Top Features You May Not Know About The Niger Delta Killifish

I think it is fair to say that the Niger Delta Killifish, Aphyosemion defense, also known as the Delta Killi, is one of the most attractive and attractive killifish in the world. 

A knowledgeable collector would be delighted to have him as a part of their collection. 

The plant is also available in captive-bred color varieties but the color is naturally so vibrant that one can’t improve on something like this. 

I am sharing a picture with you of a wild-caught male Delta Killifish that I snapped, above.

Killifish are a species of small, elongated fish that typically inhabit swampy areas with vegetation, roots, and bog woods. 

The Delta Killifish is one of the species of killifish that are native to Africa. Insect larvae, small aquatic insects and crustaceans are the majority of the foods they consume. 

During dry seasons, their swampy habitat of theirs may evaporate completely, as if there had never been a lake. 

That is why, according to some people, this species is regarded only as an annual one. If the home waters of the frogs do not completely dry up, then they will live longer than a year. 

Because of the egg’s ability to exist out of water for extended periods of time, there is a greater chance that the eggs will survive. 

Due to the fact that killifish of this type usually do not live for long periods of time, it is best to breed them before keeping them.

There is a limited number of Delta Killis that are being kept by hobbyists, but for those who are more knowledgeable, this is a good choice. 

In addition to needing clean water, they are also highly sensitive to changes in pH. 

Furthermore, they have a shorter life span; they usually live for a period between one and two years. It is, however, an interesting fish to breed, if an aquarist is willing to take on the challenge.

Brief Description

Niger Delta Killifish: Appearence
Niger Delta Killifish: Appearence

In 1976, Radda published a report on the Delta Killifish. Their habitat is predominantly found in swamps and wetlands at a distance between the delta of the Niger River and the Warri region of Nigeria in Africa. One of the other names by which this species is known is Delta Killi.

In Africa, these species of fish are referred to as annuals, because when the dry season comes and the waters dry up, these species of fish die. 

There are at least ten species of Aplocheilidae and they feed on insects larvae, small aquatic insects, small crustaceans, and worms. 

Depending on the conditions of the water, a Delta Killi can live for 2 years as long as it is not depleted much during those two years.

It is extremely difficult to resist the appeal of the Delta Killifish. The body of the fish is long, and the fins are broad and well-built. It has round scales, and the body is elongated. 

There are no barbels on the head and the mouth is upturned. Their head is flattened at the top and their mouth is upturned. They have brightly colored males and females. 

The people in the pictures have varying background colors, ranging from a light greenish-blue or a tan to a light brown. 

Its body displays a series of dark reddish spots as a whole, extending through the tail along a broken line across the center. 

In addition to this dark reddish line, there is also another dark redline running through the bottom lobe of the tail fin. You may also find that there is a spot on the upper portion of the body, as well as diagonal lines or spots that run through the upper lobe. 

A lighter blue-green or cream color is used for the edging on the horizontal lines. A dorsal fin which can also have dark red spots may also possess orange or orange-red fins and tails. 

There are fewer colored spots on the female, so the coloring is a bit more subdued.

  • A fish’s size can be measured in inches as follows: 4.0 inches (10.16 cm)
  • Typically, these fish live for 2 years. For the most part, they are annual fish, and the majority of the time, they die when the water evaporates. If the home waters of the otters do not completely dry up, they will live longer than one year.

Maintaining Fish Can Be Difficult

It can be quite challenging to keep this fish in an aquarium at home.  It can be difficult to keep up with the high water requirements that they have.  

However, these fish only live to be about a year or two, which means they do not have a long lifespan.  

You should be able to have beautiful fish if you provide them with good tank conditions and regular feedings.

It is moderately difficult to grow this species in aquariums. Ideally, you should have some experience as an aquarist.

Diet And Nutrition

As a fish, Delta Killifish are known to be in a carnivorous mode of feeding, consuming larvae of insects, small aquatic insects, small crustaceans, and worms. 

They are able to consume most small-sized fresh, frozen, or dried food when confined to captivity, but if they are fed mostly live or frozen food, they will look their best and be more likely to breed.

There is a bit of a learning curve involved with keeping this kind of fish, so it is not recommended for recreational hobbyists. 

They are best suited to single species tanks that can be configured to support the breeding of the species, as their relatively short life span of 1 to 2 years makes them the ideal choice. 

Delta Killifish are known to be carnivores
Delta Killifish are known to be carnivores

Interestingly, you can keep some of the males that you succeed in breeding in the community tank so you can enjoy their vibrant colors as well if you succeed in breeding them. 

Smaller aquariums containing only five to ten gallons of water will be just fine for these fishes. It is recommended to breed fish in brackish water, which contains about 0.5% salt. 

The recommended amount of salt is 4 teaspoons. The rule of thumb is to add 5 grams of salt per 10 gallons of water.

  • The dietary type of a carnivore is Carnivorous.
  • Food is taken occasionally as fish or meat.
  • There are also some foods that are considered to be live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms, etc.).
  • The meaty part of our diet constitutes the majority of our diet.
  • The amount of times we feed each day varies depending on the season.

