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Orange Lyretail Killifish Care And Diet

Orange Lyretail Killifish (Aphyosemion australe gold)

The orange lyretail killifish, reminds us of a goldfish, only without the mess and bad habit of eating plants!
  • Lifespan: 3 years (not an annual killifish)
  • Temperament: Peaceful with a couple of caveats (see tankmates section of this article)
  • Size: 2 1/2 inches
  • Natural Habitat: Heavily vegetated swamps, ponds, and streams of coastal West Africa
  • Hangs Out: Lower regions of the tank
  • Diet: Omnivore
Water Conditions
  • Temperature: 68-79 degrees
  • pH 5.5-7.8
  • KH 5-8
Tank Layout
Killiefish, are a great choice for the smaller tank since they don't require much room and two pair, can be housed in as little as 10 gallons. A planted aquarium with a dark substrate really brings out their colors as does subdued lighting; floating plants such as duckweed, riccia, hornwort, and watersprite will help achieve this look. As for filtration, some people opt not to use filters at all with killies (assuming they're in a heavily planted tank). Otherwise, sponge filters or filters that are adjustable work well--you just want a gentle ripple in the water, nothing too strong. If the temps in your house stay above 68 degrees, then a heater is unnecessary. In fact, we've noticed that the killies tend to become a bit lethargic at the upper end of their temperature range. The mid-seventies seem to be their sweet spot. Of course you'll need a lid for the tank--they're killies and as such, accomplished jumpers.

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Female Orange Lyretail Killifish

A species tank works well and if you have a group (as opposed to a single pair) of killies, then this might be the setup you want to go with. If you're like us and only have a pair of killies, then we would house them with other small, peaceful, fish--they seem to do better with company. Ours are in with some chili rasboras and it's been a good relationship since they enjoy the same sort of conditions, but occupy different areas of the tank. Some other suggestions are small tetras, micro rasboras, pygmy cories, otos, etc. If your tank is on the small side, we would suggest not housing them with other bottom dwelling fish since they seem to resent any intrusion into "their territory." Ours also had a problem with shrimp, so use caution when pairing the two together.

Initially, ours were quite picky and somewhat difficult to feed, so you may want to have some live food (blackworms, baby brine shrimp, mosquito larvae) on hand just in case. They now accept micro pellets (New Life and Hikari), but frozen and live foods are by far their favorite. Rotifers, daphnia, bloodworms, baby brine shrimp and tubifex, are a few of the frozen foods they enjoy.

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Male Orange Lyretail Killifish

These are a beautiful and hardy fish. What's even better, is that they will engage with their "people." They seem interested in what everyone is doing and will swim up to the glass to check things out.

Since killifish are prone to velvet, we add aquarium salt to their tank water. Some people feel salt is a controversial subject and do not advocate it in a freshwater tank. We strongly believe in the good it does, but this is something you'll have to decide for yourself. Do your research and come to an educated, well informed, opinion of what works best for you.

Sorry to have to do this, but because of the plethora of spammers, it has been decided to disallow comments on any of the fish articles, product reviews, etc. Should you have a question or comment about anything posted on Aquarium Speed, please go to the forums section and ask your question or make your comment there. Thanks!