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Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > The Tetras > Banded Leporinus
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South America



Leporinus fasciatus


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Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Hop
Their attractive yellow bands make them very tempting to buy at a small size, but a great deal of planning should take place before ever purchasing this fish. 1st off they grow very large, 2nd they are quite scrappy, and most important is they are incredible jumpers. Provide a very large tank (NO LESS THAN 90 GALLONS)with a tight fitting hood and tankmates that can handle themselves. Cichlids and tough catfish are usually good to go with this species. Make sure they get plenty of greens to eat.
From: Kat
My boyfriend and I bought two Leporinus and placed them in our tank with several other fish. We have a beta, barb, algae eater,4 silver tipped sharks and 2 loach fish . The larger of the two Lepornius attacked, killed and ate the beta (which I guessed anything else would) the barb, one silver tipped shark and both loach. The person that sold us the fish did not tell either of us that they can be hostile or not. When I went back to the store they told me I could place then with cichlids and they should be okay. From what I can tell any fish that is not larger then it will be eaten. Atleast that is how it is in my tank. I would be very cautious when buying this fish.
From: Jazzy
I have had these fish in my tank for over 10 years, sometimes one at a time and as many as 4 at a time. I have never seen them run from anything, but they have attacked sharks, Oscars, and almost any community fish, especially fish with fantails. I've even seen them attack each other. By the same token, I've seem them live peacefully with guoramis, angels, goldfish, etc. At one point there were 3 of them in the tank, with no other fish at all. Two of them banded together and attacked the third one, killing it. The remaining two never attacked each other. I attributed this too a mating ritual, but I donít know it to be a fact. They eat anything from flake food to algae wafers and live food, as well as the fish they kill in the tank. They grow very fast and mine have reached 14Ē in length. All-in-all, I enjoy them and will always have at least one in my tank.
From: Donald
This fish was an awesome addition to my tank. It added color, and splendor, and he was very peaceful...Than he grew. Once this fish grew he became extremely aggressive. He killed my algae eater, he killed a large angel. Both fish were nearly unrecognizable by the time he was done with them. Every fish in my tank has a scar from him. I eventually had to give him away to a friend that has a more aggressive tank. I hated given him away since I raised him from such a young age. Now I fear for him in his new environment. However as aggressive as he became, he better know how to survive. Don't be fooled by his splendor, growth turns him into a killer.
From: Cheeseinacan
At one point, we had two of these guys in one 75 gal. community tank. The rest of the fish were very peaceful tetras, gourami, and jack dempseys (abnormally placid ones). For a time, these two were peaceful too, but then the larger one started to get extremely aggressive towards the smaller once they got to a certain length (10 and 8 inches) and they got into horrendous and continuous fights that left the smaller one battered and with patches of scales missing. Eventually, the larger one chased the smaller into this roman coliseum decoration we have and trapped it there for a week before we sold the larger one to the local fish store. When the sole Leporinus finally ventured out, it was half starved and a very sickly and sad looking gray. It was almost like it had to learn how to swim again after being stuck in one small space for so long. Now, its regained itís beautiful yellow coloring, the scars on its head are barely visible and itís grown another inch in the past few months. Moral of the story: If you want some Leporinus, from my experience it might be best to keep only one and only if you have big tank.
From: Al
These fish aren't unusually aggressive but definitely need a large tank and need to be either:
a. housed with fish that are fast moving and with no flowing fins.
b. housed with semi to aggressive fish with plenty of room and hiding places.
I had one of these with a Red Devil who basically left him alone. It was in a 90 gallon tank. The Red Devil is a pretty nasty fish but will leave other fish alone so long as he doesn't view them as a threat to his domain. I've also successfully housed one of these in a 120 gallon tank with tiger barbs, fire mouths, blue Acaras,silver dollars and a red tail shark there. I eventually had to take a channel cat out because the leporinus kept nipping at his dorsal fin. Also the cat would of grown big enough to eat the barbs. A tank like this would be in the semi aggressive category. Leporinus is no push over and will stand up for himself but they aren't stupid either, you wont see a leporinus initiate a fight when there is plenty of room with a robust cichlid like a red devil or managuense.
From: Geoff
I have two leporinus who share a tank with assorted corydoras, loaches, a pleco and some platys. The Leporinus, which are about 6 inches long, have never eaten any of their tankmates and indeed I have even managed to collect baby platys from the tank before they got eaten. If they attack anything then they tend attack each other. They seem to be very hardy - having survived a couple of episodes of disease that took out most of the other occupants of the tank, as well as several excursions out of the tank onto the carpet. They do jump.
From: Lisa
I agree, these fish are aggressive. I have 3 in my 40 gallon tank. initially I also had tiger barbs, opaline gourmais, pleco, rosy barbs and 1 black tailed shark. When I started the tank they were fine, they were the last addition, that was last year. Since then any new fish I add then pick on and the fish usually hide in the upper back corner of the tank. I had a moonlight gourmai they picked on so much they pretty much ate it alive. They are fun fish to watch and look nice in the tank, but are aggresive
Mine also lives in the hollow tree I have in my tank. He comes out to eat but that's about it. When you look at the tank all you see is his big eye through one of the holes in the tree. He is so big now when he comes out he comes out on his side and looks like a struggle, but he loves it

