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Golden Wonder Killifish Care, Tank Setup, Mates & More

Do you want to add more peaceful fish to your community tank?

A golden wonder killifish is a great option for home aquarists not only because of its beauty but also because of its versatility in controlling mosquito populations in your home.

They are middle-to-top dwellers. And they often come to the surface to eat meaty foods, including mosquitoes.

They can significantly reduce mosquito populations. Many folks are glad to add this to their aquarium since they can get rid of mosquitos for good.

These fish are stunning. You will be able to enjoy the entertainment from them every time you look at the aquarium.

Species Overview

Level of CareEasy to moderate
Appearanceelongated and the snout is up-turned, brown to bronze coloration
Life Expectancy4 years  
SizeUp to 5 inches or 13 cm  
Tank Size10 gallons or 40 liters for every pair of fish  
Tank EnvironmentAdding the dark substrate to a dimly lit aquarium
Tank MatesCory Cats, Plecos and peaceful Cichlids

The golden wonder killifish (Scientific name: Aplocheilus Lineatus) is a popular species distributed in many Asian countries. It originated in India & South Asia. Cared for in healthy tanks, they can have a long lifespan of up to 4 years.


In their wild habitat, each specimen can reach up to 4 inches or 10 cm.

The color pattern of this fish is so amazing that the eyes will easily turn to it every time they dart around.

The specimens have a bronze color with some golden spark scales. On their backs, the color is black combined with dark vertical stripes.


The golden wonder killifish is pretty popular from one country to another. The good thing here is that you can see the breeders offering the particular fish in their captivities.

Once you browse online, you will easily find the result in no time. It is not hard to find local aquarium businesses that offer this particular species.

There are other variations as well, which have different tails and colorations.

If you have ever heard the stories, many people consider killifish to be difficult to take care of for beginners.

Well, it is true for some killifish species. But this proposition is not relevant to golden wonder killifish. On the contrary, this species is hardy, friendly, and easy to care for.

It is a great idea to keep them in your home aquarium regardless of your experience level. If you have just started as an aquarist hobbyist, you don’t need to worry since the golden wonder killifish is easy to maintain and care for.

These fish are commonly peaceful. But if they are placed in a worse environment, they can be aggressive and difficult to handle.

They are predatory fish. So, they will tend to be threats to the smaller fish in your community tank.

Natural Habitat

The golden wonder killifish fish come from Sri Lanka and Peninsular India. They are also called Malabar Killi, Piki and Striped Panchax.

They usually flock to the streams and reservoirs, plains, rivers, brackish water, as well as fields. They are used to living in slow-moving water. In India, the locals breed them to help them to control mosquitoes.

They live at the bottom, midwater, and near the surface. They are fun and explorative creatures. Since they live in those multiple areas, scientists assign them as benthopelagic species. They are not migrating from one place to another.


It is imperative to know that they are on the IUCN Red List: LC-Least Concern. The distribution of fish is pretty common nowadays.

But in some areas, experts and concerned citizens have been warning about the declining populations due to the popularity of adopting the community tank.

But some areas in different countries might restrict the captivity of the fish. If you are not sure about the availability of the fish in your area, you could talk to your local authorities before proceeding.

Your golden wonder killifish fish are very easy to take care of in your home aquarium. They are hardy fish and very adaptable to the new environment of your tank.

They are flexible and adaptable. It is easy to feed them and treat them from top to bottom.

Golden wonder killi looking at camera

Golden Wonder Killifish Care & Tank Requirements

The best way to care for and maintain these fish to the max is by mimicking the natural condition of the habitat and implementing the characteristics into your community tank.

As mentioned, they are hardy fish. They can be flexible with the changes in the water conditions. But the fluctuations can be very bad for their health.

Just like other fish, they deserve to live in pristine water. Every two weeks, you will want to change the water at least 30% to keep it in pristine condition and to improve its wellness and life expectancy.

Tank Setup

These hardy species spend most of their time at the top of the aquarium. The minimum tank size for the golden wonder killifish fish is 20 gallons per small group of fish. You will want to provide great filter quality and conduct regular changes.

To improve the lives of your fish, you could mimic natural habitats like streams, lakes, and swamps. You can keep them in the freshwater community tank, or even the brackish tank.

If you want to create a brackish environment, you could add 2 to 3 teaspoons of salt to every 2,5 gallons of water.


The tanks that simulate the natural habitat of the fish can be a great option for your fish to live in. Consider adding a dark substrate to a dimly lit aquarium.

You could also add floating plants to provide the fish with spots for hiding and lurking. Besides the floating plants, you could also add tall plants to your aquarium. The substrate type is small gravel.

Water Parameters

It is crucial to maintain good water parameters so that all of the fish will survive and thrive for a long time. The temperature should be between 72 and 77° Fahrenheit.

The pH level should be 6 to 7.5. Meanwhile, the hardness ranges from five to twenty dGH. They usually live in the slow current water territory. So, you will want to keep it that way in your aquarium.

The water current should be slow enough so that they will have peace of mind when doing their activities. In this case, you could consider using a canister filter instead of other types.

These species will spend most of their time at the top part of the aquarium, near the surface. Consider providing a tight-fitting lid to prevent the fish from getting out after jumping. They seldom jump.

Tank Mates

The golden wonder killifish fish are usually indifferent when there are other species as their tank mates in the aquarium. But things will get pretty messy when you add smaller fish to the tank. The smaller-sized fish are considered their prey.

But there’s a thing when you keep them in a group in your aquarium. Adults tend to get territorial, so it is not surprising to see them brawling.

But it will only happen if you have too large a group. In a small to a moderate-sized aquarium, you will want to keep only one group of at least four. If you want to add more fish to your community tank, consider expanding the size of your aquarium to a larger one.

Don’t keep these fish with smaller species. Even though you tag the same-sized fish, you must monitor them all. If you notice the signs of bullying or harassment, consider separating them into different tanks as soon as possible.

Here are some ideal tank mates:

Food & Diet

Female striped panchax feeding

These fish are carnivores. In their natural habitat, they feed on insects, small crustaceans, as well as river worms. You can add live food to your aquarium. In captivity, you can give them flakes, pellets, and dried foods. Prepare a good mix of foods so that the nutrient intake is full.

Breeding Guidelines

It is easy to breed your golden wonder killifish in captivity. All you need to do is to mimic the conditions of the tank just like in a natural habitat.

The females will lay their eggs on the floating vegetation. It takes two weeks to hatch.

The fry that is big enough can be fed brine shrimp.