Maximum size : 12 cm

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

Table of contents


The Red Banded Leporinus (Synaptolaemus latofasciatus) presents itself as a rare and captivating species, known for its remarkable hardiness and striking colouration. While these fish can be relatively straightforward to care for, it is crucial to note that they may not be the ideal choice for novice aquarists, primarily due to the size requirements of their habitat and the careful selection of compatible tank mates.

As juveniles, Red Banded Leporinus exhibit a peaceful demeanour; however, as they reach maturity, their behaviour tends to lean towards aggression, particularly towards their own kind. To mitigate any disruptive behaviour, it is advisable to maintain either a solitary specimen or a group of at least six individuals, dispersing any potential aggression among the group members. It is important to consider that these fish may prey on smaller fish, making it essential to keep them in the company of larger, more robust species. Additionally, caution should be exercised when selecting tankmates with intricate finnage, as the Red Banded Leporinus may nip at them.

Suitable tankmates for the Red Banded Leporinus may include medium to large-sized peaceful Cichlids originating from fast-flowing waters, sizable Characins, and medium-sized semi-aggressive Barbs such as Panda Barbs. Catfish and Plecos can also coexist harmoniously with these fish. To create an optimal environment, a sandy or fine gravel substrate is recommended, accompanied by ample hiding places provided by driftwood and rocks. While plants are not necessary, they can enhance the aesthetic appeal of the aquarium. However, it is essential to select robust plant species like Java Fern and Anubias that can be securely attached to the decor, as the Red Banded Leporinus has a propensity for consuming plants.

Adequate filtration and high oxygenation levels are paramount for the thriving of these fish, necessitating powerful filtration systems and a commitment to maintaining pristine water quality. Regular water changes play a vital role in minimizing waste accumulation. Furthermore, ensuring a moderately fast water current and a securely fitted lid is advisable, as the Red Banded Leporinus possesses impressive jumping abilities.

The Red Banded Leporinus exhibits an elongated black body adorned with vibrant orange, red, or yellow stripes extending along its entire length, accentuating its allure. Notably, the lower jaw of this species appears distinctively longer and broader compared to other Leporinus, creating a striking vertical orientation when the mouth is fully closed.

Red Banded Leporinus Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Red Banded Leporinus can pose a moderate challenge. Generally, males exhibit a slightly smaller and more streamlined physique compared to females. Conversely, females tend to possess rounder bodies, showcasing a subtle distinction between the sexes.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameSynaptolaemus latofasciatus
Year Described1950
Other NamesNone
OriginsVenezuela , Brazil
Max Size12 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asGroups 6+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 10 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 5.5 - 7.5
GH 2 - 15
TDS 36 - 215
Ideal Temperature
76 - 82
24 - 27

Natural Habitat

The Red Banded Leporinus species exhibits endemism, being confined to specific regions such as the Orinoco and Casiquiare Rivers in Venezuela, as well as the Rio Negro and upper Rio Xingu Rivers in Brazil within the South American continent. Variation in colouration is observed among these fish, with Venezuelan individuals typically displaying reddish bands, while their Brazilian counterparts tend to exhibit yellowish bands. The preferred habitats of the Red Banded Leporinus consist of moderate to fast-flowing acidic waters, characterized by a dark brown hue resulting from the presence of tannins released by decomposing plants. The substrate in these environments primarily consists of sandy soils.


Regrettably, comprehensive documentation regarding the successful breeding of the Red Banded Leporinus within the confines of the home aquarium is scarce. To date, no verifiable accounts exist of these fish being bred in captivity. Nevertheless, observations from their natural habitat indicate that distinct pairs engage in spawning behaviour within densely vegetated areas.

Diet & feeding

Red Banded Leporinus display an adaptable and opportunistic feeding behaviour, exhibiting traits of a foraging omnivore. In their natural habitat, these fish engage in grazing activities on algae, organic detritus, and invertebrates present on submerged surfaces.

Within the confines of an aquarium, Red Banded Leporinus prove to be undemanding eaters, readily accepting a wide range of food options. However, it is advisable to exercise caution and avoid feeding them foods with high protein content, as it may not align with their dietary requirements.

To ensure a well-rounded diet, providing these Leporinus with a diverse selection of high-quality dried foods, such as flake and pellets, is recommended, including green variants. In addition, supplementing their diet with frozen offerings, such as white mosquito larvae, bloodworm, and vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, further enhances their nutritional intake.

In addition, occasional vegetable treats can contribute to their overall dietary variety and well-being. Incorporating suitable plant-based options aligns with their omnivorous tendencies, further promoting their optimal health and vitality.

Other Leporinus of interest