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Aphyosemion australe
Lyretail Killifish

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Lyretail Killifish - Aphyosemion australe

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Aphyosemion_australe_1.jpg (23kb)
Photo Credit: André Carletto

Name: Aphyosemion australe
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: West Africa
6 cm 40 L 6.5 26°C


The Lyretail is a brightly coloured, small and peaceful fish. With a lifespan of three years it is one of the longer living killifish. The elaborate fin extensions are only exhibited in males. Females lack the fin extensions and are less colourful. There are both natural and aquarium-created colour varieties of this fish. These fish will thrive if the conditions for them are to their liking. The substrate should be dark, and contain some peat (use peat made for aquarium use only!). The peat will make the water tannin stained but if you do not want peat in your substrate then put some peat in-between two layers of another medium or use some blackwater extract. The water should not be turbulent and the tank should be heavily planted. Lighting should be subdued. This fish should be kept with other peaceful fish only.

Contributed byNiall Richardson

They there a nice fish. They should only be kept with their own type though, it is not recommended to put them in a community tank, as they will be very shy at feeding time and get undernourished. Plus they prefer a smaller space...about a 20 liters for breeding and a highly planted 40 liters is OK for viewing. They like dark substrate and subdued lighting, or a lot of duckweed to shade the bottom, and yes it is good to keep peat in the water.

Contributed byBarton

Very pretty fish to keep. They are also very lively and reactive. I agree that although they mix and swim around, they are very easily frigthened and easily starve to death. Also, they like to jump, do not be surprised if you see them dead on the floor the very next day if you leave your tank uncovered (happened to me). In Singapore, the influx of killifish started 1.5 years back.

Contributed by Kok Chye

Gorgeous fishes, but in my experience they are not quite peaceful as I read them to be. Mine has chased another killi to death and is always chasing new tank mates around. Easy to care for though, these little ones love live food. Sometimes I feed him small spiders I find in my room and he just gobbles them down. They are most at home in heavily planted tanks (like my 150 L) and I am very happy with it (although it's a bit fierce).

Contributed by Tan

Beautful little fish, best kept in single pairs. They are easy to feed and seem to relish blood worm, live brine shrimp, blanched pea. Be aware of adding them to a community tank. Mine took chunks out of the tails of other slow moving fish, particularly guppies, so I've had to move them to a species tank. The male became quite territorial as well. Ready breeders and, providing you give them a varied diet and planted tank, they will normally breed.

Contributed by Karl Pickering

Everyone who keeps killies ought to have a pair of these fish. Like guppies, only the male is attractive, but the gold variety features gold females too. The fish do well in very small tanks as long as they are covered, since all killies are jumpers. These fish spawn in yarn mops; the eggs are hard shelled and can be easily handled. I used a mix of acriflavine and methylene blue to incubate them in a petri dish. The fry are tiny and need baby brine shrimp for at least two weeks. Adults eat frozen brine. Few killies accept flake food. Australe has a tendancy to hatch prematurely. The fry has a hudge yolk sack and can start feeding when it is free swimming. One nice thing about gold australe is the fry can be mixed with other killie fry. One can always tell which fish are gold australe - they are the gold ones.

Contributed by Roger Sieloff

I raised thousands of these beautiful little fishes in a 20 L tank with a thin covering of gravel on the bottom, a small box filter and lots of floating watersprite. I didn't have much luck though, until I began to neglect the tank cleanliness. When I kept the tank too clean, few eggs were produced and they were sterile. I never saw any fry. Once I quit cleaning the tank daily, and let water changes go to about 8 L once a week, I started finding eggs plastered to every bit of floating greenery. Before long, the plant life was full of fry from newly hatched to young adults. Most days I'd put a dropperful of newly hatched brine shrimp for the smallest fry and a few flakes of high quality flake food for the adults and these proved to be one of the most prolific species I ever raised.

Contributed by Frank Louden

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