How to Keep Your Golden Wonder Killies (or Panchax)
Aqualand's inside scoop on Aplocheilus linneatus
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Male Aplocheilus linneatus. Golden wonders usually come in so small you can't sex them.
Origins: Originally from India, we usually see these on lists from Indonesia. They all used to look like the above guy. Now they come in a golden variety. They arrive mostly green but the males turn into an attractive sort of shiny gold. We also see them listed as gold panchax. We also see a variety listed as blue panchax, another close relative. And there’s a red panchax out there. Panchax means “bait” in many places.
Great Starter Fish: If you’ve ever been tempted to try killifish, the golden wonder is your best bet. These are the species you’re most likely to come across in dealer tanks.
Top Minnows: In the wild, Aplocheilus slowly patrol the surface in search of any edible morsels on, below, or above the surface. That’s why they call many killifish “top minnows.” If you don’t want to keep them in your tank, one man’s aquarium fish is another man’s bait.
Housing: You can keep these guys in a 10 at first. But since they grow to 4.5 inches, they’d prefer a 20. You can mix them with most community fish. They probably don’t need a heater but don’t mix them with goldfish or other long-finned varieties (bettas, guppies, angels). Keep these top-dwelling jumpers well covered or they will all bail.
Breeder Housing: You can breed golden wonders in a 10. However, if you want to get serious about breeding them, separate the sexes. Killies lay eggs over a long time period -- maybe six today, four tomorrow, etc. If you want a bunch of eggs in a short time period, separate the sexes. Condition your breeders on at least three feedings a day. Feed a variety. The little dudes and dudettes are not picky eaters. Healthy males are nearly always in the mood.
Natural Spawning: You can spawn your golden wonder killies if you toss in a clump or two of Java moss. Yank it out once a week and add a different clump. Put the egg-laden moss in a rearing tank. Their eggs hatch in 10 to 14 days. Much depends upon the temperature of your water.
Egg Info: Refer to Plant Spawners for details and pictures on this aspect of the process. Or you can spawn them naturally on watersprite roots or Java moss. Both sexes love the taste of their own eggs and fry. Remove your breeders after they have interacted for three days.
Temperature: Many serious killie keepers keep their breeders in unheated tanks. Killifish live much longer (but mature more slowly) when kept cool. Room temperature works fine.
Foods: If any fish will eat a particular food, so will your golden wonder killies. They like pellets, flakes, freeze-dried, frozen, and live foods. Give them the “treat” foods last, and you really plump up your breeder females. Male killies prefer zaftig females.
Last Words: Of all the killies, the golden wonder appears on the market most often. Why? Because of all the killies in the hobby, the golden wonder is in the top ten easiest to spawn. Best of all, their price has come down a lot this year. LA
Thanks, Everett: If you want more info, some of it quite extensive, pop on over to Everett Talavera's web site. He lives in Mexico City and is a real fan of Aplochelus linneatus. If that link fails to connect you, go to mx.geocities.com/mexfishweb
© 2005 LA Productions
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