Peppermint Pikehead (Luciocephalus Aura)
The Peppermint Pikehead, also know as Green-Spotted Pikehead, and Peppermint Pencilfish.
Peppermint Pikehead is a stunning and unique freshwater fish known for its beautiful markings and elongated body. These fish display a striking color pattern with a white base, adorned with irregular black spots and a hint of iridescent blue-green, giving them a peppermint-like appearance.
Distinct from its relative, L. pulcher, the Peppermint Pikehead boasts eye-catching peppermint-colored spots along its flanks. The Latin species name "aura" specifically refers to the iridescent green spots that shimmer on its body.
The Peppermint Pikehead is an intriguing Anabantid found in blackwater swamps within dense tropical forests. These environments have soft, acidic water that is rich in tannins from peat and decomposing leaves. As micro-predators, these fish stealthily float among vegetation, resembling drifting twigs. They patiently await small fish or shrimp to come within reach before rapidly extending their highly protrusible jaws to capture their prey.
Peppermint Pikeheads are semi-aggressive predators that can reach up to 5 inches in length. These labyrinth fish are best kept in groups of 3-5, ensuring they are all similar-sized. Introduce them to each other simultaneously for a more natural environment and increased breeding success. Avoid keeping them with small fish. Additional tankmates should be peaceful, non-intimidating, and at least the same adult length as Peppermint Pikeheads. Keep in mind they can swallow prey over 1/3 their body length.
Their diet primarily consists of live or frozen meaty foods, such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and small fish.
Best suited for a large, mature, single species-only aquarium with a gentle current. Peppermint Pikeheads require a well-planted tank with plenty of hiding spots, as they enjoy lurking among plants and other decorations. They thrive in a dark substrate with abundant plant life, including floating species to diffuse the light. Adding driftwood, such as Sumatra wood, creates shaded hiding spots and visual barriers. Peat filtration is highly recommended. Regular partial water changes help maintain the high water quality needed.
A minimum tank size of 30 to 50 gallons is recommended, with a gentle water flow. The water parameters should be maintained within the following ranges: pH 6.0-7.5, hardness 5-12 dGH, and temperature 73-82°F (23-28°C).
A tight-fitting lid is needed as they are known to be jumpers.
This species is not recommended for beginners.
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.