28 Types Of Killifish (& How To Care For Them!)

Last Updated on 2023-08-31

Killifish are little fish that bring their own special touch to any fish tank, making it a lively place with lots of excitement. Whether you’re just starting out or already an expert in fish keeping, the different types of Killifish will catch your eye with their cool colors and interesting ways.

So, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Killifish! 

Types Of Killifish

Now, let’s dive into the wonderful world of Killifish, see what makes each of them amazing, and learn how to take care of them in the best ways possible!

American Flagfish

American Flagfish Care Sheet

This vibrant little swimmer is like a nod to the U.S. flag, with its eye-catching red, and blue colors. Native to Florida, these fish feel most comfortable in waters filled with a good number of plants. 

And for their diet, make sure to mix it up with tiny water plants and even tinier creatures. When they’re not munching away, you might spot them flaunting their lovely colors, making them a delightful addition to any tank.

NameAmerican Flagfish
pH7.0-8.0
Temperature64-72°F
Tank Size20 Gallons
Size2.4″
Lifespan2-3 Years

Blackfin Pearl Killifish

Blackfin Pearl Killifish Care Sheets

The Blackfin Pearl Killifish is a wonder with its dark fin and body that sparkles just right. It’s originally from Africa, where waters tend to be soft and filled with cozy hiding spots. These fish aren’t too picky about their menu. 

While they enjoy their standard fish food, toss in some live treats, and watch them dart around with excitement. Their shimmering appearance and active nature make them a popular choice among fish enthusiasts.

NameBlackfin Pearl Killifish
pH6.0-7.0
Temperature62-70°F
Tank Size15 Gallons
Size2.5″
Lifespan5 Years

Blue Striped Rivulus Killifish

What It Looks Like

Next up the Blue Striped Rivulus Killifish. These fish come from South America and they have cool blue stripes on them. They like to live in water that’s not too hard, and they want a sandy bottom and places to hide.

These fish can be jumpers, so it’s important to cover their tank. They enjoy chasing after live insects and small things they can eat. Keep their tank calm, and you’ll get to enjoy their blue stripes.

NameBlue Striped Rivulus Killifish
pH5.5-7.0
Temperature73-77°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size1.7″
Lifespan2-4 Years

Bluefin Killifish

Blue Fin Killfish Caresheet

Moving along, we have the Bluefin Killifish. These little fish are from Africa and they have a bright blue fin that stands out. They might be small, but they’ve got lots of character.

To make them happy, give them a tank with plants and some gentle water flow. They like places where they can hide and explore. When it’s time to eat, they’re not too fancy – regular fish food and live snacks are good for them. Just be careful, they can be a bit aggressive, so make sure they have enough spots to relax in.

NameBluefin Killifish
pH6.5-8.0
Temperature50-80°F
Tank Size5 Gallons
Size1.6-2.5″
Lifespan3-5 Years

Blue Fin Notho Killifish

Bluefin Notho Killifish Care Sheet

Next, we’ve got the Blue Fin Notho Killifish. These fish are from West Africa and they have cool blue fins. Make their tank comfortable with soft water and some nice plants. These fish like their space, so give them hiding spots. 

When they’re hungry, they’re happy with different kinds of food, like fish flakes and live treats. Just a heads up, they might not be the friendliest roommates, so it’s better to keep them with fish that get along.

NameBlue Fin Notho Killifish
pH6.0-7.0
Temperature70-80°F
Tank Size20 Gallons
Size2.4″
Lifespan1-1.5 Years

Christys Killifish

What It Looks Like

Christys Killifish come from Africa, and they’ll look amazing in your tank with their brilliant pale and patterned body!

When you’re preparing their tank, don’t forget to put in plants and some soft substrate on the bottom. Also, remember that they enjoy having places to explore and hide. And when it comes to feeding them, they’re not too fussy for their meals; regular fish food and some extra treats work great.

