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Maximum size : 6 cm

Bluefin Notho - Nothobranchius rachovii : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Bluefin Notho is a fascinating and strikingly beautiful species of killifish that brings a pop of colour and lively activity to any aquarium. However, to ensure their optimal well-being, this species is best kept in a specialized community. For those who wish to keep more than one male in the same tank, a spacious and heavily decorated aquarium is a must. This will allow rival males to retreat to safety if necessary. Alternatively, a species-only breeding tank with 2 or more females per male is recommended. If tankmates are desired, it is best to keep the Bluefin Notho with other species that enjoy the same softwater conditions, such as Pencilfish, Kuhli Loaches, Corydoras Catfish and Gouramis. However, this species is not suitable for a general community tank. To create an ideal habitat for the Bluefin Notho, it is crucial to have a heavily planted aquarium that includes floating species and plenty of bogwood. Incorporating Catappa leaves into the aquarium can provide numerous benefits for the fish and the overall aquatic environment. The leaves are known for their natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, and they can also help to lower the pH level and soften the water. Furthermore, the leaves release tannins that can give the water a beautiful brownish hue, providing a natural and attractive setting for the fish to display their vibrant colors. Filtration should be efficient but with gentle water movement, and small partial water changes should be carried out regularly. Finally, tight fitting coverslides are a must to prevent this species from jumping out of the tank. The Bluefin Notho is a small, brightly coloured fish that will add a splash of vibrancy to any aquarium. Their scales have a unique iridescence that can shift between deep blues and brighter blues, depending on the angle and lighting. Their fins are also colourful, displaying the same body colouration with contrasting red edging that appears like bands along their body. The females, on the other hand, have a drabber appearance with a dull brownish-yellow colouration and clear fins. Overall, these fish are a true delight to observe in the aquarium.

Bluefin Notho Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Bluefin Notho is relatively easy. The males grow significantly larger and are more vibrant in color, while the females have a more subdued and neutral appearance.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameNothobranchius rachovii
Year Described1926
Other NamesBluefin Nothobranch, Rachovii Killifish
OriginsMozambique South Africa
Max Size6 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan1 -2 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
KH3 - 8
68 - 75
20 - 23.9

Natural Habitat

The Bluefin Notho originates from the beautiful and unique landscape of Beira, Mozambique, and the Pungwe River, as well as the Kruger National Park in South Africa, and the Kwa-Kwa River north of the lower Zambezi delta. These Killifish are well adapted to survive in temporary, water-filled holes, pools, and swamps that are frequently found in lowland floodplains. Their natural habitat provides them with unique challenges that have resulted in their unique and fascinating biology.


In its natural habitat, the Bluefin Notho has an extraordinary life cycle that enables it to survive the seasonal changes of its environment. During the dry season, the adult fish will perish, but not before depositing fertilized eggs into the substrate. These eggs can remain dormant for several months until the rainy season returns, at which point the fry hatch and grow rapidly, reaching sexual maturity in just three weeks. In captivity, breeders sometimes use peat moss to simulate the fish' s natural environment and encourage spawning. Once the breeding process is complete, the peat moss is removed from the tank and stored in a sealed container for several months, periodically being opened to replace the air. When the rainy season returns, the moss is rewetted and the eggs should hatch and develop quickly with appropriate feeding.

Diet & feeding

In their natural habitat, the Bluefin Notho is a micro predator, and as such, they primarily feed on small live or frozen foods such as artemia, chopped bloodworm and daphnia. To promote optimal health and coloration, it is advisable to provide them with a varied diet that includes chopped earthworms and other live foods. While they may accept some dry flake foods, these should not constitute the bulk of their diet.

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