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Amazon Leaf Fish Feeding | 11 Essential Feeding Facts |

Amazon leaf fish is not commonly used in the ornamental fish industry. Anyhow some extraordinary aquarists love and use them to create unique aquariums. But most of them have a doubt about Amazon leaf fish feeding. It would be best if you had a remarkable ability to embrace the challenge of a truly rare fish.

Similarly, you should highly consider the natural feeding behavior of Amazon leaf fish. Because many important facts relating to their feeds and diet affect their survival rate directly. So, if you are a fish keeper who likes to face this challenging experience, this article surely helps you to succeed.  

amazon leaf fish feeding

What Do Amazon Leaf Fish Eat? 

Amazon leaf fish or South American Leaf fish is a rare ambush predator. So, Amazon leaf fish is exclusively carnivores and only eat animal matter. Their appearance is similar to a dead leaf, so it effectively supports catching the prey and protecting themselves. Another special thing is Amazon leaf fish only accepts live foods. As they are carnivorous fish you can keep your floating plants in the tank without a problem.

What Do Amazon Leaf Fish Eat In The Wild?

Amazon leaf fish love to eat swimming foods, and they have many food options in the rivers. In the wild, Amazon leaf fish or South American Leaf fish eat small fish and many small invertebrates, but the young Amazon leaf fish’s main diet is completed with fish, most probably Characids and Lebiasinids. These fish have their own way of catching prey easily, especially in the wild. Because in the wild, they have to fulfill their food requirements on their own.

They are slow-swimming and slow-moving fish species, and these behaviors directly help to catch the prey. When they swim they only move the pectoral, the tip of the dorsal and anal fins. Also, Amazon leaf fish’s mimicking shape is also a way to cog their prey. However, they suck and trap the prey in the mouth cavity using their protruding jaw. Another exciting factor is, that when Amazon leaf fish hunt, they do not stay in position like a fish. It is an un-fish-like position. Amazon leaf fish stay at a head-down angle. 

Amazon Leaf Fish feeding In The Aquarium?

If you wish to rear medium-sized fish species in your aquarium, their diet is one main factor that you should highly consider. However, you can be feeding leaf fish using the below-listed foods because these are more suitable for their carnivore feeding behavior.  

Amazon leaf fish live healthy and happy as long as you provide small fish as their main diet. The most important factor is Amazon leaf fish eat only live foods. Thus, you should provide the above food types in live form. However, when you feed Amazon leaf fish fry in captivity, do not try large live foods. First, start with small moving foods. The most suitable example is brine shrimp nauplii. 

amazon leaf fish feeding

How Long Can Amazon Leaf Fish Go Without Food?

Generally, if Amazon leaf fish do not have a proper diet daily, they will be weak quickly. But the time period that they can survive without having food depends on the availability of the foods in your aquarium. However, you should remember, that if your tank does not have any live foods for Amazon leaf fish, they are definitely weak and die soon. So, do not miss to provide a balanced diet daily. 

Best Amazon Leaf Fish Food? 

Generally, most hobbyists tend to give guppies as a feed for the Amazon leaf fish. But in addition to that, the aquarist can use different feeds to make a balanced diet. You can feed them on other small fish species, mainly from the families Lebiasinaceae and Characinaceae. Small fish such as molly, platy, zebrafish, and swordtail fish ideally match Amazon leaf fish’s mouth.  

On the other hand, you can provide mosquito larvae earthworms, bloodworms, brine shrimps, aquatic insects, tubifex, and crustaceans to Amazon leaf fish. Moreover, and you can feed Amazon leaf fish fry fish using live brine shrimp nauplii.

How Many Times A Day Should I Feed My Amazon Leaf Fish?

Feeding frequency per day depends on the food amount that you provide for one time.  However, I recommend feeding the Amazon leaf fish two or three times per day. Typically Amazon leaf fish need a significant amount of food per day to live healthily. So, you can give the full amount of feed at once. Or you can split the required amount into two or three meals and give it to them. It is up to you. However, the important thing is you should provide a sufficient amount of feed to Amazon leaf fish.

How To Feed Amazon Leaf Fish?

Adult Amazon leaf fish prefer to eat live foods, so release the live food into the tank. But here you should highly consider the health conditions of the live food. Because if it has any infections or health issues, it directly affects the health of your Amazon leaf fish too. 

 How Much Does Amazon Leaf Fish Eat?

You should feed them at least three adult guppies per day. If not, you can not keep them healthy. If you do not feed them well, Amazon leaf fish weak quickly and die. Comparatively, other live fish and foods are costly, so guppies are a better option for your budget. 

Will Amazon leaf fish overeat or eat too much?

Generally, most fish do not overeat. They know the sufficient amount and after that exceed they stop eating, until next time. But if you provide a large number of live foods at once, there s a possibility that Amazon leaf fish may exceed their limits. Therefore, always add a sufficient amount of food to the tank. 

What Human Food Can They Eat?

Amazon leaf fish is a complete carnivore species. Therefore, Amazon leaf fish eat only animal matters. Also, they love to eat live foods.  However, there are no records that Amazon leaf fish eat human foods. 

Flake Fish Food Suitable For Amazon leaf fish?

As I mentioned, earlier this carnivore fish prefer to eat feed in live form. So, most aquarists use live small fish as an Amazon leaf fish’s prey. However, it is difficult to provide live food each day. Hence, as an alternative, you can try some quality fish flakes. Here, you can add live food two times per day and flakes one time per day.

Then carefully observe the response of Amazon leaf fish. If they eat flake food, you can train them eventually for flake foods. However, sometimes this may not be a success. So, this situation totally depends on the fish’s living conditions, preferences, and fish biology. Further, there are no success stories about fish flakes on Amazon leaf fish. But do not believe others’ results. Check it by yourself. 

What Kind Of Mouth Do Amazon Leaf Fish Have?

Amazon leaf fish has a large mouth with a pointed extension lower jaw. Mainly they have a protractile mouth. A protractile mouth or protrusible mouth is a structural arrangement of the jaws. It enables them to extend or protrude and withdraw from the fish’s mouth for the requirement. When fully expelled, the oral cavity expands to form a funnel-like space that facilitates the uptake of foods. This structure of mouth helps Amazon leaf fish to hunt their prey easily and quickly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Feed My Leaf Fish?

Amazon leaf fish is carnivore fish species, so you should feed them on animal matters. But the special thing is they only accept live foods, and you should highly consider that matter. Normally, you can provide the small freshwater ray-finned fish species, specially guppies and other fish species in the family, Lebiasinaceae and Characinaceae. 

In addition to that, you can add many live foods to your leaf fish diet. Also, do not forget to provide a balanced diet to keep your fish healthy. Some of them love to eat bloodworms, brine shrimps, aquatic insects, tubifex, mosquito larvae earthworms, and crustaceans. 

Where Does The Leaf Fish Live?

Leaf fish live in the river system in South America, and that is part of the Amazon basin. So, you can find leaf fish throughout Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, and Brazil. However, they are happy to live in shallow water, swarms, and submerged vegetation like creeks, warm pools, and riverbeds.  Anyhow, there are many fallen leaves and snags deposited at the bottom and Amazon leaf fish hides and wait for the next prey. 


Amazon leaf fish or South American leaf fish is the most incredible creation of mother nature. Similarly, it is a great challenge to fish lovers. Thus, Amazon leaf fish has behaviors and habits that are unique to them. However, among these surprising factors, their feeding behavior and diet own a very important place. But do not worry, simply Amazon leaf fish carnivores, and they accept live foods. A balanced diet helps to keep them healthy and happy.

Credit to : headgasket13
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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.