striped killifish Introduction
Small but colorful fish for your aquarium? Killifish is undoubtedly a rarely known gem in the aquarium trade industry. Striped killifish is no ordinary killifish as they have adorable stripes that make them distinctive and attractive in a community tank, not to mention their unique behavior.
Striped killifish is a small fish species largely found in the Chesapeake Bay. They only grow up to 8” so they can fit a 20-gallon aquarium. They can live well in a community aquarium for up to five years.
|Level of care||Easy|
|Appearance||Male has vertical bars while females have horizontal bars. Both have silvery-olive body coloration.|
|Life expectancy||Up to 5 years|
|Size||Up to 8 inches|
|Tank size||20-gallon or larger|
|Shallow water flow with plantation|
|Tank Mates||Kept in pairs or groups for a species tank
Carefully selected tank mates for the community tank
About striped killifish
Striped killifish or fundulus majalis is the member of the family Cyprionodontiadae and they’re actually relatives of those platies, swordtails, guppies, and mollies. The biggest population of wild Striped killifish is in the Chesapeake Bay even though it has been widely bred in captivity and slightly popular among aquarists.
striped killifish Appearance
As one of those egg-laying tooth carps, Striped share similar characteristics with them. killifish has a silvery appearance occupying the sand flats and tidal creeks area. You can identify females to have three horizontal stripes on both sides while the males have up to twenty vertical bars on both sides of their bodies.
When it comes to base color and shape, both male and female Striped killifish are generally uniform. You can expect them to have silvery-olive coloration and a slender body that houses long-pointed snouts. Aquarists can simply use the bar appearance to differentiate male and female Striped killifish.
The egg-laying fish nature of killifish is somehow different from other fish species. It’s also interesting to know the fact that striped killifish or killifish, in general, can exist and evolve in such a warm environment. They have different reproduction systems than their relatives we’ve mentioned previously.
killifish typically live in the swampy area with a water environment and trees that explain how they’re largely found in the Chesapeake Bay. They can either live in swamps, pools, or streams.
While it may vary for where they’re actually found, there is a specific natural environment for killifish to live well. They prefer subdued lighting with a water temperature of 20-23C. The floating plants, whenever available, would be the main target for the females to lay eggs when spawning that can be replicated in captivity.
killifish inhabit the shallow streams and cooler temperatures whenever possible. These also explain how Striped killifish become the bottom dweller even though they may lay the eggs in the floating plants you’ve set up in the aquarium.
killifish is a peaceful species just like other killifishes that can get along with its relative species in a community tank. However, replicating the shallow, slow-moving, and shady natural environment is very important if you want to keep Striped killifish in your tank.
In general, killifish require generic considerations when they’re kept in captivity. However, you’d need to carefully choose the tank mates and decoration items. Avoid hazardous installation when growing and keeping Striped killifish in the aquarium environment.
For example, you should avoid the coarse, sharped edged gravel or substrates for the tank. Since they’re the bottom dwellers, Striped killifish may scratch themselves with those materials. You need to use fine sands or substrates in the tank for sure.
striped killifish Caring and Tank Guide
When kept in captivity, killifish should be introduced to aquarium environments that replicate and preserve their natural environment as much as possible. Since Striped killifish is considerably less popular than other killifishes, you may find limited information but here you can follow our general guide below.
It should be noted that your killifish could have been captive-bred specimens that may be more adaptable to a wider range of water conditions. Still, we can work on the ideal water parameters to help Striped killifish thrive in the tank environment well and have a longer lifespan.
killifish can thrive in general freshwater conditions but they could be sensitive to extreme water changes. You can maintain a pH value of 6.0 to 7.0 and the water temperature within the range of 68° and 75°.
Keep the water hardness in the range of 120 ppm to 160 ppm for the best possible water condition in the tank with killifish.
At this point, a reliable thermostat-equipped feature would be an essential investment for Striped killifish.
With this tool, you can keep the proper temperature in the tank throughout time. Robust filtration is also crucial but it must be followed by partial water changes that you should do per week(10%) or two weeks(25%).
Make use of a siphon vacuum gravel cleaner or aquarium water changer to improve the water quality of the Striped killifish tank.
A water conditioner would be a great boost to ensure your tap water source is eligible for a freshwater environment. With proper water conditions, you can maintain the well-being of killifish and allow them to live longer.
killifish are small fish species that can live well in 5-gallon or 10-gallon species tanks if you keep a small group.
However, you may need a 20-gallon or larger tank if it’s for a community tank or if you want to keep larger groups of killifish. The setup would be different for Striped Killifish species and community tanks.
The decoration can involve Java moss, fern, cryptocorynes, driftwood, and plants. Floating plants would be necessary as well as the tight-fitting lid because Striped killifish could be a great jumper. Keep the subdued lighting environment for this killifish so they won’t be stressed out.
It’s better to use low-powered filtration to keep air and water low and shallow just like killifish’s natural environment.
Sponge filters or HOB is advisable to create the ideal water and airflow for Striped killifish. On the other hand, you can support this environment with long rectangular fish tanks whether you’re using a 10-gallon or 20-gallon.
Larger tank is definitely recommended as you need to provide more space for male’s territory. This way, you can prevent them from quarreling with each other in the species and community tank. If this is your first time to keep Striped killifish, you better invest in larger tank.
striped killifish Tankmates
Like most Killifish, Striped killifish is fairly peaceful when kept in species and community tanks. However, male killifish can be territorial towards its kind for some reasons. Generally speaking, setting up a community aquarium for this killifish would involve more factors to consider.
Even though killifish can potentially live peacefully in the community tank, species selection should be your concern. Consult killifish experts nearby or in online forums for insights. Always do a thorough research before adding other species into the community tank with Striped killifish in it.
If you really want to set a community tank for your killifish population, these are some species you may want to consider:
- Dwarf Cichlids
- Small Loricariids
Still, you need to avoid larger and/or aggressive species to live together with Striped killifish in the community tank. Boisterous fishes are also ones you better avoid to add to the tank.
Striped killifish Food
killifish is a carnivore species and they share the same diet with other killifishes. You can find then accepting baby brine shrimp nauplii, mysis shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, and mosquito larvae. However, they’d likely reject your dry food offers but can give them a shot because there are also success stories.
You can also use flakes and treats to feed Striped killifish and see whether or not they accept your offers. Generally speaking, you better feed your Striped killifish with varied foods like previously mentioned. Ensure they have good quality and the proper size so your fish easily consumes them.
The ideal frequency of feeding is twice a day and you should never overfeed them. The feeding time shouldn’t be more than two minutes per session. Please immediately stop feeding if they’ve stopped eating because uneaten foods can contaminate and reduce the water quality in the tank.
Striped killifish Breeding guideline
Breeding Striped killifish is somewhere between easy to difficult but you can use this general guideline. First of all, you’d need to use a separate breeding tank to breed Striped killifish in captivity. Forget about attempting them in the species or community tank.
Again, the natural environmental approach is the winner if you want to have the fry from your Striped killifish in the tank. The breeding tank would be better to have warmer water that eases and speeds up the hatching.
In the breeding tank, females would lay their eggs so the male can fertilize them. They may bury their eggs in the substrate as a form of depositing. Once the spawning has been successful, the eggs hatch within 12 – 41 days depending on the water conditions and other seasons.
Since Striped killifish can spawn multiple times per year once they reach two years old and become mature. This way, you can expect more fry in your tank but you should also be ready with the spawning procedure.