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Maximum size : 6 cm

Steel Blue Lyretail Killifish - Fundulopanchax gardneri : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Steel Blue Killifish (Aphyosemion sjoestedti) is a robust and striking species that can coexist with other fish. However, it is essential to note that they may exhibit aggression towards small, slow-moving fish and have a deceptively large mouth relative to their size, which renders them unsuitable for general community aquariums. Moreover, these Killifish may also display territorial behavior towards each other, highlighting the importance of providing ample space and hiding places to maintain a harmonious group dynamic. Steel Blue Killifish are known to inhabit very shallow waters and can even leap from one stream to another. Therefore, it is vital to maintain a secure aquarium lid to prevent their escape, as they are capable of squeezing through even the smallest gap. Sporting an exquisite blue-steel coloration, with variable red spotting along the length of their body, the Steel Blue Killifish is a visual treat. Their anal, dorsal, and caudal fins are also fringed with bright yellow, accentuating their beauty. The female of the species displays brown dots on its flanks and a less vibrant hue on its fins. Furthermore, several ornamental strains, such as gold and albino colors, have been line-bred by aquarists, adding to the species' already impressive aesthetic appeal.

Steel Blue Lyretail Killifish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

The process of differentiating between male and female Steel Blue Killifish is relatively straightforward. Male specimens are typically larger and exhibit a more vibrant coloration pattern, coupled with elongated and expanded fins compared to their female counterparts. In contrast, females are generally smaller and exhibit a less intense coloration pattern in comparison to males.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameFundulopanchax gardneri
Year Described1911
Other NamesBlue Lyretail, Steel-blue Aphyosemion, Gardner's killi, Gardneri Panchax Killifish
OriginsNigeria Cameroon
Max Size6 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespanup to 3 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH5 - 12
KH5 - 8
TDS18 - 179
72 - 77
22.2 - 25

Natural habitat

The Steel Blue Killifish is a fascinating species that can be found in the Okwoga, a petite tributary of the Cross River system located in southeastern Nigeria and western Cameroon, as well as in the Benue River drainage situated in central Nigeria, Africa. These fish exhibit a remarkable ability to thrive in a variety of aquatic environments, including creeks, brooks, swamps, marshes, streams, and pools. Although some of these habitats may dry out annually, this is not always a predictable and regular occurrence. Regardless of their habitat, Steel Blue Killifish are incredibly adaptive and exhibit unique behaviors and characteristics that make them a noteworthy addition to any aquarium.

How to breed the Steel Blue Lyretail Killifish

The Steel Blue Killifish is known for its ability to thrive in unpredictable natural habitats, which has led to the development of a unique \"switch\" or \"semi-annual\" breeding system. The species is capable of producing eggs that can withstand periods of drought while also being able to incubate and hatch them when submerged in water. Provided that the breeding conditions are suitable, the Steel Blue Killifish is relatively easy to breed, with eggs being deposited among live plants, aquatic mosses, and spawning mops. Some breeders prefer using a small bowl of peat, which is removed and dried post-spawning. To prevent adult fish from consuming the eggs, it is advisable to remove them daily. When incubated underwater, the eggs typically hatch within 14-21 days, depending on the temperature. However, using the drying method, it may take approximately 3-4 weeks for the eggs to hatch. Once hatched, the fry become free-swimming almost immediately and can be nourished with a diet consisting of Artemia nauplii, microworm, and similar food items.

Diet & feeding

In a home aquarium, the Steel Blue Killifish readily accept high-quality dried flake and pellet foods, as well as algae wafers. However, to maintain their optimal health and wellbeing, it is essential to provide them with a varied diet that includes frequent servings of small live or frozen food items such as daphnia, mosquito larvae, Cyclops, bloodworm, and artemia. It is important to note that Steel Blue Killifish can be rather shy during feeding times, and their tankmates' behavior may affect their feeding behavior. Therefore, it is advisable to ensure that their companions are not too boisterous, as this may lead to unfair competition for food and the Steel Blue Killifish missing out on their share.

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