NameChristys Killifish
pH6.0-6.5
Temperature68-75°F
Tank Size20 Gallons
Size2-2.3″
Lifespan3 Years

Clown Killifish/Banded Panchax

Clown Killifish_Banded Panchax Care Sheets

Moving on to the Clown Killifish. They have patterns that stand out, making them fun to watch. They’re like the stars of the show in your tank.

In setting up their tank, consider adding plants and spots to hide. These fish like to be around other fish, so having a small group is recommended. And what’s great about them is that they’re not too fussy when it comes to food. Normal fish food works, and they also like chasing after tiny insects.

NameClown Killifish/Banded Panchax
pH4.0-7.0
Temperature68-79°F
Tank Size5 Gallons
Size1.2-1.4″
Lifespan5 Years

Eggers Killifish

Egger's Killifish Care Sheet

Now let’s talk about the Eggers Killifish. These fish might be small, but they have an excellent style. 

As you set up your Eggers Killfish’s tank, having plants and places to feel safe is important. These fish enjoy eating small insects and worms. They’re not too hard to take care of, which is a good thing for new fish owners.

NameEggers Killifish
pH7.0-8.0
Temperature70-77°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size2″
Lifespan1.5 Years

Gabon Jewelfish

What It Looks Like

Now, let’s dive into the captivating world of Gabon Jewelfish. These fish originate from Africa and bring a touch of exotic beauty to your aquarium. Their colors gleam like precious jewels, making them a true gem in your underwater display.

When it comes to their ideal home, consider providing them with a mix of plants and hiding spots, such as rocks or ornaments. These fish are explorers by nature and will appreciate having nooks to investigate. 

As for their eating habits, they’re not too choosy – standard fish food is on the menu, but adding occasional treats like small insects and worms will keep them happy.

NameGabon Killifish
pH6.5-7.2
Temperature72-77°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size2″
Lifespan2-3 Years

Gabon Killifish

Gabon Killifish Care Sheets

Gabon Killisih are also native to Africa, and they’re like a glimpse of the continent’s beauty in your tank. With their unique colors and patterns, they’re like tiny masterpieces swimming around.

Creating their perfect home involves providing soft water conditions and some hiding spots. Also, these fish enjoy having places where they can take a break from the spotlight. When it’s mealtime, they’re not too fussy; regular fish food and small insects will keep them satisfied.

Gabon Killifish are known for their fascinating behaviors. They might jump out of the water to catch bugs, so make sure to have a well-covered tank to keep them safe.

NameGabon Killifish
pH6.5-7.2
Temperature72-77°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size2″
Lifespan2-3 Years

Golden Wonder Killifish/Panchax

Golden Wonder Killifish Care Sheet

With their golden colors, Golden Wonder Panchax add a warm glow to your aquarium. And to set up their habitat, make sure to add plants and open space for them to swim around. When it comes to food, they’re not too demanding; regular fish food and the occasional live snack are on their menu.

Golden Wonder Panchax are active fish that like to move around. Watching them swim is like seeing a dance in the water. Keep their tank comfortable, and you’ll be rewarded with the sight of these golden beauties gliding through your aquarium.

NameGolden Wonder Killifish
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature72-77°F
Tank Size20 Gallons
Size4″
Lifespan4 Years

Lyretail Killifish

Lyretail Killifish Care Sheet

Just like a tiny, vibrant fish that seems like it’s been kissed by the colors of a rainbow. That’s the Lyretail Killifish for you! These fantastic creatures are like living pieces of art in your aquarium. With their long, flowing tail fins resembling delicate lyres, they add a touch of elegance to any tank.

Lyretail Killifish thrive in environments that mimic their natural habitats, such as slow-moving streams and ponds. They enjoy their personal space, so make sure to provide plenty of hiding spots like plants and decorations. When it comes to diet, they’re not too picky; they’ll happily feast on a diet of flakes, pellets, and even live or frozen treats.

