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Killifish Beginner Care Guide | Get To Know The Killifish

About the Killifish

Killifish come in a wide variety of brilliant, vibrant colors such as blue, green, gold, orange, red, and sometimes silver or Brown. The males typically are much brighter and vibrant than the females or the females depending on which species, the females are typically paler or may be brownish in color.

There are over a thousand different species of killifish out there and most come from small ponds and streams, although there are a few marine species. Sadly many of the species are becoming endangered because of losing their habitats from deforestation and other things that are changing our planet.

Unfortunately, this puts many species of them on the endangered species list. Thanks to the aquarium hobby though these beautiful fish have a chance of surviving.


Killifish tend to be very hardy fish, which can make them an ideal candidate for beginner fish keepers. They can survive in a lot of different types of conditions and because many species can be kept in small tanks of only 20 gallons, they are rising in popularity.

Most species prefer softer more acidic to neutral waters with a pH between 6-7 with a cooler temperature range of between 68-75 degrees.

They tend to be smaller fish with the average killifish being between only 1.5-2 inches, but there are larger species such as the Golden Wonder that gets between 3-4 inches, and the largest species of killifish can get up to six inches long, so even the largest is still pretty small. There are a few types of marine killifish. These killifish do require larger tanks, but they aren't very common, and they will be much more difficult to be able to find.

Many types of killifish do best in a species only tank, although there are a few species that do well in community tanks with peaceful fish.

Killifish can be really great jumpers, so you want to make sure that you have a very tightly fitted lid on your tank. Also keep in mind that killifish generally do not like a lot of bright lights, and they enjoy having places to hide and do best in heavily planted tanks or tanks with lots of décor they can hide in. Many hobbyists will add floating plants to their tanks to help ensure that they will not deal with any harsh lights.

It is also common when breeding killifish to see them kept in smaller three to five-gallon tank with a spawning mop.

Most species are freshwater fish and many pet stores will label them a community fish, although many don't really do well in community tanks.


Killifish are considered insectivores, so they will need to be fed a high-quality high protein diet, and unfortunately, they might not always accept pellets and flakes. Killifish tend to do best with live and frozen foods, so you will want to add in things like brine shrimp, blood worms, tubifex worms, or mysis shrimp.

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