Banded Leporinus needs a new home.
They should have warned me when I bought it. No, better yet, they shouldn’t sell these fish at all.
It’s a Banded Leporinus and when I bought it, it was only about an inch long. With black and yellow stripes around its sleek body, I thought it was an attractive addition to my fish tank. Unfortunately, it liked to hide in the 55-gallon tank it shared with other fish (much like the incredible Ghost Knifefish I spent $20 on about a year ago) and I didn’t see it too often.
When I did see it, I was surprised to see how big it was getting. It seemed to grow like a weed. Soon it was about 10 inches long.
And that’s when I noticed that the other fish in the tank were disappearing. They weren’t dying and floating around the tank waiting for a scoop to the burial ground in kitchen sink’s disposal unit. They were simply disappearing, like they never existed.
I was down to about three fish when I realized what was going on. The Banded Leporinus was killing and eating his tank mates.
By the time I got my old 20-gallon tank set up for his new home, he had just one neighbor left. I managed to catch him and put him in the new tank. He was not a happy camper. He kept bashing himself against the tank walls. Finally, he settled down in a natural “cave” I’d created for him by stacking a few rocks with a big rock over the top. And that’s where he is to this day, two years later. (And yes, I realize that a fish this size needs a much larger tank to survive in, but I’m not about to let him have my 55-gallon tank for himself.)
When I get down to the Phoenix area, I try to stop at a pet store and buy him some feeder fish. Those are the poor, defenseless goldfish they sell for about 12 cents each. I bought him 6 the first time. They were gone in 2 days. Since then, he’s managed to devour a dozen of them in less than 36 hours. He does it at night, when no one is looking. I’ve never actually seen him eat anything.
Nowadays, I throw some bloodworms (frozen or freeze-dried) and shrimp pellets in there for him. I’m tired of him and want him to either die or go away. But I don’t have the heart to kill him.
He gets very angry when I try to clean his tank. He bounces off the tank walls so much and so hard that he stuns himself and then kind of just floats around. I always wonder: Is this it? Can I get rid of him now? But then he recovers and slips into his cave, looking out at the living room and shying away from anyone walking by.
Anyway, this fish is free to anyone who wants him. Just come with a bucket (with a cover; he jumps!) or big piece of Tupperware and he’s yours.