Tanganyika Killifish (Lamprichthys Tanganicanus) When you think of the fishes of Lake Tanganyika, the first things that probably comes to mind are cichlids. That is not surprising given that of the 300 or so species of fish that inhabit the lake, more than 200 of them are in the cichlid family. There are only 76 species of fish in that lake thar are not chiclids. Among them are various types of catfish and he monstrous tetra-relative called the African Tigerfish. What we don’t usually associate with the lake are killifish, but they are there. The Tanganyika killifish are not at all like most other species of African killifish that turn up regularly in the hobby. They are neither tiny nor are they short-lived annual fish. That is, they are not short-lived if you pay attention to their needs. If you drop them into the average community tank of corydoras and neons, they will probably expire quickly given their high pH reqirements. However, give them a biotope aquarium imitating the environment of Lake Tanganyika, then they will thrive and readily breed. Despite being from the same lake inhabited by hundreds of types of cichlids, it is best not to keep them with most cichlid species in the aquarium. This is because in nature, these killies live either in open water where they are capable of escaping aggressive cichlids easily, or they live in very shallow waters where larger cichlids cannot go. If you must give them tankmates, the lake’s shell-dwelling cichlids are the best choice. The killis will inhabit the upper reaches of the aquarium while the shell-dwelling fish stay close to the substrate. You might be able to keep a single fish or small pair in a 30 gallon/113 liter tank, but that will not make for a very attractive display or natural behavior. It is far better to keep a group of 6, two males and 4 females. In a 100 gallon/ 378 liter or more tank. The males display harmlessly and beautifully to each other. The females can be more dangerous in their aggression towards each other which is why it is adviced you keep at least four to disperse the aggression. As with most killifish, it is easy to tell the genders apart through coloration and fin shape. In the male Tanganyika killi, the anal fin is quite long and rectangular but in the female, it is shaped like a triangle.
Origin: Lake Tanganyika
Size: 15cm/ 6inches
Temperature: 23-25°C/ 73-77°F
Feeding: While they will take flakes and pellets, the majority of their diet should be live or frozen foods. They tend to become ill rapidly if they receive poor quality food.
Habitat: A Tanganyikan biotope is best. This should include a sandy substrate and many large stones. Although they are generally open water fish, the stones are used when breeding. The aquarium’s pH should be between 8 and 8.5. Plants are unnecessary.
Breeding: Egg layers in which the eggs are deposited in crevices on rocks. A YouTube video shows this act being performed and the eggs seemed to be placed on the rocks at or just beneath the level of the sand. The eggs or parents should be transfered to a different tank as the adults will likely eat the baby fish. The eggs take nearly two weeks to hatch.