The Golden Wonder Killifish, also known as the Malabar Killifish or Striped Panchax, is a very colorful, relatively undemanding fish that has become incredibly popular among aquarists over the past few years. Originally a gray-green, striped fish in its native India and Sri Lanka, this fish has been selectively cultivated to develop an incredible iridescent gold and blue-green coloration across most of its body. While some killifish have a reputation for being difficult to keep, the Golden Wonder Killifish is highly adaptable and makes a great addition to many aquariums.
Killifish typically occupy the top level of the water column, although they can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. They are also not afraid to jump, so they must be kept in an aquarium with either a lid/hood/canopy or at least a significantly lowered water level. They will not eat or bother plants, but they are fairly voracious predators of dwarf shrimp and even small fish such as microrasboras and very small danios or tetras. As with most predatory fish, the Golden Wonder Killifish will eat any animal that will fit in its mouth. Still, there are several species of fish and some invertebrates that make for suitable tankmates. Rams or other dwarf cichlids, larger tetras, Banjo Catfish, Otocinclus, and most Corydoras Catfish are suitable tankmates to Golden Wonder Killifish. Snails are also safe, and large, peaceful crustaceans such as Vampire Shrimp could live peacefully with this fish as well. Golden Wonder Killifish are best kept in small groups.
While not a picky eater, the Golden Wonder Killifish will thrive and remain very colorful on a varied diet of meaty foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and frozen or freeze-dried tubifex and bloodworms will all be readily accepted. The Golden Wonder Killifish also inhabits some brackish water areas in the wild, but it does not necessarily require brackish water in the aquarium.
- Striking coloration
- Peaceful disposition with most fish of similar size
- Hardy and adaptable
- Excellent for inhibiting the top of the aquarium
- Temperature: 72° – 77° F (22° – 25° C)
- pH: 6.0 – 7.5
- KH: 3 – 8 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 20 gallons
- Diet: Meaty foods, both dry and frozen. More variety will ensure greater health and coloration.
- Social behavior: Mostly peaceful, loosely schooling/shoaling in small groups.
- Origin: Tank-bred, but indigenous to India and Sri Lanka.
- Average adult size: 3 – 4 inches (7.5 – 10 cm)
- Average purchase size: 1.5 – 2.5 inches (3.8 – 6.3 cm)