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  • Aplocheilus Lineatus (Striped Panchax, Golden Wonder Killifish)



    Quick Ref.
    Species: Aplocheilus Lineatus
    Geo. Location: India, Sri-Lanka
    PH: 6.5 - 7.5
    Temperature: 68 - 82F
    Water Hardness: 5 - 20dh
    Size: 4.5"
    Diet: Live, Dry, Frozen foods
    Difficulty: 2

    Photo Credit: Andrzej Zabawski
    Notes: First described by Valenciennes in 1846, Aplocheilus Lineatus is one of the easiest killifish to keep in aquariums. Their undemanding water conditions and their ease of breeding make them one of the favorite killies among beginners.
    Different varieties of Aplocheilus Lineatus can be observed. The first ones, which are also the ones found in the wild, have a greenish/yellow body with red highlights on the front and the sides of the body. Females have seven dark vertical stripes going from their mid-body to the base of their tail. The second variety is a strain developed in aquarium: Aplocheilus Lineatus Gold (Golden Wonder Killifish). This variety owns much more yellow than its natural cousin. Red highlights can sometimes be found on their fins. The last variety is a mix between the two with a red dominant.
    Aplocheilus Lineatus, also sometimes called Striped Panchax or Panchax Lineatus, is a non-annual very hardy killifish. Kept in proper conditions, it can live up to 4 years. In the wild, this fish is found in the still and slow moving waters (streams, reservoirs, rivers) of India and Sri-Lanka. Because it is an avid mosquito eater, it is used to control the mosquito population in India.
    In captivity, the volume of their tank should be at least 10 gallons. Planted tanks with floating plants are recommended as these fish swim close to the surface. Floating plants are used to hide in. Roots and tall plants can also be added to the tank. Water quality is not really important to raise this fish properly. A somewhat soft and slightly acidic water will do perfectly. Slow moving waters are usually better as it recreates their natural habitat. The tank should be covered as Aplocheilus Lineatus is a great jumper.
    Aplocheilus Lineatus diet is not too strict either. Live and dry foods are usually warmly welcomed. It is however better to feed them floating foods as they spend most of their time right under the surface of the water. Live food will help them to develop and keep their best colors. It is also recommended to feed them live food when conditioning them for breeding.
    Aplocheilus Lineatus can be kept in specialized as well as community tank. If kept in community, one will be careful not to add it to a tank with smaller fish or fish that could be swallowed by them like small Tetras (neon, cardinals…) as they would eat them easily. Other killifish and bigger fish can be kept in the same tank. Aplocheilus Lineatus is sometimes aggressive towards fish of the same species. In captivity it is recommended to keep them in pair. Several pairs should not be kept together if the tank is not large enough as they will become aggressive towards each others.
    A great website is dedicated to this species with tons of info on how to keep and breed it. Click here to learn more.

    Breeding: Breeding Aplocheilus Lineatus is easy and can be quite rewarding. Sexual diphormism is obvious. Males are usually much more colorful than their counterparts. They also have longer fins. Natural females are more grayish with seven vertical bars going from their mid-body to the base of their tail. Female Golden wonders are usually grey with gold reflections and no vertical bars.
    Aplocheilus Lineatus are plant spawning fish. They will spawn in community tank but specialized breeding tanks should be used for better results. If trying to spawn them in a community tank, the eggs will often be lost to hungry parents of other tank mates.
    Two very similar methods can be used to breed Aplocheilus Lineatus in breeding tanks. The first one is to use a small tank (approx 10 gallons) that will not be filled to the surface. Java moss as well as other bushy plants should be provided. Keep the tank cover at all times. No lights or gravel should be added. Water will be soft and slightly acidic and water temperature will average 76F. Condition both the male and the females (1 to 2 ratio) with live foods for several days. After a week or two, introduce both males and females in the established breeding tank. In the morning, the male will start its parade by displaying its best colors to impress the female. The female will then look for a good spot to spawn on (Java Moss). As Everett Talavera explains on his website, the breeding period can last up to 3 weeks with eggs being laid every day (1 to 3 eggs). Eggs must be collected everyday and put in another tank or small recipient (Beta bowl…). The eggs will hatch after 12 to 14 days. Start feeding the newly born fry with artemias or daphnias. The second method involves the exact same conditions except an artificial mop is used instead of the Java Moss. This mop can be created with synthetic yarn. Two mops will be added to the bare tank and the eggs will be removed by the fish keeper every day from the mops. Although the eggs are quite solid, it is recommended to be extremely careful when removing them from the yarn strands. These two methods are explained in details here. The eggs are quite big (1.5 to 2 millimeters).
    Sexual maturity is reached after 4 months or 3 inches.

    Contacts pierre@fishandtips.com