Max Size: 5cm

Gabon Killifish (Aphyosemion gabunense)

The Gabon Killifish is a stunning, somewhat shy but peaceful fish that are relatively hardy. These fish are suitable for both the beginner and the more advanced hobbyist.

Gabon Killifish would do best in a species only tank. Still, they can be kept with other small to medium peaceful fish in a community aquarium. These tankmates could include smaller Barbs, Tetras, Rasboras, Dwarf Cichlids and Dwarf Gouramis, as well as Corydoras and smaller Plecos. However, you should avoid housing these fish with much more significant, aggressive or boisterous species; otherwise, they will easily outcompete them for food.

The Gabon Killifish is best maintained in a soft water aquarium with plenty of plants and bogwood. Peat filtration is highly recommended, and the water movement should be gentle to simulate the slow-moving waters that these fish inhabit in the wild.

These Killifish will also appreciate some surface cover from floating plants, and you must make sure your aquarium has a tight-fitting lid as these fish are fantastic jumpers.

The male Gabon Killifish has a silvery bluish-green body contrasted with red spots. The males also have red facial markings and an orange pectoral fin. In addition, males have yellow fins with red fleck patterning and deep red edges to all their unpaired fins. Female Gabon Killifish have silvery bodies, no patterning, and all their fins are transparent.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameAphyosemion gabunense
Year Described1975
Other NamesNone
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℃


Gabon Killifish
Gabon Killifish
Gabon Killifish
Gabon Killifish

Natural Habitat

Gabon Killifish are endemic to the Lower Ogowe River and the Lower Ngounié River, which are close to the city of Lambarené in western Gabon in Africa. These Killifish inhabit swamps, small streams, pools and brooks surrounded by vegetation due to the coastal rainforest.


Gabon Killifish are not particularly fussy and usually accept good quality dried foods such as flakes and granules. However, for the best colours and conditions, you should supplement this with small live, frozen and freeze-dried foods like bloodworm, mosquito larvae, brine shrimp and daphnia.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is very straightforward to differentiate between the male and female Gabon Killifish. Males are more brightly coloured than females and have longer dorsal, anal and caudal fins. In contrast, the females are paler and lack the patterning of the males.


It is relatively easy to breed Gabon Killifish. You can quickly spawn a pair in an aquarium; however, it is recommended that you breed them in trios, although the yield tends to be lower when it's bred this way, probably because the fish that is not spawning are consuming some of the eggs.

Many breeders do not use filtration in killifish breeding setups, but using a small, air-powered sponge filter to avoid stagnation is a good idea. Water should be slightly acidic with a somewhat higher temperature and dimly lit.

It would be best if you conditioned your fish on a varied diet of live and frozen foods and separate the two sexes in separate tanks. Then

Choose the best male and fattest female before placing them in the spawning tank. This method will allow females to recover between spawnings.

Spawning will occur near the water's surface, and the females will lay one egg at a time on the spawning mops or vegetation by a sticky thread. Females can lay anything from 20 to 50 eggs daily, which continues over a couple of weeks.

The adults do not prey on the eggs if well-fed, so they can be left in the breeding tank until you want to remove them. However, if you wish to move the eggs to another raising tank, they are firm and can be hand-picked off the mops and plants.

It is probably more practical to separate the eggs; if you wish, you can add methylene blue into the raising tank to prevent your eggs from getting fungus. If any eggs start to fungus, you should remove them as soon as possible with a pipette to prevent it from spreading to other eggs.

Spawning should exhibit no specific problems if water conditions are right and the fish are well-conditioned. The eggs can be left in the aquarium to hatch with their parents; however, some may get eaten.

If you want to increase the yield of the fry, you should remove the eggs.

Ten to twenty eggs are usually deposited daily for around two weeks, and you should remove these gently as soon as you notice them.

It would be best if you only allowed breeding pairs to spawn for about a week or so before returning them to the conditioning tank, as the spawning process is challenging on the fish, especially the female.

Once removed, you can incubate the eggs either by placing them on a damp layer of peat moss in a small container or leave them in the water. Fewer eggs tend to fungus if you keep them in the water, although you should still remove these fungus eggs as they are noticed.

You can transfer the eggs to a small aquarium or a container containing water from the spawning tank if incubating in water. Adding a couple of drops of methylene blue to the container is advisable as this helps to keep the eggs in good condition.

It would be best if you kept the aquarium or container in darkness as the eggs are susceptible to light, and you will need to check the eggs daily for fungus eggs, which you should remove with a pipette.

The eggs will hatch in around 12 days, depending on the temperature.

If you decide to incubate on peat moss, make sure you put the container in a dark warm place and leave it for around 18 days, after which the eggs will be ready to hatch.

Hatching can usually be induced by simply placing the eggs in the raising aquarium after 18 days, where the wetting of the eggs stimulates hatching. If this is unsuccessful, blowing gently into the water through a piece of airline or straw can trigger hatching.

Other Killifish of interest

American Flagfish(Jordanella floridae)
Blue Striped Rivulus Killifish(Rivulus Xiphidius, Laimosemion xiphidius)
Bluefin Notho(Nothobranchius rachovii)
Clown Killifish(Epiplatys annulatus)
Eggers Killifish(Nothobranchius eggersi)
Golden Wonder Panchax(Aplocheilus lineatus)
View all Killifish
Date Added: 11/07/2022 10:51:19 - Updated: 11/07/2022 12:37:10