From: Joe
My Leporinus is the main attraction of my tank. It has grown like a weed - from 3.5" to 7.5" in 6mos. It can be moody, but has coexisted well with my other fish: Balas, Red-fin, Gouramis, Plecos, cat and Tetras . with one exception. And this may shed some light on the blue lobster comment. I don't think it likes the color blue. I put in Neon Tetras, and the guy spent most of his time chasing them. Having plenty of places to escape, and hoping they might uh, become inconspicuous among the school of other Tetras (Glows and Black Neons), they were gone by the next day. I Leporinus - having one of the more interesting appearances - though, my favorite are the Bala Sharks.

From: Steve
While fishing for peacock bass in Surinam, we caught a number of 8-10 inch leporinus using minnows as bait. I would question having them in a tank with smaller fish

From: Bill+Tina
We got "The Bandit" on the assurance that he was sociable. It took awhile at first but he started attacking. Much carnage! He is still in the barb tank( they're tough) but we are in the process of building a new tank "the Slammer".

From: Jeff
I bought this fish on the assumption that they were peaceful too. I woke up a couple days ago to find my hi fin sharks fins torn and thrashed. I might just get rid of him.

From: Cary
We have three of them sharing a 150 gallon tank that consists of primarily cichlids and a couple of large cats, as well as small cleaner fish. The Leporinus seem to coexist peacefully with the other fish--and have for some time, so other problems may relate more to food/territory. They do seem moody, the older one (about 8") went and hid and didn't come out for a long time...thought he was very sick. Two we got at the same time as very small fish--and although one of them is almost the same size as the older one (7-1/2 inches) the other one seems to have stopped growing at about 4 inches. I thought that it might designate a female fish, but that differentiation doesn't seem to be applicable.

From: Jay
These are great fish!I feed them veggie flakes! Although they grow slowly. I had mine for 3-4 yrs. It is only 4 inches. They get along with rainbow fish. It is a really cool combo. I warn you though they are aggressive to smaller fish. I would recommend it to beginners and veterans in the fish hobby.

From: Rose
I find this fish to be aggressive at times it lives with a black shark and an African ciclid which is the only survivor of the three cichlids that I had. It killed the other two.

From: Derek
This fish has been a staple of the various tanks I've had over the years. I've kept the fasciatus variety, and the fredericki variety (aka three spot). I have never had an experience with aggression from any of them. They seem to really get along with (or at least have no problems with) rainbowfish, bala sharks and plecos. The other "secret" is to make sure that they have a nice "home space", and sufficient room to cruise around. Based on my experience, I would highly recommend them for their beauty and for their temperment.
From: Jimi
This Fish is the main attraction of my 29 gal. tank. I am very happy with mine, and would recommend them to any fish enthusiast. I have found my Leporinus to be of peaceful temperament even though the tank is beginning to get a bit overcrowded. I have seen him dart at a fish a time or two but no fin nipping, they are very hardy and can tolerate a wide range of pH. They also grow very fast eat everything and are very attractive 2 thumbs up!!





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