Distichodus lusosso

The Distichodus lusosso, commonly known as the Royal Distichodus, is a species of fish that is part of the Distichodontidae family. This family consists of 19 genera and about 91 species, all of which are freshwater fishes inhabiting the African continent. Distichodus lusosso (Longsnout Distichodus, Longnose Distichodus) founded Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Appearance and Characteristics

The Distichodus lusosso is characterized by its elongated body and distinct coloring. Adult fish have a beautiful silvery color with a metallic sheen, and some individuals may have a yellowish or reddish tint. They have a row of dark spots along the lateral line, and the fins are typically transparent or may carry a slight yellow hue.

The Royal Distichodus is a relatively large fish, with adults often reaching up to 50 cm (20 inches) in length. Their size contributes to their stunning presence in an aquarium setting but also necessitates a spacious tank for optimal health and activity.


There is not much documented information about the breeding habits of the Distichodus lusosso in a home aquarium setting. It is generally believed that their breeding is challenging to achieve in captivity due to their size and the specific water conditions they require.

Conservation Status

The Distichodus lusosso is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, meaning it is not considered to be at immediate risk of extinction. However, like many freshwater species, they are potentially vulnerable to habitat loss and degradation, especially due to factors like pollution and dam construction in their native habitats.


Distichodus lusosso in aquarium

Distichodus lusosso2

Aquarium Size and Setup

Due to their large size, with adults reaching up to 50 cm (20 inches), a spacious tank is necessary for these fish. A tank of at least 200 gallons is recommended for a single adult Royal Distichodus, and if you plan on keeping more than one or other large species, an even larger tank will be needed.

In terms of setup, mimic their natural habitat by including plenty of vegetation and hiding spots. Use large rocks, driftwood, and aquatic plants to create an environment that makes the fish feel secure and provides areas for them to establish territories. The substrate should be soft and dark-colored to mimic the riverbed.

Water Conditions

Distichodus lusosso require specific water conditions. The temperature should be maintained between 22-28°C (72-82°F), with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.5. They also prefer softer water, with a hardness between 5-12 dH. Regular water changes are crucial to keep the water clean and maintain the necessary parameters, as these fish can be sensitive to poor water conditions.

Tank Mates

In the wild, Distichodus lusosso are often found in the company of other species, suggesting they can coexist peacefully in a diverse community tank, provided there is enough space. However, they can show territorial behavior, especially towards other large or aggressive fish. It’s recommended to keep them with other similarly-sized fish that can hold their own.


The Royal Distichodus is primarily herbivorous, consuming a diet mainly of plant matter in the wild. In an aquarium setting, they should be provided with a balanced diet that includes high-quality plant-based fish food. You can supplement this with occasional servings of meaty foods like bloodworms or brine shrimp for protein.

Distichodus lusosso vs. the Six-banded distichodus Distichodus sexfasciatus

The Royal Distichodus (Distichodus lusosso) and Six-banded Distichodus (Distichodus sexfasciatus) are both African freshwater fish of the same genus. The primary differences lie in their size and appearance. D. lusosso is larger, reaching up to 50 cm, and presents a silvery, metallic sheen with dark spots along its lateral line. D. sexfasciatus is smaller, typically growing up to 30 cm, and features distinctive horizontal black bands.
Similar to its close relative, the Six-banded distichodus Distichodus sexfasciatus, this also has strong black vertical bars on its flanks and bright red fins. These two fish are in fact a very similar in color, however, this species could be easily distinguished by its noticeably longer snout. Hence its common names Long Snout Distichodus and Long Nosed Distichodus. Its adult size is also smaller than the Six-banded distichodus

see more Six-banded distichodus

Distichodus Lusosso
Juvenile Distichodus Lusosso
Distichodus sexfasciatus juveniles
Juvenile Distichodus sexfasciatus
Juvenile Distichodus Lusosso vs Juvenile Distichodus sexfasciatus
Juvenile Distichodus Lusosso vs Juvenile Distichodus sexfasciatus

the Distichodus lusosso, with its distinct appearance and fascinating behavior, can be a captivating addition to a suitable home aquarium. Despite the challenges associated with their size and specific care requirements, their unique charm makes them a species worth considering for experienced aquarists. As with any pet, potential owners should be prepared to provide them with the appropriate care and conditions they need to thrive.

By fishexp

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