Care Guide For Clown Killifish – Colorful, Top-Dwelling Nano Fish

Care Guide for Clown Killifish – Colorful, Top-Dwelling Nano Fish

Looking for a colorful, little fish that stays in the upper third of your nano aquarium? Epiplatys annulatus is also known as the clown-killi, rocket killifish and banded panax. The common names are derived from the males’ flame-like tails and the vertical bands of dark brown, tannish yellow and dark brown on their bodies. Adult killies can grow to as much as 1.4 inches (3.5cm) but the majority of fish in stores are around 0.5 inches long. These juveniles won’t display true red, yellow or blue colors until you bring them home to raise them to adulthood.

The tails of male rocket killifish are brightly coloured, while the tails of females are clear.

How to Set Up an Aquarium for Clown Killifish

Rocket killies can live in nano tanks up to 5 gallons because of their small size. As with most surface-dwelling fish, the key is to keep a tight lid or hood with all of the gaps covered so that they won’t jump out of the aquarium. They originally come from slow-moving streams and swamps near the coasts of west Africa, so provide a gentle filter with low flow (like a sponge filter) and lots of floating plants for cover.

Like most killifish, they can live in cooler temperatures ranging from 67-80degF (19-26degC), so you can keep them in an unheated aquarium with other cold water species. Actually, they can slow down their metabolism and increase their lifespan of about 2 to 3 years.

Rocket Killifish and Tank Mates: What Can They Do Together?

Because of their brightly colored tails, you may be tempted to get all males, but they can sometimes be a bit territorial with each other. You should aim to have one male for every 2-3 females. A larger group of clown killies allows them to feel more comfortable in their environment and display their natural social behaviors.

They make a great community fish and can get along with any other peaceful fish they are not big enough to eat. In the past we kept them celestial pearl daios (Danio Margaritatus), Norman lampeye killer fish (PoropanchaxNormani), chili red rasboras [Boraras Brigittae], pygmy cory catfish, Corydoras Pygmaeus], snails, and other nanospecies.

As with many killifish, the banded panchax tends to stay near the surface of the water, so consider adding some tank mates that swim in the middle to bottom layers of the aquarium for greater visual variety.

Could a clown killifish co-exist with a betta? That depends on the personality. Some bettas don’t like other colorful fish that swim in the top third of the aquarium, so rocket killies would not be a good pairing. Some betta fish will not mind having company, and they will ignore you. You can keep them together or separate them if necessary.

Do clown killifish eat dwarf shrimps? If you are selling shrimp for profit, we do not recommend keeping baby shrimp together. Provide more aquarium decorations and live plants so that the shrimp will have plenty of places to hide if necessary.

What do Clown Killifish eat?

Due to their small mouths and preference to swim near the water’s surface, you can offer them a variety of tiny floating foods like Easy Fry Food, crushed flaflakes and freeze-dried daphnia. They will eat slow-sinking food, like frozen cyclops and Xtreme Nano pellets.

How can you breed rocket killifish?

Breeding should not be difficult if you have the correct ratio of males and females, as I mentioned earlier. When the water is clean and food is plentiful, clown killies tend to scatter their eggs on dense floating plants (like dwarf water lettuce and riccia) and DIY spawning mops. Keep the fry alive by keeping them in a specific species-only tank. The eggs can then be removed and hatched in a separate grow-out or breeding box. You can give the eggs to hatch in approximately 1.5 weeks. After that, you can feed them small foods such as vinegar eels and powder fry food.

Plants that are dense and floating will encourage spawning. They also provide shelter for the babies.

Clown killifish are one of our favorite nano fish because of their peaceful nature and striking appearance that looks amazing in a planted aquarium. You can find more ideas on how to stock a 5-gallon fish aquarium with clown killifish by visiting our top 5 stocking tips.