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Maximum size : 18 cm

Spotted Leporinus - Leporinus nijsseni : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Clown Spotted Leporinus, (Leporinus nijsseni) is a fish species that has gained popularity among fish enthusiasts due to its strikingly beautiful appearance and peaceful temperament compared to other Leporinus species such as the Black Banded Leporinus. These fish are highly active and require a large aquarium that can accommodate their adult size, which can reach up to 18cm. It is crucial to choose tank mates carefully, as the Clown Spotted Leporinus can be fin nippers and territorial towards other adults. This fish has an elongated body, arched back, and a narrow tail. Its yellowish-gold body is adorned with scattered black spots of varying sizes, with transparent dorsal, pectoral, and caudal fins. Some individuals have an orangy-yellow hue in their pelvic fin, while others display matching body colours in their anal fin. In the aquarium, it is recommended to provide a sandy bottom with rocks and pieces of wood for this fish to graze on. Although they prefer algae and vegetable-based foods, they will occasionally snack on live meaty foods. With their peaceful nature and striking appearance, the Clown Spotted Leporinus can make an excellent addition to a well-researched community aquarium. However, it is essential to provide a tight-fitting lid, as these fish are excellent jumpers and can jump long distances.

Spotted Leporinus Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Sexual dimorphism in Clown Spotted Leporinus is not easily discernible. The physical differences between males and females are subtle, with the only observable trait being that mature females have a rounder belly compared to males.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameLeporinus nijsseni
Year Described1990
Other NamesClown Spotted Leporinus
OriginsGuyana Suriname
Max Size18 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asLoners
Lifespanup to 10 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.0 - 7.5
GH1 - 15
68 - 82
20 - 27.8

Natural Habitat

The Clown Spotted Leporinus, a captivating and beautiful fish, can be found in the Suriname River Basin and Saramacca Creek of French Guiana and Suriname, nestled in the heart of South America. They thrive in fast-flowing, rocky waters and are known to migrate to flooded forest areas during the rainy season. Interestingly, during dry spells, some of these fish can be found in ponds and lakes. These unique adaptations have allowed them to thrive in diverse environments.


Regrettably, information on breeding the Clown Spotted Leporinus is limited and scarce. While reports indicate that in the wild, they construct a nest that the male guards until the eggs hatch, there are few documented accounts of successful breeding in a controlled, captive environment.

Diet & feeding

The dietary preferences of the Clown Spotted Leporinus are primarily focused on plant material, particularly algae and vegetables. While they will consume a variety of food, including live meaty options, a good spirulina formula fish food or algae wafers should make up the core of their diet. To add variety, consider offering vegetable material such as watercress, chickweed, spinach leaves, and crushed lettuce leaves. These omnivores also enjoy snacking on the soft shoots and leaves of aquarium plants.


Clown Spotted Leporinus - Leporinus nijsseni - Freshwater Fish Room Tour Aquarium Profile Thumbnail

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