Southern Saratoga Overview:

Other names for Southern Saratoga are Leichardti, Spotted Bonytongue, Spotted Saratoga, or just Saratoga.

Southern Saratoga lives in fresh water & it is a bony fish available in Australia. Southern Saratoga is a carnivorous mouth brooder. Along with the gulf Saratoga, Southern Saratoga is also called Australian Arowana & Barramundi.

Australian Arowana lives in turbid water.

Leichardti is able to reach 90 cm in length & weighs around 4 kg. When it is around 48 – 49 cm long, it is ready to breed.

This is the 2nd type of arowana found in Australia. Like other Scleropages, Leichardti is a long fish having large scales, large pectoral fins, & small paired barbels is visible on its lower jaw. Each scale on Southern Saratoga’s dark colored body has a red or pink spot; which gives it a different look than S. jardinii, who has multiple reddish spots on each scale in a crescent shape. Spotted Saratoga is slimmer than S. jardinii. Spotted Bonytongue weighs lower than S. jardinii. The latter can weigh up to 17.2 kg if both of them are 90 cm long.

Southern Saratoga
Southern Saratoga
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Features of Southern Saratoga are added below:

Leichardti has a straight dorsal profile & its head is in the same line as back

The barbels of Southern Saratoga point straight

Little red spots are visible on Southern Saratoga fins.

Red Spots can be seen in the middle of Leichardti scales

Saratoga has no patterns on gill cover

Color of Spotted Saratoga is silver

Leichardti are primitive, surface dwelling specie having compressed bodies.

Leichardti has a flat back, having a dorsal fin set back towards the tail of its lengthy body.

Leichardti looks dark brown to olive green along the back of its body, having lighter sides & its belly is white

Body scales of Leichardti has 1 or 2 pinkish spots.

Spotted Bonytongue is not as aggressive as Jardini.


Southern Saratoga Distribution:

Southern Saratoga are native to Fitzroy river system. They live in Mary, Dawson & Burnett rivers

They like to live in still water & slow flowing sections of river turbid & like to take rest in lily-pads or underneath fallen timber. You can find them close to water surface or close to shore among aquatic vegetation.


Southern Saratoga Diet:

Feeding Australian Arowana
Feeding Australian Arowana

Barramundi is a famous specie & people keep them in tanks & ponds. Barramundi eat fish, shrimp, yabbies & more meals.

Barramundi are carnivorous & like to eat insects, fish, frogs & crayfish. They eat just meat & fish.


Southern Saratoga Tank Mates:

Leichardti are not as aggressive as S. Jardini but still they are territorial & show aggression towards aquarium or pond mates. Even in the wild they fight over territories especially this aggression can be seen in adult fish.

Southern Saratoga Tank Mates
Southern Saratoga Tank Mates

Leichardti is an aggressive fish & can hurt other species or fish of same kind. You can keep robust & large inhabitants in the same tank. Scleropages leichardti can be territorial & can trouble inhabitants. They will fight hard against its own kind.

Leichardti may eat small fish but bigger fish can live in peace with them. Tank mates of this fish can be large Tinfoil Barbs, rainbowfish, Giant Gourami, Cichlids, Clown Knife, Arius catfish, Pimelodid catfish, Arius catfish & Bagrid catfish.

Watch how I feed Australian Arowana in a video below:

Feeding Australian Arowana

Southern Saratoga Pond Suitability:

Southern Saratoga loves swimming & like to have lots of free swimming space so decoration is not crucial. Make sure your pond has a filter because due to large adult size, they create too much waste especially if you are keeping multiple large fish in a single pond. Do not keep them in harsh conditions or they might develop eyes & gills illnesses. Change water regularly & make sure your pond has a cover as they can jump outside.

Barramundi likes to live in slow moving water. They love vegetation on water surface or overhanging branches.


Southern Saratoga Breeding:

They are Mouthbroodes & the breeding process happens before the wet season at temp b/w 20 to 23 degree Celsius.

For several days before female lay eggs, both male & female are in continuous close company, & they like to swim close to water surface. A single male can contribute in at least 2 spawning in a season. Female Southern Saratoga carry eggs or larvae in her mouth. Female incubates these eggs are also known as Mouthbrooders & they spend more time at the water surface, & does not like to eat.


Southern Saratoga Tank Condition:

Scleropages leichardti is a big fish & the tank must have lots of swimming space if you want to keep it happy. Make sure you mix them up with other large fish but do not keep them with its own type. They are hard & have a strong immunity system.

Water quality does not have a big impact on them. They like to live in tropical aquariums & lower temperatures do not affect them. They do not disturb aquarium plants. They can reach a very big size. They need a big aquarium having a length of about 180 cm or longer


Southern Saratoga Tank Size:

Make sure your aquarium has at least the following dimensions “180 cm long X 40 cm wide” if you want to keep Scleropages leichardti.

Ideal water temperature for Scleropages leichardti is between 20 to 25 degree Celsius.

They love to live in fresh or brackish water.

Make sure your water is clean & have plenty of oxygen.

Lighting requirement is not that high but Scleropages leichardti seems beautiful under good lighting.

Plants are not very important but they welcome them.

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