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Maximum size : 20 cm

Tailspot Ctenopoma - Ctenopoma kingsleyae : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Tailspot 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 Tailspot Ctenopoma will do better in a species-only aquarium; however, you can keep them with other fish. Tankmates should be small, peaceful species hanging around in the aquarium's upper and lower parts. Some ideal tankmates for the Tailspot 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 Tailspot 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 further emphasise the natural feel. Tailspot Ctenopomas have silvery-grey to tan heads and bodies with a dark spot at the base of the caudal fin.

Tailspot Ctenopoma Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

It can be challenging to differentiate between male and female Tailspot Ctenopoma as they look very similar. However, the males are usually more tapered around their gill covers and under their eyes, and the females are generally larger.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCtenopoma kingsleyae
Year Described1896
Other NamesClimbing Perch, Gray Ctenopoma, Kingsley's Ctenopoma, Silverbelly Climbing Perch, Silverbelly Ctenopoma, Tailspot Climbing Perch
OriginsSenegal Democratic Republic of the Congo Guinea Mauritania
Max Size20 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle
Best kept asPairs
ReproductionBubble nest
Lifespan5 - 8 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH5 - 15
68 - 80
20 - 26.7

Natural habitat

Tailspot Ctenopomas are widespread throughout Senegal, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea and Mauritania in Africa. These fish are found in the Volta, Niger and Congo River Basins. In addition, these fish inhabit coastal rainforest areas.

How to breed the Tailspot Ctenopoma

It can be a little challenging to breed Tailspot Ctenopomas, but undoubtedly achievable. After two years of age, Tailspot Ctenopomas become sexually mature. The breeding tank should be around 50 litres in size, have a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and contain lots of floating plants. It is usually during the evening hours that the fish spawn. Usually, quick breeding occurs over the substrate, the parents do not care for the eggs, and the fish do not build bubble nests. The small eggs float to the surface and land in a floating plant. The Parents may eat the eggs, so removing them at this point is recommended. The eggs will hatch around 24 hours later, and the fry will become free-swimming two to three days after that. The babies are tiny and should be fed infusoria for the first week, after which they can accept microworm and baby brine shrimp.

Diet & feeding

Because the Tailspot 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 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-bought 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 you can also use to supplement the diet. Get to know your fish and test which foods they prefer and which they ignore but always be sure not to overfeed your fish and remove excessive uneaten food whenever possible.

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