NameLyretail Killifish
pH5.5-7.0
Temperature72-80°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size2.5″
Lifespan3 Years

Magnificent Killifish

What It Looks Like

As the name suggests, the Magnificent Killifish is indeed a sight to behold. These fish are like tiny jewels, with their iridescent scales shimmering in the light. Their colors seem to change as they swim, creating a mesmerizing visual experience in your aquarium.

For their optimal well-being, set up a tank with plenty of live plants and gentle filtration. These fish appreciate clean water and thrive in environments with a bit of acidity. Feeding them a mix of high-quality flakes, live foods, and frozen treats will keep their colors popping and their energy levels up.

NameMagnificent Killifish
pH6.5-7.5
Temperature76-82°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size2.5″
Lifespan3-5 Years

Mamou Killifish

What It Looks Like

Meet the Mamou Killifish, a charming little creature known for its unique behaviors. They often mind their own business while exploring their surroundings. They have the ability to make even the most tranquil tank feel lively with their subtle movements and curious nature.

Creating a comfortable, natural environment for Mamou Killifish is key to their well-being. Soft, acidic water, live plants, and a touch of tannins can replicate their native habitats. When it comes to meals, they enjoy a mix of live, frozen, and high-quality dry foods. They’re like the gourmet enthusiasts of the fish world!

NameMamou Killifish
pH5.0-7.0
Temperature71-77°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size2″
Lifespan1-2 Years

Normans Lampeye Killifish

Normans Lampeye Killifish Care Sheets

Imagine having little sparkling lights darting around your tank – that’s the magic of Normans Lampeye Killifish. These fish are like living gems, with their bright, metallic colors illuminating your aquarium. Their captivating appearance makes them an ideal choice for beginners and experienced hobbyists.

To keep these sparkling beauties happy, provide them with a well-planted tank and gentle water flow. Also, Normans Lampeye Killifish are omnivores, so treat them to a mix of flake food, live foods, and frozen delights. Remember, a well-fed fish is a happy fish!

NameNormans Lampeye Killifish
pH6.5-7.0
Temperature73-78°F
Tank Size20 Gallons
Size1.2-1.6″
Lifespan3 Years

Poliaks Killifish

What It Looks Like

Let’s take a closer look at the Poliaks Killifish. These fish are like miniature explorers, always on the lookout for the next adventure. With their vibrant colors and distinctive patterns, they add a splash of excitement to any aquarium they call home.

Creating a suitable environment for Poliaks Killifish will be best done with plenty of hiding spots among live plants and decorations. These fish enjoy a varied diet, so offer them a mix of high-quality flakes, live foods, and frozen treats. Keeping them well-fed and their surroundings engaging will ensure their playful nature shines through.

NamePoliaks Killifish
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature72-80°F
Tank Size15 Gallons
Size2.5″
Lifespan3 Years

Red Chinned Panchax

Red Chinned Panchax Care Sheets

The Red Chinned Panchax captivates with its bold appearance. Sporting a vibrant red chin against an elegant body, this fish steals the spotlight effortlessly. Creating a welcoming space for them entails offering ample hiding spots and mimicking their natural habitat with live plants and gentle filtration. 

Their diet thrives on a mix of high-quality flakes, live foods, and frozen treats, ensuring their captivating colors remain vibrant.

NameRed Chinned Panchax
pH6.0-7.0
Temperature68-81°F
Tank Size20 Gallons
Size1.8″
Lifespan2 Years

Schlesers Longfin Killifish

What It Looks Like

Introducing the Schlesers Longfin Killifish, a true embodiment of elegance. Distinguished by elongated fins that exude sophistication, these fish glide gracefully through the water. To cater to their needs, provide a well-planted tank with a gentle water flow.

A diverse diet with high-quality flakes, live foods, and frozen treats maintains their health and happiness as they showcase their fluid fin movements.

NameSchlesers Longfin Killifish
pH6.0-7.0
Temperature72-78°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size2″
Lifespan2 Years

Splendid Killifish

What It Looks Like

Just like its name, the Splendid Killifish is colorful and eye-catching. They like to hide, so give them spots in the tank. 

