Microctenopoma fasciolatum

17. April 2020

Within the African labyrinth fishes, the so-called bushfishes, one can roughly differentiate between two groups: those that do not care for their brood and those in which the males build a foam or bubble nest, into which they are spawned and which is guarded by the male until the young fish are independent. The latter group was separated from the other bushfish (Ctenopoma) as a second genus Microctenopoma. At present 12 species are scientifically known, but only four of them are occasionally kept in the aquarium, including Microctenopoma fasciolatum, which is actually widely distributed in the Congo basin. We have now once again received very nice wild catches from the area around Lac Mai Ndombe in Central Congo.

This beautiful bushfish grows about 8 cm long. Males and females differ mainly in the colouring of the fins: Males have spots in the caudal, dorsal, and anal fin which are missing in the females. In behaviour M. fasciolatum can best be compared with paradise fish (Macropodus). Like these they like to be quite rough with each other, which usually shows in fin damage. Also our new imports all have slight fin defects, but these heal quickly and without complications.

You should offer bushfish well planted, richly structured aquariums. It is best to keep them in the company of medium sized barbs or congo tetras. In the single species tank they are often shy and you will not see them often. The water temperature for maintenance should be not too high, preferably between 22 and 26°C, for breeding the temperature should be increased by 2-3°C. All usual fish food is eaten, preferably frozen and live food. Plants are neglected by bushfish.

For our customers: the animals have code 117002 (4-6 cm) and 117003 (6-8 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer