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Maximum size : 12 cm

Red Banded Leporinus - Synaptolaemus latofasciatus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Red Banded Leporinus are a rare, hardy and beautifully coloured fish; however, although these fish are pretty easy to look after, they are not recommended for a beginner aquarist due to the size of the aquarium they will require and the choosing of the correct tankmates. The juveniles are peaceful, but as they mature, they become somewhat aggressive towards their kind, so it would be best to keep either a single individual or a group of at least six individuals together to spread any disruptive behaviour throughout the group. These fish may also eat smaller fish, so you should only keep them with larger, more robust fish. You should also avoid housing these fish with species that have intricate finnage as this fish will nip at them. Ideal tankmates for the Red Banded Leporinus could include medium-large sized peaceful Cichlids that come from fast-flowing waters, large Characins, and medium-sized semi-aggressive Barbs like Panda Barbs. You can also house these fish with Catfish and Plecos. Red Banded Leporinus will thrive in an aquarium with sandy or fine gravel substrate and plenty of hiding places formed by driftwood and rocks. It is also recommended that you provide an open swimming area along the front of the aquarium. Plants are unnecessary but will make the aquarium look better; however, these fish will consume plants, so you must choose strong species like Java Fern and Anubias that can be attached to the decor. In addition, these fish must have powerful filtration and a high oxygenation level, as pristine water quality is crucial for this species to thrive. Therefore it would be best to perform water changes regularly to keep waste to a minimum. Finally, the aquarium will need a moderately fast water current and a sturdy, tight-fitting lid, as these fish are excellent jumpers. The Red Banded Leporinus has an elongated black body contrasted by orange, red or yellow stripes extending along the entire body and below the lateral line. In addition, the lower jaw is much longer and broader than other Leporinus and seems vertical when the mouth is entirely closed.

Red Banded Leporinus Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

It can be somewhat challenging to differentiate between male and female Red Banded Leporinus. However, the males are typically slightly smaller and slimmer than females, and the females have rounder bodies.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameSynaptolaemus latofasciatus
Year Described1950
Other NamesNone
OriginsVenezuela Brazil
Max Size12 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan7 - 10 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.5
GH2 - 15
TDS36 - 215
76 - 82
24.4 - 27.8

Natural habitat

The Red Banded Leporinus is endemic to the Orinoco and the Casiquiare Rivers in Venezuela as well as the Rio Negro, and the upper Rio Xingu Rivers in Brazil in South America. These fish can differ somewhat in colour depending on their location; for example, individuals from Venezuela usually have more reddish bands, whereas individuals from Brazil have more yellowish bands. Red Banded Leporinus inhabit moderate to fast-flowing acidic waters usually stained a dark brown colour due to the release of tannins from decomposing plants. The substrate in these habitats comprises sandy soils.

How to breed the Red Banded Leporinus

Unfortunately, there is limited information available on how to breed the Red Banded Leporinus, and there have been no successful recordings of these fish being bred in the home aquarium. However, distinct pairs spawn in densely grown, weedy places in the wild.

Diet & feeding

Red Banded Leporinus are foraging omnivores that graze on algae, organic detritus and invertebrates from natural submerged solid surfaces. These Leporinus are unfussy in the aquarium and will accept most things offered, although you should avoid foods containing high protein levels. It would be best to offer your Leporinus a variety of good quality dried food such as flake, green flake and pellets alongside frozen foods such as white mosquito larvae, bloodworm, and vitamin-enriched brine shrimp. These fish will also benefit from the occasional vegetable treat.

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