Remember that plants and decorations will keep them happy, and they also like to eat different kinds of food, from flakes, live food, and frozen treats.

NameSplendid Killifish
pH6.0-6.5
Temperature71-79°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size2.3″
Lifespan3-5 Years

Steel Blue Lyretail Killifish

Steel Blue Lyretail Killifish Care Sheets

Imagine a fish that shines like steel in the water – that’s the Steel Blue Lyretail Killifish! In their tank, they need places to explore, like plants and decorations. Also, make sure to feed them good food like flakes, live food, and frozen treats to keep their colors bright.

NameSteel Blue Lyretail Killifish
pH6.0-7.2
Temperature72-77°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size2.6″
Lifespan3 Years

Yabassi Lampeye Killifish

What It Looks Like

Yabassi Lampeye Killifish are like little shining stars in your tank. They like hiding, so give them spots to feel safe. Also, they’re happy to eat different foods like flakes, live food, and frozen treats. And for their personality, they’re calm and add a peaceful mood to your tank.

NameYabassi Lampeye Killifish
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature68-77°F
Tank Size20 Gallons
Size2.3″
Lifespan5 Years

Redtail Notho/Gunthers Killifish

Redtail Notho_Gunthers Killifish Care Sheets

Imagine a fish with a bright red tail – that’s the Redtail Notho Killifish! These little swimmers are full of vibrant colors and lively behavior. They feel most comfortable when they have places to hide in the tank, such as among the plants and decorations. 

To keep them in good health, it’s important to provide them with a balanced diet that includes different types of food, like flakes, live treats, and frozen bites.

NameRedtail Notho/Gunthers Killifish
pH7.0-8.0
Temperature72-77°F
Tank Size5 Gallons
Size1.8-2″
Lifespan1-2 Years

Large-Finned Lampeye Killifish

What It Looks Like

Meet the Large-Finned Lampeye Killifish, which stands out for its impressive fins. These fish have a unique appearance, thanks to their sizable fins that catch your eye. To make them feel at home, create an environment with plenty of plants and hiding spots for them to explore. 

Also, feeding them a mix of high-quality flakes, live morsels, and frozen goodies is the way to keep them healthy and thriving.

NameLarge-finned Lampeye Killifish
pH5.8-7.5
Temperature68-77°F
Tank Size15 Gallons
Size2.4″
Lifespan2-3 Years

Blue Gularis

Blue Gularis Killifish Care Sheet

Blue Gularis are like living gems that add a touch of elegance to your tank. They love having places to tuck themselves away, so it’s a good idea to include plants and decorations. 

And to keep their colors bright and their energy up, offer them a variety of food, including flakes, live bites, and frozen treats.

NameBlue Gularis Killifish
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature73-79°F
Tank Size25 Gallons
Size4″
Lifespan5 Years

Red Striped/Red Barred Killifish

Red Striped Killifish Care Sheets

Introducing the Red Striped Killifish, which boasts unique red stripes on its body. These fish find comfort in hiding spots, so be sure to provide them with plenty of hiding places using plants and decorations. 

Red Striped Killifish appreciate a diverse diet consisting of flakes, live snacks, and frozen feasts to maintain their lively and colorful presence.

NameRed Striped Killifish
pH6.5-7.5
Temperature68-79°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size2″
Lifespan3-5 Years

Gardneri Killifish

Gardneri Killifish Care Sheet

Gardneri killifish are another great choice for anyone looking for a bright and colorful (but still peaceful) killifish. If you’re going to keep them in your tank, thanks to their large size, they’re also going to do well with a variety of tank mates!

And again, they’re omnivorous, so give them a mix of live food and blanched vegetables. If that seems like a lot, then you can always use tropical fish flakes as the bulk of their diet!

NameGardneri Killifish
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature65-75°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size2.5″
Lifespan3 Years

Least Killifish

Least Killifish Care Sheet

Least killifish are some of the smallest fish you can add to your tank, which makes them great for tanks as small as 5 gallons! Just make sure you’re adding plenty of hiding places for them and they’re going to thrive!

