The genus Aphyosemion is one of several genera of Killifish. One thing that all the members of this genus have in common is that they are native to Central and Western Africa. Most Aphyosemion species are very colourful and therefore appreciated by aquarists, and several species within this genus are recognized as the most frequently kept killifish species in the hobby. It is common for an Aphyosemion killifish to be decorated with two vibrantly coloured bars along the top and bottom of its tail.
Three examples of commonly kept Aphyosemion species are Aphyosemion australe, Aphyosemion gardneri, and Aphyosemion striatum. All these species can be recommended as the first species for someone with no previous killifish experience. They can be housed in a comparatively small aquarium since they stay below 2 inches (5 centimeters) in length. They are also a great choice for a community aquarium with other non-aggressive fish species since they are peaceful and docile. You can, for instance, combine them with most tetras, pencil fish, and algae eaters such as Otocinclus and Ancistrus.
Killifish from the genus Aphyosemion will do best in a well-planted tank since they can feel stressed in an aquarium without any plants. Plants that provide the Aphyosemion killifish with top cover are recommended, e.g. Duckweed or Riccia. If you really do not want to keep plants, you must create a lot of other hiding spots and sheltered areas for your Aphyosemion killifish using other forms of aquarium decoration. Artificial plants are naturally also an alternative. A planted aquarium is a must to breed Aphyosemion killifish.
The Central and Western African waters where you can find wild Aphyosemion killifish are soft. If the tap water in your region is slightly hard, the Aphyosemion killifish can usually adapt to it. Really hard water must however be treated.
You can feed your Aphyosemion killifish a base of high-quality flake food that you supplement with occasional meaty treats. Brine shrimp, daphnia, grindal worms and blood worms are all suitable meaty foods for Aphyosemion killifish.
Aphyosemion killifish is frequently bred in aquariums. Unlike many other fish species, the male-female ratio in the aquarium is not really important for Aphyosemion killifish. It can be a good idea to place the Aphyosemion killifish in their own aquarium during the breeding period to prevent the offspring from being eaten by the other fish. Such an aquarium does not have to have a capacity of more than 2.5-5.5 gallons (10-20 litres). Keeping the water quality up is however easier in a larger aquarium. A sponge or box filter is also typically necessary to keep the water quality up. As mentioned above, the aquarium should be well planted if you want to breed these species. Java moss is a hardy species that will provide your Aphyosemion killifish with a suitable spawning site. You can also use special spawning mops. The water in the breeding aquarium should be de-chlorinated. To induce spawning, you should give the Aphyosemion killifish a nutritious diet with plenty of meaty food.