Tankmates should be small, peaceful species that hang around in the aquarium's upper and lower parts.

Some ideal tankmates for the Mottled Ctenopoma could include Tetras, Rasboras, killifish, and Hatchet fish. In addition, Having suitable tankmates will encourage these fish to come out more, as they can be somewhat shy. However, you should avoid housing these with tiny fish or fry as they will get eaten, and you should not house them with nippy, boisterous or larger aggressive species.

These fish will thrive in a well-established aquarium with a dark substrate and abundant hiding places made up of plants, driftwood and smooth rocks. In addition, floating plants can also be valuable as it helps diffuse the light and make these timid fish feel more secure.

The filtration will need to be efficient, but water movement reasonably gentle. You should also perform small, frequent partial water changes, which will help keep nitrate to a minimum.

The Mottled Ctenopoma will adapt to various water conditions if you avoid extreme changes; however, these fish will always exhibit their best colours in soft, slightly acidic water. Adding leaf litter like dried Indian Almond leaves would accentuate the natural feel.

Mottled Ctenopomas can change colour very quickly when startled, usually changing to a mottled appearance hence their name. However, their primary body colour is yellowish-brown with a large spot on both sides, and their fins are brown with black edges.


Mottled Bushfish
Quick Facts
Scientific NameCtenopoma weeksii
Year Described1896
Other NamesMottled Bushfish
OriginsCameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asPairs
Lifespan8 - 10 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH4 - 15
75 - 82℉
23.9 - 27.8℃


Because the Mottled Ctenopoma is a carnivore; it would be best if you aimed to feed your fish on a diet primarily of meaty foodstuffs such as live and/or frozen daphnia, brine shrimp, lobster eggs, cyclops, Mysis shrimp and bloodworm. Bloodworm should be used sparingly as it is hard for your fish to digest.

You can also cut up earthworms from your garden or chop up shop brought mussels, prawns, krill and fresh fish (be sure only to use fresh or frozen fish and not fish canned in oil).

You can also try your fish with dried foods formulated for predatory fish and made up of insect material such as Fluval bug bites, which can also be used to supplement the diet.

Get to know your fish and test which foods they prefere and which they ignore but always be sure not to overfeed your fish and remove excessive uneaten food whenever possible.

Sexual Dimorphism

It can be challenging to differentiate between male and female Mottled Ctenopomas as they look very similar. However, the male's dorsal and anal fins are more angular, and the females are generally larger.

Other Gouramis of interest

Banded Gourami(Trichogaster fasciata)
Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys osphromenoides)
Congo Ctenopoma(Ctenopoma congicum)
Dwarf Ctenopoma(Microctenopoma nanum)
Dwarf Gourami(Trichogaster lalius)
Frail Gourami(Ctenops nobilis)
View all Gouramis
Date Added: 19/01/2023 10:48:32 - Updated: 19/01/2023 14:04:51