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Fundulopanchax gardneri
Gardneri Killifish

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Gardneri Killifish - Fundulopanchax gardneri

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gardneri1.jpg (21kb)
Photo Credit: Kjell Nilsson

Name: Fundulopanchax gardneri
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: West Africa
6 cm 40 L 6.7 24C


This Killifish is a beautifully colourful fish that prefers subdued lighting in a well planted, uncrowded tank, preferably with black water extract. Given the right conditions, adult pairs will readily breed. The courtship is fascinating to watch, since the pair swim around as if they are one fish, with the male swimming in contact with the female. Once aquainted, the male will shimmy against the female by plants and rocks in the tank, resulting in a few eggs being layed each day. The eggs take around two weeks to hatch. The parents wont eat their own eggs. Fry when born will take small mysis (brine shrimp). Beware of putting adult pairs in community tanks. The ones I owned were predatory. They would hover in the water and gently drift towards another fish. When they got within a few centimeters of the fish, they would suddenly lunge toward it and bite a chunk out of the fishs tail fin. This resulted in the loss of a Guppy, before they were moved into a species tank. Having said that, Killifish fry that have been raised with other fish seem OK.

Contributed by Karl Pickering

Never mix 2 males or else they'll end up like siamese fighting fish!

Contributed by Budi Prasodjo


TANK SETUP: Bare 60 cm tank, 25C, dark, box filter containing filter wool and peat to soften the water. One spawning mop placed on the bottom of the tank.

BREEDING STOCK: Initially I placed two adult males and two adult females into this tank however I had to remove one of the males due to fighting. He died a short time later. I fed the fish lots of frozen blood worm. The male constantly displayed to the females.

EGG SEPARATION: On the second day I removed the spawning mop and found it to be covered in small round eggs. Took some washed peat and dipped it in water. I then squeezed it until it was almost dry and placed it into a plastic aquarium bag. I removed the eggs from the mop with damp fingers and placed them into the bag of damp peat. I repeated this for several more days and then sealed the bag, wrapped it in newspaper and left it on top of a tank to stay warm.

HATCHING FRY: Three weeks later the eggs were ready to put to water. I removed the adults from the spawning tank (who had laid eggs all over the place but I had no where to put them). I dropped all the peat and eggs into the spawning tank where it settled to the bottom. The next day there were small fry swimming about.

RAISING FRY: The fry were fed on a culture of micro worms and vinegar eels until they were large enough to take finely minced beef heart. All the eggs from the peat hatched almost immediately but subsequently all the other eggs in the spawning tank hatched. I isolated the larger fish into mesh covered boxes suspended in the water to prevent them from eating the smaller fish. All the fish are now isolated in the mesh box and the tank is being used to spawn other fish. After one month the young males developed colour and started to fight. After three months the fish started trying to breed.


I tried to keep this fish with smaller and bigger fish, but he still managed to rip up all my fish. I got a pair for 25 dollars and unfortunately the female died right when I released her from the bag. I recommend keeping these fish in species tanks and with few males. Do not mix this fish with most cichlids unless you have a decent sized tank or they will fight to the death. These are incredibly fast fish, so don't keep them with fish with long fins because they tend to move very slowly.

Contributed by Dylan

Fundulopanchax gardneri are very hardy fish that are seldom seen in fish shops. It is an African killifish that lives in small pools and streams. Since these habitats have often been geographically isolated for long periods of time, the individual populations have often acquired specific color patterns and breeding characteristics. Most can be spawned on mops with the eggs water incubated for about 14 days. Other fish come from annual pools and streams that dry up, and thus are annual fish. Their eggs do best incubated on damp peat moss for 6-8 weeks. I have found the P-82 location to be the most prolific for me. My female laid 50 eggs a day with a hatch rate of over 90%. The fry can take baby brine shrimp immediately, and grindal worms when they reach 1 cm. They can be trained to take frozen and dry foods, but breed best if given live foods. When raised in groups, they are not particularly belligerent toward each other, or other similar sized fish

Contributed by Philip Eversman

I bought a couple one week ago without research, and placed them in my 280 L planted community tank. After 2 days I found a dead guppy without tail and fins, not knowing what happened. After a few more days a second guppy is dead with the same tailless and finless state. Then I saw both the killifishes stalking another guppy, that became so stressed he froze at the bottom while they took turns nipping at the poor thing. The hiding places made it impossible to catch the 2 killifishes, so instead I transferred all the guppies to another tank.

Contributed by Aris Baluyut

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