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Maximum size : 6 cm

Splendid Killifish - Aphyosemion splendopleure : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Splendid Killifish (Aphyosemion splendopleure) is an exquisite species that is highly sought after by aquarists worldwide. These fish are native to Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon in western and central Africa, where they inhabit slow-moving lowland streams, brooks, and coastal areas with moderate lighting and dense vegetation. This peaceful and hardy species prefers to be kept in pairs or trios, but it is not advised for the community aquarium due to its shy nature and inability to compete well with other species. Males may be territorial towards each other, but rarely do any damage. For the optimal care of this species, it is recommended to use a dark substrate, such as peat moss, to replicate their natural habitat. Adding dense areas of planting and pieces of wood as cover is also highly recommended. Floating plants not only provide additional cover, but also help to diffuse light for a more natural and comfortable environment. As this species is known to be an excellent jumper, it is crucial to ensure the tank has a tight-fitting cover for their safety. By recreating their natural habitat and providing appropriate cover, you can provide a healthy and secure environment for this remarkable species. The male Splendid Killifish boasts striking colours and characteristics that vary depending on their origin. The most outstanding feature is their long, patterned fins with yellow tips that resemble dipped paint. Their sides are a mix of colours, including yellow, green, blue, and red, covered in a shimmery luminosity. Females, while not as colourful as the males, are still attractive with visible lines running along their sides. They play a vital role in breeding and should not be overlooked. Overall, the Splendid Killifish is a stunning and captivating species that requires proper care and attention. A well-maintained aquarium with adequate lighting, vegetation, and hiding places will help keep these fish healthy and happy.

Splendid Killifish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Male and female Splendid Killifish are sexually dimorphic, making it relatively easy to distinguish between the two. The male's appearance is much more vivid and showy, with elongated dorsal, anal, and caudal fins, as well as brighter colours. In contrast, the female is typically less colourful and lacks the elongated fins seen in males.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameAphyosemion splendopleure
Year Described1929
Other NamesNone
OriginsGabon Equatorial Guinea Cameroon
Max Size6 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asPairs
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH5 - 15
TDS54 - 268
71 - 79
21.7 - 26.1

Natural habitat

The Splendid Killifish is a fascinating fish that calls the western and central regions of Africa its home, specifically Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. These stunning fish inhabit the slow-moving, lowland streams and brooks of the area, along with coastal regions. They prefer areas with moderate lighting and some dense vegetation, providing a perfect natural habitat for these fascinating fish.

How to breed the Splendid Killifish

Breeding the Splendid Killifish can be a relatively straightforward process. To achieve the best results, it is recommended to spawn a trio, although some breeders prefer to use pairs. It is essential to separate the sexes into separate conditioning tanks and provide them with a varied diet of live and frozen foods. To create the best breeding environment, water conditions should be slightly acidic with a higher temperature, and a small, air-driven sponge filter can be added to prevent stagnation. The tank should be kept unlit, and peat filtration is advisable. Once conditioned, the best male and fattest female should be selected and placed in the breeding tank. It is recommended to use a spawning medium, such as java moss or spawning mops, or a layer of peat moss on the bottom of the tank. Clumps of fine-leaved plants can also be used as a substrate. The eggs are usually deposited in clumps of vegetation or in the substrate. If water conditions are suitable, the eggs can be left in the aquarium with the parents; however, the yield may be reduced due to predation. Alternatively, the eggs can be gently removed and incubated separately. To incubate the eggs, they can be placed on a damp layer of peat moss or left in the water. If incubating in water, a few drops of methylene blue can help keep the eggs in good condition. The eggs should be kept in darkness, and any fungus eggs should be removed with a pipette. The fry are tiny and should be initially fed with infusoria or seeded with green water or liquifry. As they grow, microworms or brine shrimp nauplii can be introduced, followed by larger live and frozen varieties after about two weeks. Water quality must be closely monitored in the rearing tank, and small water changes every 2-3 days are recommended. It is essential to limit the breeding period to about a week to prevent the fish from becoming weak and tired. By following these guidelines, you can successfully breed Splendid Killifish in your aquarium and enjoy the beauty of these fascinating fish.

Diet & feeding

The feeding habits of the Splendid Killifish can be somewhat challenging as they are particular about their diet. While high-quality flakes or small granules are acceptable, they require a significant portion of live or frozen food such as bloodworm, Daphnia, grindal worms, and black worms. Nonetheless, it is crucial to avoid overfeeding and not rely solely on live and frozen foods, as they are rich in nutrients.\r\n

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