Banded Killifish Facts, Size, Diet, Habitat, Care

The banded killifish is a subtropical freshwater fish variety native to North America that belongs to the Fundulus genus in the Fundulidae family. Banded killifish are most abundant in the southern and central regions of the state and are relatively scarce in the state's cold waters.

They can be found living in lakes of all sizes, in areas where there are little or no current, and portions of slow-moving watercourses (medium to large). Most of the time they enjoy shallow, clear waterways with a sandy to gravely bottom and high concentrations of aquatic foliage.

    Banded Killifish Facts

    The body of the banded killifish is thin and enlarge, with a deeper dorsal side and yellowish-white underparts that continue to the anal fin. Males that are about to breed acquire yellowish pectoral and pelvic fins, a vivid blue patch on the anal fin, and beautiful blue iridescent colors on the lower body, including the surface around the anal fin. Along the edges, there are 12–20 vertical bands. The bands in females are typically thin prominent black bands that do not extend the entire length of the body. Males' bands are silvery in color, less prominent, and closer together than females.

    Banded Killifish Facts, Size, Diet, Habitat, Care

    Banded Killifish Size

    This tiny fish grows to be about 60 to 80 mm (2 to 3 in) in length and weighs only a few grams when fully grown. Females have a greater growth rate than males.  Banded killifish live for approximately 2 years on average, with a few living up to 3 years.

    Banded Killifish Diet

    In addition to tiny crustaceans, such as ostracods, copepods, and amphipods, adults of banded killifish consume a wide range of invertebrates, including damselfly nymphs, caddisfly larvae, and dragonfly nymphs, as well as flying insects and seeds. They consume food from all levels of the water column, including the ocean floor. Young banded killifish must choose their food carefully, as their diet consists of just a few items, such as ostracods, copepods, and midge larvae. 

    Banded Killifish Habitat

    Banded killifish are schooling fish that travel in gatherings of 3–6 individuals. Juveniles travel in gatherings of 8–12 individuals. The fish prefer shallow, still waters with sandy gravel or swampy bottoms and plentiful aquatic greenery.

    Banded Killifish Care

    Because of their small size, many killifish is ideal for nano and desktop aquariums. A trio can be kept in a 5 to 10-gallon aquarium for species tanks, but for colony settings or if you wish to keep more than one male, a 20 gallon or bigger aquarium is preferred. Non-breeding tanks should be adorned with driftwood or peat moss, as well as low-light resistant plants like Cryptocoryne, Java moss, and Java fern, to help soften the water and lower the PH. Killifish can jump a long distance, thus a tight-fitting cover is essential.

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