Archive for the ‘Killifish in community’ Category

Killifish in community with other

Killifish in community with other fish or shrimp

A question asked time and time again is whether killifish can be kept in community aquariums. The answer is yes, but you will have to be selective. Most species are unable to compete with other active aquarium fish (e.g. danios and barbs), while others can. Some may be aggressive towards other fish in general, while others may only be aggressive towards others of same or similar species. Some have no problem with tanks with a strong water current, while others will waste away under such stress. Some can be shy and retreating under some conditions (sparsely planted tanks), while being very active under other conditions. Some experimentation may be needed to find out exactly what a particular killifish needs to do well under your conditions. Some basic guidelines follow. For Aphyosemion-like fish, a community of small peaceful fishes (e.g. cherry barbs Capoeta titteya, white clouds Tanichthys albonubes, neon tetras Paracheirodon innesi, Nannostomus pencilfish etc. . . ) could work well. For Aplocheilus, Epiplatys and lamp-eyes a rougher crowd should pose little problem. Fish like Fundulopanchax gardneri have no problem sharing a tank with kribs Pelvicachromis pulcher. Display tanks composed of all males work well, but the general community rules should be adhered to: don’t put one fish with another that it can swallow. Keeping Fp. sjoestedti with neons or Aplocheilichthys normani
would not be smart. Keeping an aggressive little fish like Aphyosemion joergenscheeli with similar colored fish would also be silly. Nice displays can be made of excess male Nothos.  A killifish community can be built up of Epiplatys chaperi or dageti, Chromaphyosemion bitaeniatum and Aphyosemion striatum. Aphyosemion australe can be put in the place of striatum. The important thing is not to mix similar looking fish. Mixing Fp. gardneri with australe would not work as the females are very similar in appearance. Mixing gardneri and dageti works well. Some fish are also more assertive over territory than others. Male Fp. gardneri will dominate the smaller and weaker Aphyosemion australe in a mixed tank. Epiplatys are in general more assertive than Aphyosemion. It is the coloration of the females that is important when mixing species. Males will chase anything that they recognize as a female, and may even spawn with it. While Fp. spoorenbergi and sjoestedti look very different
in colour and size, the females are very similar and they will crossbreed. Suspect progeny should be discarded, or at least never sold or distributed in the hobby. For ideas on what species one can mix, one need only examine the data at to see which species or species groups live together in the wild. In one stream in Cameroon you may find Aphyosemion raddai, A. obscurum, Chromaphyosemion loennbergii and Epiplatys sp. and perhaps  Lacustricola camerunensis. You may also find Pelvicachromis species as well as small tetras and barbs. Diverse and interesting communities can be put together with the help of some research and good judgement. Lamp-eyes make good general community fish as do Aplocheilus. The more sedate Aphyosmeion and Rivulus do not. Nothobranchius and “Cynolebias” are normally unable to compete for food with general community fish and slowly die.