When it comes to feeding, like most other killifish they’re omnivores, so the majority of their diet should come from tropical fish flakes which can then be supplemented with blanched vegetables and live food.

NameLeast Killifish
pH7.0-8.0
Temperature68-78°F
Tank Size5 Gallons
Size1.2″
Lifespan3 Years

Daisy’s Ricefish

Daisy's Ricefish Care Sheets

Finally, let’s explore Daisy’s Ricefish. These fish are known for their calm and peaceful nature, making them wonderful additions to your aquarium. They feel most secure when they have hiding spots, which can be created using plants and decorations.

Keep them happy and in good health by offering a mix of nourishing flakes, live treats, and frozen goodies.

NameDaisys Ricefish
pH6.5-7.5
Temperature73-81°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size1.6″
Lifespan3-4 Years
Types Of Killifish

How To Setup A Tank For Killifish  

Setting up a beautiful home for your killifish can both be challenging and exciting. So, let’s go through each step of the process, so you can give the best possible care for your Killifish!

Choosing the Right Tank

Begin by picking out a tank. Killifish appreciate some wiggle room, so a tank with a 20-gallon capacity works well. Think wide over tall when considering the shape, as some killifish species prefer swimming across rather than up and down.

Positioning the Tank

The location of your tank matters a lot. To provide a suitable environment for your killifish, place the tank in a room with a stable temperature, away from direct sunlight or drafts.

Installing the Substrate

Now, it’s time for the substrate. Go for sand or fine gravel. Remember to rinse it thoroughly before adding it to the tank to keep the water clear and clean.

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Planting the Tank

Plants offer more than aesthetics. They provide hiding spots and contribute to the overall water quality by absorbing nitrates. Opt for live plants if you can.

Adding Decorations

Creating hiding spots with decorations like caves or driftwood makes your tank feel more like a natural environment for your killifish. Just make sure you leave enough open space for swimming.

Setting up the Filter

An efficient filter is crucial for your killifish’s well-being. This device helps keep the water clean and oxygen-rich, which your fish will love.

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Installing the Heater

Killifish are tropical fish and love warmer water. Install a heater to maintain a water temperature between 72 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Conditioning the Water

After setting up the tank and installing the equipment, it’s time to add water. But, hold off on introducing your fish. You need to treat the water first to make it safe for your killifish.

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Cycling the Tank

Before your fish can move in, you’ll need to cycle the tank. This process involves growing beneficial bacteria in the tank that help neutralize harmful substances like ammonia and nitrites.

Acclimating the Fish

Finally, the exciting part – introducing your killifish to their new home! Make sure to acclimate them to the tank’s water conditions gradually to prevent them from getting a shock.

Testing the Water

Lastly, regularly test the water to make sure it remains suitable for your killifish. Keeping a keen eye on water conditions will help you catch any issues early on.

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What Can Live With Killifish?

Killifish make fascinating additions to your aquarium. But, you may be wondering what other fish can share their environment harmoniously. Here are ten potential tankmates for your killifish and why they make good companions.

Guppies

Guppies are a popular choice because they are peaceful and sociable. Their small size and non-aggressive nature make them compatible with killifish. Additionally, they both thrive in similar water conditions.

Mollies

Mollies are easy-going, adaptable, and can comfortably share a tank with killifish. They are tolerant of a wide range of water conditions, much like the killifish, making tank maintenance easier.

Platies

Platies, with their peaceful temperament, are excellent companions for killifish. They’re active swimmers but not aggressive, maintaining a harmonious balance in the tank. Plus, their vibrant colors can complement the unique patterns of killifish.

Swordtails

Swordtails are known for their friendly and peaceful nature. Their active yet non-aggressive behavior makes them a good choice for a community tank with killifish.

Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras are bottom dwellers, providing a nice contrast to the killifish, which often occupies the middle levels of the tank. They are peaceful, easy to care for, and can help keep your tank clean by eating leftover food.

