Tim's Tropical Fish






Garneri P82 Killifish

Danios & Killis

Gardneri P82 Killifish Fundulopanchax gardneri

Thanks to Lemuel Martinez ("lemuelpr" in our forum ) from Puerto Rico for the following information:

Killis are often referred as annuals fish, because some species live in waters that run dry. Before dying, they leave their eggs to re spawn as soon there's water again. But make no mistake, they die only because water runs out. In our tank conditions they will live more than that.  Like any other fish out there, there are many species of them that are not annuals and have the same colorful characteristics. And guess what, some can kept by beginners! So lets start.

The American Killifish Association (AKA) separate Killis in 5 groups:

  1. Aphyosemion (not annuals, many suited for beginners).

  2. Fundulopanchax (not annuals, many suited for beginners).

  3. Epiplatys (not annuals, many suited for beginners) these ones are surface fishes.

  4. South American Annuals (Annuals).

  5. Nothobranchius (Annuals) some say they are the most beautiful fish on Earth.

This fish requires little space (pairs are kept in 5 to 10 gallon tanks), but this is solely used because of breeding, not because they are incompatible with normal fishes. They require that the tank has a filtration system or at a minimum, an air pump. Make sure the tank is covered as they are good jumpers.  If you are looking to keep a small tank with gorgeous fish, this would be your choice. Females are not as beautiful. Killis are carnivores, but will eat anything. Their color will fade a lot if fed only with flakes. Most people recommend to feed them with different kinds of food and live food will benefit them the most.

The only compatibility problem is that they will eat smaller fishes (that's why most people have the smaller Killis  and males are aggressive upon males of the same species. Most Killis have a small mouth so shouldn't be a major problem. One excellent idea would be having a pair of Killis in a 10 or 20 gallon tank, heavily planted. You can have them reproduce there, specially many species of Aphyosemion and such species as Epiplatys annulatus. This species, like some others, don't require to their eggs to be removed from water. Perfect!

Water parameters, such as pH and salinity depends on each Killi, so a little more research is needed before buying. Be aware that some people sell the eggs instead of fish. Eggs don't always hatch easily, so try the fish first. Eggs are less expensive, but not necessarily a better deal. Killis are rare in pet shops, but every now and then are available. So this can help you a little if suddenly you find yourself in the store with a Killi, believe me, they are hard to resist. Most are hard, strong fish, but if you plan to have them for years to come, like 5 or more years, you will have to reproduce them (anyway, reproducing fish is never a bad idea, especially Killis). Hope this help.

Scientific Name: Fundulopanchax gardneri
Family: Cyprinid
Temperature: 22 - 25 C; 72 - 77 F
pH: 6.0 - 7.0
Size: 6.5 cm; 2 inches
Life Span: years
Breeding: Easy, Egglayer


Angelfish, Corydoras, Danios, Discus, Dwarf Gouramis, Hatchetfish, Livebearers, Plecos, smaller Tetras