The dwarf ktenopoma is otherwise false red-headed belongs to the labyrinth fish of the Anabasov family. She comes from Africa, in wildlife she can be met in the streams and streams of Zaire and Cameroon. This fish likes fast-flowing water and thickets of coastal vegetation.
Male dwarf xenopoma is really small, they reach a length of about seven centimeters, females are a little shorter. The fishes have a laterally flattened elongated body with a tail fin in the shape of a fan, large eyes and an elongated mouth. The lines of the back and tummy are almost straight, without bends. Body color is light brown with transverse dark stripes. From above, the stripes look blurry and pale, approaching the color of the body, but the lower the brighter and more saturated they become.
The male and female are distinguished not only by size. In anticipation of spawning, a bright streak appears in the female along the whole body. The sharper and elongated ends of the fins distinguish the male, and during the spawning period, the ends of these fins become almost black.
Dwarf kenopoma is not too demanding in relation to nutrition. She feeds on live food, can even feed on earthworms. It can be fed with substitutes, feed, but not always. For fry, the starting food is rotifers and nauplii of crustaceans, and after a week you can switch to a larger feed. When buying a dwarf kenopom, you need to be sure that you are able to provide it with comfortable living conditions: space, clean and oxygen-enriched water, places for solitude and suitable neighbors.
Maintenance and care
For a ktenopoma, the dwarf aquarium should be shallow, but not less than 60 cm long and 200–400 l in volume. It should have enough vegetation, including floating, with drooping roots. In some places, the surface of the water should be free of floating plants, as xenopomas swim to the surface and capture air for respiration. In addition, the aquarist will definitely have to provide places for shelter in the form of stone grottoes, snags or just a couple of clay flower pots. To prevent the xenopoma from catching a cold, the air above the surface of the water should be warm enough, so the aquarium is covered from above. For a comfortable living, you need to adhere to a temperature regime of 22–25 ° С, a hardness of 4–20 °, and a pH level of 6.5–7.5. These fish need clean water with a high degree of oxygen saturation, so filtration and aeration are a prerequisite, and even a third of the total volume of water is replaced weekly. In a calm state, fish prefer to stay in the middle of the aquarium. When choosing neighbors for a dwarf ktenopoma, one should not forget that it is aggressive towards individuals of its own species. Therefore, in the aquarium there can be either a pair of fish or one male and a group of females, but in no case several males. In the neighbors, it is better to pick up small-loving small fish.
When dwarf xenopoma reaches 1.5–2 years, the time comes to think about reproduction. A spawning about 50 cm long should be provided with a peat filter, floating large-leaved plants, and habitual shelters for fish. Spawning water should be above 25 degrees, hardness within 2–4 degrees, pH not higher than 6.8. A caring male, under a favorite leaf of a floating plant, builds a nest of foam, where the female spawns. After that, the female is removed from the spawning grounds. The male remains to care for the eggs. When the fry try to swim and eat on their own, and this happens on the third day, the male can be deposited.