Neon Tetras

Neon tetra in planted aquarium

Neon Tetras are schooling fish with a peaceful disposition, making them an ideal choice for a mixed-species tank. They add a splash of color and can live comfortably alongside killifish due to similar water and temperature preferences.

Zebra Danios

Zebra Danio/Zebra Fish

Zebra Danios are energetic, hardy, and can comfortably share a tank with killifish. They’re fast swimmers and prefer the upper levels of the tank, providing a nice balance with killifish.

Harlequin Rasboras

Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasboras are a great fit due to their peaceful nature and preference for mid to upper tank levels. They’re not known to bother their tankmates, making them a good match for the comparatively calm killifish.

Cherry Barbs

Cherry Barbs are easy to care for and get along well with killifish. They’re non-aggressive and add a touch of vibrant red to your aquarium, complementing the color variety of killifish.

Ghost Shrimp

If you’d like some diversity in your tank, consider Ghost Shrimp. These tiny creatures can cohabitate well with killifish as they’re peaceful, easy to care for, and will even help clean the tank by consuming algae and waste.

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions people have about killifish.

How Many Species Of Killifsh Are There?

There are about 1,270 species of Killifish that have been identified and categorized. These fish come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and sizes, making the Killifish family incredibly diverse and fascinating for fish enthusiasts.

What Is The Easiest Killifish To Keep?

Among the various types of Killifish, the Gardneri Killifish is often considered one of the easiest to care for. These fish are adaptable and can thrive in a variety of water conditions.

What Is The Most Beautiful Killifish?

Beauty is subjective, but the Aphyosemion australe, commonly known as the Lyretail Killifish, is often celebrated for its stunning appearance. With its vibrant colors and lyre-like tail fins, it’s hard to miss these fish as they gracefully move through the water.

What Is The Biggest Killifish?

The biggest killifish is the gulf killifish (Fundulus grandis). It can grow up to 7 inches (18 cm) long, and are native to the Gulf Coast of the United States, where they live in brackish and marine waters. 

How Many Killifish Should Be Kept Together?

Killifish thrive when they are kept together. A recommended number is at least three killifish, with an ideal ratio of 1 male to 2 females. For smaller tanks, like a 10-gallon tank, you can maintain around 3-4 killifish comfortably.

Are Golden Wonder Killifish Aggressive?

Golden Wonder Killifish (Aplocheilus lineatus) are generally peaceful fish, but they can sometimes exhibit aggressive behavior, especially towards their own kind or other fish with similar body shapes. 

Will Killifish Eat Danios?

Killifish are opportunistic feeders and may eat smaller fish like Danios if given the chance. It’s recommended to keep fish with similar sizes and feeding habits together to avoid any predatory behavior.

Can Neon Tetras Live With Killifish?

Neon Tetras and Killifish can often coexist in the same tank if their needs are met. However, it’s important to consider compatibility in terms of water parameters, tank size, and temperament. Neon Tetras are small and peaceful, while Killifish behavior can vary by type. 

Will Killifish Eat Their Own Eggs?

Some types of Killifish are known to eat their own eggs because of stress, lack of proper hiding spots for eggs, or even a lack of appropriate nutrition.  However, if you give them a safe spot to lay eggs, such as spawning mops or dense plants, they might leave them alone.

Can Killifish Change Their Gender?

Killifish are not known to change their gender like some other fish species. Instead, their gender is usually determined by genetics and remains the same throughout their lives.

How Long Can Killifish Stay Out Of Water?

Not all killifish have the capability to stay out of water, and it varies by type. However, some Killifish, like the mangrove killifish, have an impressive ability to survive outside water. They can live up to two months on dry land, the longest for any fish.

Conclusion

If you’re excited to add a splash of charm to your tank, don’t miss out on the fun of Killifish. These fish are like little artists, painting your tank with their bright colors, fancy patterns, and fun moves. By taking care of them just right and giving them what they like, you’ll create a wonderful aquarium with the happiest Killifish!

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