Leopard bush fish Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: November 22, 2022

The leopard bush fish is a beautiful, unique, and easy to care for freshwater fish that is perfect for beginner aquarists.

This species is native to Africa and is known for its leopard-like spots and its long, flowing fins.

The leopard bush fish is a peaceful community fish that is compatible with most other fish species.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about leopard bush fish care. You’ll learn about their diet, size, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

Leopard bush fish (scientific name: Aulonocara stuartgranti) are a type of cichlid that’s native to Lake Malawi in Africa.

They are found in a wide range of habitats, but they seem to prefer areas with a lot of rocks and hiding spots. This is likely due to the fact that they are relatively small fish and are therefore easy prey for larger predators.

Leopard bush fish are known for being very peaceful, which is something of a rarity among cichlids. This makes them a popular choice for many aquariums, as they can get along well with a wide variety of tank mates.

They are also one of the more colorful cichlid species, with a beautiful leopard-like pattern on their bodies.


Leopard bush fish

Leopard bush fish are easily recognizable with their bright coloration and bold patterns. As their name suggests, these fish have leopard-like spots all over their bodies.

The background color of the fish can be pale yellow, tan, or brown. The spots are dark brown or black and have ragged edges that make them look like they’ve been painted on.

The fins on these fish are also quite colorful. The dorsal and anal fins are both a bright yellow with black spots. Their caudal and pectoral fins are mostly yellow with a bit of black on the tips.

These fish have a long and slender body shape that tapers off at the end. They have a large mouth that is filled with small teeth.

The eyes on these fish are quite large and sit high up on their heads. They have small barbels on their chin that they use to help them find food.


Leopard bush fish typically have a lifespan of 3-5 years. However, there have been reports of these fish living up to 10 years in captivity.

Again, the level of care they receive has a lot to do with how long they live. If they’re in a well-maintained tank with good water quality then they’ll obviously live longer than if they’re in a subpar environment.


Leopard bush fish can grow to be about 4 inches in length.


Tank Size

Leopard bush fish need at least a 10 gallon tank. However, because they’re such social creatures we recommend going with a 20 gallon tank or larger if you plan on keeping a school of them.

You might be able to get away with a 10 gallon tank if you’re only keeping one or two fish but we don’t recommend it. These fish are active and need the extra space to swim around and stay healthy.

Water Parameters

Leopard bush fish are a tropical freshwater fish that come from the rivers of Africa. As such, they have very specific water needs that must be met if they are to thrive in captivity.

The most important water parameter for leopard bush fish is the pH level. It must be between 6.5 and 7.5. Water that is too alkaline or too acidic will cause stress and eventually lead to death.

Ammonia and nitrite levels must be kept at 0 ppm. These toxins will kill leopard bush fish quickly, so it’s important to perform regular water changes and vacuum the gravel to remove any build-up.

  • Water Temperature: 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH Levels: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Water Hardness: 4 to 8 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

Leopard bush fish are a little bit different from your typical freshwater species. They’re used to living in brackish water, which is a mix of salt and freshwater.

This means that when setting up their tank you’ll need to mimic their natural environment as best as possible.

The substrate you use is very important. We recommend a mix of sand and gravel (with the sand being the dominant component). This will give them a place to root around and make sure they’re comfortable.

As for plants, there are a few options that can do well in brackish water. Java fern and hornwort are two of the most popular choices.

You’ll also need to make sure the water in their tank has the correct salt content. We recommend using marine salt mix to make sure the levels are where they need to be.

As for other decorations, feel free to get creative. Leopard bush fish aren’t too picky when it comes to this stuff. Driftwood, rocks, and caves are all suitable options.

Common Diseases

Leopard bush fish are a pretty hardy species, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get sick. There are a few diseases that you should look out for, the most common being ich.

Ich is a parasite that affects freshwater fish and can be pretty serious if it’s not dealt with quickly. The most obvious sign of this disease is the presence of white spots on the body of your fish.

If you notice this, it’s important to act fast and begin treatment immediately. If left untreated, ich can be fatal to your fish.

There are other diseases that can affect Leopard bush fish, but they’re not as common. Some of these include bacterial infections, fungal infections, and parasites.

As with any other fish, the best way to prevent these diseases is to maintain a clean and stable tank. This will create an environment that is less hospitable to disease and will make your fish more resistant to illness.

Behavior & Temperament

The leopard bush fish is a semi-aggressive freshwater fish that is native to Africa. It is also known as the leopard ctenopoma, leopard bush fish, or leopard ctenopoma.

This fish is a bottom-dweller that prefers to stay in groups. In the wild, they can be found in rivers, lakes, and swamps. They are a hardy fish that can adapt to a wide range of water conditions.

The leopard bush fish is a carnivore that feeds on small insects, worms, and crustaceans. In the aquarium, they will accept most live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods.

This fish is semi-aggressive and will territorial. It is important to provide them with plenty of hiding places in the aquarium. They are also known to nibble on the fins of other fish.

Tank Mates

Leopard bush fish are generally considered to be peaceful. They’re not the most social creatures, but they can get along with other species.

The main thing to keep in mind is that these fish come from Africa. As a result, they prefer warm water.

You’ll need to find tank mates that can handle similar water conditions. Here are some examples of species that make good leopard bush fish tank mates:

  • Guppies
  • Platies
  • Mollies
  • Swordtails
  • Neon Tetras
  • Congo Tetras
  • Bloodfin Tetras
  • Black Skirt Tetras


Leopard bush fish are another species of fish that are easy to breed in captivity. These fish are livebearers, which means that they give birth to live young instead of laying eggs.

To breed these fish, you need to start with a group of at least six. It’s best to have two males for every female. These fish reach sexual maturity around six months of age.

Once you have your group, put them in a breeding tank. The tank should hold at least 20 gallons of water. The water should be between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH should be between 7.0 and 8.0.

When the fish are ready to breed, the females will start to swell with eggs. This process takes around four weeks. Once the fry are born, they are fully independent and don’t need any help from their parents.

You can feed the fry live foods or finely crushed flakes.


Leopard bush fish are a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. They’re beautiful fish that are relatively easy to care for.

As long as you provide them with a good quality diet and a tank that meets their basic needs, they will thrive and bring a lot of enjoyment to your life.

If you’re looking for a new fish to add to your tank, we highly recommend the Leopard bush fish!