Golden Wonder Killifish (Aplocheilus lineatus)

golden wonder Killifish

Last updated on August 17th, 2022 at 10:26 am

Aplocheilus lineatus, also known as the golden wonder Killifish, striped panchax, or the Malabar Killifish, are small freshwater fish that can be found in India and Thailand. The fish are small, growing up to three inches long, and have large pectoral fins that help them get around the shallow water they inhabit.

Although they prefer shallow waters of ponds and slow-moving streams, Aplocheilus lineatus will live wherever there is still or slightly moving water with plenty of aquatic vegetation for cover.

In the aquarium hobby, the Golden Wonder Killifish may be one of the most easily recognizable killifish species to own and maintain in an aquarium environment.

Aplocheilus lineatus is an African freshwater fish belonging to the killifish family. This small species (around 3–4 inches) inhabits shallow wetlands and can be found in both freshwater and brackish water at low altitudes, typically in regions with high temperatures, such as Kenya and Tanzania.

Origin and descriptions

golden wonder Killifish

Golden Wonder Killifish descend from an Asian lineage. However, they thrive in all aquariums throughout the world. They are among the ideal options for the community aquarium because they add color and activity for visitors.

This type of fish was first bred in Sri Lanka and India and has now spread to subtropical to tropical areas in every continent except Antarctica and Australia.

The habitat of killifish usually includes pools, shallow streams, creeks, or temporary swamps, although some killifish have also been found in estuaries that are part saltwater and part freshwater. Most killifish can be found in swamps, streams, or ponds that have overhanging shrubs and trees.

Some Killifish species, like the Pupfish, inhabit the pools that exist in desert regions that can reach the high temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Species profile

The golden wonder Killifish belong to the family Aplocheilidae, which includes over 200 species of small fish native to Africa. A member of the striped panchax subfamily, Aplocheilus lineatus has been bred in captivity for more than 50 years and is available in a variety of colors including orange, red, yellow, black, and white. This hardy fish grows up to 4 inches long and requires minimal care.

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While it prefers temperatures between 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit, it can tolerate temperatures as low as 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also tolerant of water with a pH between 6-8 but will thrive best when kept at neutral pH levels (7).

Scientific name

The scientific name of the golden wonder killifish is Aplocheilus lineatus

Common names

The golden wonder killifish is also referred to as striped panchax, Piki, Malabar killi, golden panchax killifish, gold killifish, or just yellow killifish.


Striped panchax is common in Sri Lanka and India, this fish is most often used to drive away pesky insects in rice paddies.

Behavior and temperament

The social behavior of the Golden Wonder Killifish is most often friendly and peaceful, they roam loosely or they swim in small schools, and they don’t often gather in large groups unless they are being threatened.

They may jump from the tank out of fear and the result could be death. Therefore, install a weighted lid to prevent them from jumping out.

Secondly, you will see them swimming at the top of the tank in search of prey. If some insects fall into the water, they immediately snap them up and show their predatory habit.

Golden wonder killifish size

golden wonder Killifish

They are small fish and grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) in length.

Tank size

Due to their small sizes, the minimum recommended tank size is 20 gallons (76 liters).

Tank requirements

The golden wonder killifish lives in a tropical climate and therefore, only thrives in water that is at least 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Its pH level must be between 6.0 and 7.5 to ensure proper metabolic function. Because they are brackish water fish species, they require a lot of salt; approximately one teaspoon per gallon of water is needed.

It also needs to be kept away from other fish because it will attack them if they get too close. A tank with live plants is ideal for these fish as well as driftwood or rocks for hiding spots.

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Golden wonder killifish tank mates

This list of water-dwelling fish would make for suitable tankmates for Golden Wonder Killifish are large tetras, Banjo Catfish, Rams or other dwarf cichlids, Otocinclus, and most Corydoras Catfish.

This freshwater fish is also safe and of the right size to coexist with animals such as Vampire Shrimp, as long as they are also of the right size.

Golden wonder killifish breeding

golden wonder Killifish

When taking both sexes for breeding, pay attention to the differences between each fish. In order to guarantee the safety of the fry, it is a good idea to have a separate breeding tank.

If you require a fish specimen for breeding, you should make sure that the model you choose has both males and females, since the sexes are readily distinguishable.

Using the breeding tank, place the perfectly conditioned pair of fish. Floating plants with dense, fine leaves should be placed in the tank.

Having laid the eggs and been successfully fertilized, you now must consider the safety of new fries.

Moreover, if the spawning process is finished, remove both parent fish. Depending on tank temperature, a single spawn produces 100 to 150 eggs that hatch in 11 to 14 days.

In order to survive comfortably, the newborn fry needs temperatures between 72 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit (25 to 27 degrees Celcius) at which they feed on the shredded plants.

Within a few days, newly hatched fish will have their egg sacs attached to their bellies. The fish usually swim free once the sac has disappeared for a while, and can swim anywhere in the tank.

During this stage, you can give them finely powdered fry food and freshly hatched brine shrimp. They are fed crushed bloodworms and other small insects to increase their growth rate.

To prevent cannibalism, always separate the larger and smaller fish.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

Although they are carnivores and will eat very small fish and crustaceans, golden wonder killifish are generally peaceful.

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Golden wonder killifish care

golden wonder Killifish

Golden Wonder Killifish are generally easy to care for, though they do need well-oxygenated water and a somewhat larger aquarium. This killifish should be kept in groups of at least three individuals. A tank with a surface area of about 70 square inches should suffice for one male and two females; a larger tank can house up to four or five fish.

The pH level should range from 6.0 to 7.5, while the temperature should remain between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit during both day and night time hours. The substrate of your tank should be gravel or sand that is small enough so that it cannot become lodged in your fish’s mouth or throat—about 1/2 inch is ideal.

Golden wonder killifish diet

They are carnivores. In spite of not being picky eaters, the Golden Wonder killifish can thrive and remain very colorful with a varied diet of meaty foods. The most readily available foods include flake food, pellets, frozen and freeze-dried tubifex worms, and bloodworms.


If given proper care in captivity, golden wonder killifish can live up to 4 years.

Parasites and diseases

The common golden wonder killifish, a type of panchax, is known to be susceptible to most types of parasites and diseases that afflict tropical fish. While some can be treated easily in a home aquarium, others may require stronger medicine or even euthanasia for treatment to work properly.

Carefully monitor any new fish you introduce into your tank to ensure you’re not exposing them to disease from another member of your fish family.


The Golden Wonder Killifish is a hardy fish, but not many species are predated on it due to its size. Larger fish, like cichlids, may try to eat it at first sight. It is also preyed upon by birds and other small mammals.

Do they make good pets?

Golden Wonder Killifish are a peaceful species that are perfect for a community tank. More important than the same approximate size is the number of tankmates you add to the same tank.

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This is an excellent option if you wish to replace or add to your fish collection, as they are very hardy and easy to maintain.

Their golden dots along their sides and their easygoing nature make them beautiful creature. Due to their resilience, they can live in a variety of aquariums.

The fish are better able to fight off common diseases that commonly occur to most fish species, provided they are kept in an aquarium with a high level of hygiene.

Most experienced aquarium hobbyists and beginner aquarium hobbyists usually appreciate this aspect of this fish.