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Maximum size : 6 cm

Christys Killifish - Aphyosemion christyi : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Christy's Lyretail Killifish is a stunning, peaceful, but somewhat shy fish. In an aquarium, these Killis are suitable for both beginners and advanced hobbyists. However, they are not seasonal fish and can be challenging to maintain. In a species-only aquarium, Christy's Lyretail Killifish would thrive, but you can keep them with other fish if you do your research first. In the general community aquarium, they are not recommended since they can be aggressive with small, slow-moving fish and have a surprisingly large mouths. It is also known that Killifish can be aggressive towards each other, so make sure you provide enough space and hiding places for them to remain together as a group. Dwarf Cichlids, Dwarf Gouramis and Corydoras would be suitable tankmates, along with smaller Barbs, Tetras, Rasboras and Plecos. In order to ensure that these fish are not outcompeted for food, it is best to avoid housing them with species that are much more significant, aggressive, or boisterous. Soft water aquariums with plants and bogwood are best for maintaining Christy's Lyretail Killifish. To simulate the slow-moving waters that these fish inhabit in the wild, it would be best to use peat filtration and have gentle water movement. Additionally, these fish will benefit from some surface cover from floating plants, and you should ensure your aquarium has a tight-fitting lid since they are excellent jumpers. Christy's Lyretail Killifish males have dark silvery bluish-green bodies and fins, except for the pelvic fins that are pale yellow. Also, the males' bodies, faces, and fins are covered with red spots. Moreover, the dorsal and caudal fins are edged with thick red lines. The females, on the other hand, have silvery blue bodies with very few red spots, making them appear much lighter than males. The females also have red edging on their dorsal and caudal fins, but lack the spot patterning on their other fins and faces.

Christys Killifish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Christy's Lyretail Killifish can be distinguished between the male and female very easily. The dorsal, anal, and caudal fins of males are bolder, longer, and more colourful than those of females. Females, however, are paler and lack the patterning of their male counterparts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameAphyosemion christyi
Year Described1915
Other NamesNone
OriginsDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Max Size6 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 7.5
GH5 - 15
72 - 79
22.2 - 26.1

Natural habitat

Christy's Lyretail Killifish are endemic to the Lindi and Ituri Rivers in Africa's Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the forested savannah, these fish reside in weedy and shallow parts of brooks, streams, pools, and swamps.

How to breed the Christys Killifish

The Christy's Lyretail Killifish is relatively easy to breed. A pair of fish can be spawned quickly in an aquarium. Breeding it in trios is recommended, but yields tend to be lower, probably because some of the eggs are consumed by the fish that are not spawning. It is a good idea to use a small, air-driven sponge filter to prevent stagnation in killifish breeding setups. There should be a slight acidity in the water, as well as a slight increase in temperature. The tank should be kept unlit, and peat filtration should be utilized. The fish should be fed a variety of frozen and live foods, and the sexes should be separated in separate conditioning tanks; then, place the best male and fattest female in the spawning tank. Females will be able to recover between spawnings using this method. The Killifish deposit their eggs either in clumps of vegetation or on the substrate. If water conditions are right and the fish are well conditioned, spawning should exhibit no specific problems. Ten to twenty eggs are usually deposited daily for around two weeks. The eggs can be left in the aquarium to hatch with their parents; however, some may get eaten, so it is recommended that you remove them gently as soon as you notice them if you want a higher fry yield. The spawning process is challenging for the fish, especially females, so only allow breeding pairs to spawn for about a week before returning them to the conditioning tank. Leaving the fish for too long can cause them to become weak and tired. Eggs can be incubated in water or on damp peat moss in a small container once removed. When eggs are kept in water, they are less likely to have fungus, although you should still remove them as soon as you notice them. If you plan to incubate the eggs in water, you can transfer them to a small aquarium or a container containing water from the spawning tank. Maintaining the condition of the eggs is made easier by adding a few drops of methylene blue. Since the eggs are susceptible to light, you will need to check the eggs daily for fungus eggs, which you should remove with a pipette and keep the aquarium or container under darkness. Temperature will determine how long it takes for the eggs to hatch. If incubating on peat moss, place the container in a warm, dark place and leave it for 18 days, after which the eggs will be ready to hatch. It is a good idea to label each container with the date, hatching date, species, and the number of eggs if you are spawning a variety of offspring. The wetting of the eggs after 18 days usually induces hatching by placing them in the raising aquarium. You can use a piece of airline or straw to blow gently into the water if this is unsuccessful. It would be best if you initially fed the fry infusoria because they are tiny. In the case of peat moss incubation, the rearing tank can be 'seeded' with green water or liquifry a few days before hatching. Alternatively, add small amounts as required. It takes around two days for them to be able to eat microworms or baby brine shrimp, after which you can introduce them to larger live and frozen varieties about two weeks later. Initially, keep the water very shallow, but as they grow, you can raise the level. Since the fry are very susceptible to velvet disease, water quality in the rearing tank must be carefully monitored. The best condition and growth can be achieved with small water changes every couple of days.

Diet & feeding

In the home aquarium, Christy's Lyretail Killifish will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements. Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide other benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish. You should note that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages. This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

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