Max Size: 3.5cm

Clown Killifish (Epiplatys annulatus)

Clown Killifish are small, colourful and peaceful community fish that thrive in nano or planted aquariums. However, these fish are pretty timid, so keeping them in larger groups would be better as they will display much more exciting behaviours.

Clown Killifish look much better in a heavily planted set-up or a natural-style arrangement containing a sandy substrate plus some driftwood branches and roots. The addition of dried leaves such as Indian Almond or beech would further emphasise the natural feel and offer additional cover for the fish.

Clown Killifish get on fine with other peaceful species; however, they are not suitable for the community aquarium due to their small size and somewhat specialised demands.

On the other hand, small Tetras make good tankmates, as do most similarly-sized, quiet species that enjoy similar conditions, such as smaller Cyprinids, Dwarf Gouramis, Catfish and Loaches. These fish can also be a suitable companion for many smaller Cichlid species.

These Killifish do better under reasonably dim lighting; however, you can add aquatic plants that can survive under these conditions, such as Taxiphyllum, Anubias or Microsorum. These fish will also appreciate some floating vegetation.

Clown Killifish have several subtle colour and pattern variations depending on where they came from, especially in the unpaired fins. They have a torpedo-shaped, elongated body with an upside-down mouth and a round head. The natural colour of these fish is usually cream coloured, with four thick, vertical, black bands along the flanks that start just behind the head and a bright spot on top of the head between their bright blue eyes.

The dorsal fin begins just before the end of the anal fin and ends rather far back on the body. They have a spade-shaped caudal fin with elongated centre rays. The rays can be as long as the rest of the caudal rays. The anal-fin may or may not have a red margin situated away from the centre of the body, while in some individuals, the dorsal and anal fins can be orange or yellow.

Clown Killifish (Epiplatys annulatus) Video

Clown Killifish (Epiplatys annulatus) Freshwater Aquarium Fish Species Profile & Care Guide


Clown Killifish
Clown Killifish
Clown Killifish
Clown Killifish
Clown Killifish Sparring
Clown Killifish
Clown Killifish
Quick Facts
Scientific NameEpiplatys annulatus
Other NamesBanded Panchax, Rocket Killifish
OriginsGuinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone
Aquarium LevelTop
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan2 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.0 - 7.0
GH0 - 5
TDS18 -143
68 - 79℉
20 - 26.1℃


In the home aquarium, the Clown 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 additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted 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.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively straightforward to differentiate males from females. The male's anal fins can be red, blue, red outlined in blue or blue outlined in red; furthermore, the ventral fins can be either bright red, bright orange, pale red or clear.

In contrast, the females are slightly smaller, have less developed fin extensions and are less coloured. Most females have transparent caudal and dorsal fins and have faint red or yellow coloured extended rays throughout their length, and their ventral and anal fins are sometimes transparent.

Other Killifish of interest

American Flagfish(Jordanella floridae)
Blackfin Pearl Killifish(Austrolebias nigripinnis)
Blue Striped Rivulus Killifish(Rivulus Xiphidius, Laimosemion xiphidius)
Bluefin Killifish(Lucania goodei)
Bluefin Notho(Nothobranchius rachovii)
Chevaliers Epiplatys Killifish(Epiplatys chevalieri)
View all Killifish
Date Added: 05/10/2020 - Updated: 19/01/2022 14:35:34