Caring For Aquariums

They are very sensitive to changes in the water and need clean water to survive. The water of these fish must be kept in prime condition with the help of a strong filter by which to keep the fish’s water pure. 

If you regularly change the water in your aquarium, the fish will remain healthy and the aquarium will remain in good shape. You should change 30% of the water in your aquarium every week.

Besides that, changing the water on a weekly basis – the water should be changed 30% weekly.

Setting Up The Aquarium

This fish species do not have a preference over any part of the aquarium. It can be found in every area of the aquarium. 

It is recommended to keep Delta Killifish in a single species tank that has been crafted specifically with breeding in mind due to their relatively short life span of 1 to 2 years. 

It would be fine if you were able to breed the fish successfully and kept some of the excess male fish in a tank where everyone could admire their bright colors.

If you have more than one of these species in your tank, a community tank with at least 20 gallons in size is recommended. 

The best and most effective way to display these fish is in aquariums, or on display tables, which simulate their natural habitat. You will be able to make these fish happy if you provide them with some driftwood and other hiding places. 

Also, you should provide a good filter and change the water on a regular basis. Since this is a fish that likes to jump, it is necessary to have a tight-fitting lid on the container.

A tank of only 5 to 10 gallons is perfectly adequate for the breeding of these fish. If you add a small amount of salt (0.5% is enough) you will be able to maintain them perfectly. 

To add the salts to a 10-gallon container of water, you should add four teaspoons of salt (5 g/10 L). In order for these fish to grow, you need to make sure that you use a peat moss substrate.

  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gal (76 L)
  • Suitable for Nano Tank: Yes
  • Substrate Type: Sand/Gravel Mix
  • Lighting Needs: Moderate – normal lighting
  • Temperature: 75.0 to 84.0° F (23.9 to 28.9° C)
  • Breeding Temperature: 78.0° F
  • Range ph: 6.5-7.2
  • Hardness Range: 2 – 12 dGH
  • Brackish: Yes
  • Water Movement: Moderate
  • Water Region: All – This is a species that will swim in all parts of the aquarium.
5-10 gallons tank is perfectly for Niger Delta Killifish
5-10 gallons tank is perfectly for Niger Delta Killifish

Behavioral Aspects Of Socialization

Despite its large size, the Delta Killifish are not aggressive towards other species and can be kept in the company of other species. 

The Delta Killi males sometimes fight with each other so it would be best if you just had one pair in each tank so that they can avoid fighting each other. 

This species, along with the others, usually live only a few years, so keeping them in a single species aquarium is often recommended to make sure they have the best chance of reproducing.

  • Neither of these species is poisonous.
  • Attitude: Open, Boundary-less.
  • It can be used alongside:
  • Conspecifics with the same species: Yes – there will be fighting between the two males.
  • The following fish can be considered peaceful (as long as they do not come into contact with the Delta Killifish).
  • The following fish can be considered semi-aggressive.
  • The threat of being eaten is considered aggressive in nature.
  • The semi-aggressive form of a large cat is described as a threatening creature.
  • It can be said that it has both predatory and aggressive characteristics.
  • If they will not get into the mouth of the Delta Killifish, then the slow swimmers and eaters are safe.
  • Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Maybe aggressive – Small crustaceans are a part of this species’ natural diet.
  • There are no dangers associated with plants.

Differences In Sexuality

Males have bright colors, and females do not. As you can see from the picture, the females of these fish are much smaller than the males and have a very little color.


If you want to breed Delta Killifish, you should use a tank of between 5 and 10 gallons in bare bottom with a sponge filter to filter the water. Ideally, you should use brackish water. 

If possible, it would seem wise to keep the water temperature at between 75° and 78° F (24° and 25.5° C). 

These plants are not specifically intended for breeding purposes but they should be mentioned since they are spawning plants or spawning mops. The purpose of these structures is to provide a female with a resting and hiding spot.

 Killifishes are denominated as substrate spawners because they reproduce on the ground. It is highly recommended that you use a bowl containing clean, untreated peat moss to achieve this. 

Once you get the peat in place, you can simply let the fish start swimming around. You will need to remove the peat from the nest once the eggs have been laid and let it dry partially, but not completely on some newspaper. 

If the moss is placed in a plastic bag and is sealed, then it should be placed in an area that is dark and has a temperature that is constant; ideally 78 °F (25.5 °C). 

The eggs should hatch within one to four days after being placed in a tank containing clean water for 3 to 4 months. After that, place the mossback into the tank. When the young brine shrimp are young, feed them small amounts of food until they are able to handle larger portions of food.

A moderate amount of effort is needed in breeding this species.

Infectious Diseases Of Fish

When kept in a well-maintained aquarium, Delta Killifishes are extremely hardy, and disease is rarely one of the problems they face. Nevertheless, they do have a tendency to contract Velvet Disease. 

It is important to note that this does not mean that you will not be faced with health problems or diseases throughout your life. Water quality is the primary factor that makes them susceptible to Velvet disease and bacterial infections if they are not exposed to good water. 

Any additions to your aquarium that introduce diseases into your tank should be avoided. The addition of fish to an aquarium can bring diseases into it as well as plants, substrate, and decorations. 

Whenever you add anything to an established tank, be sure to properly clean it or quarantine it so as not to upset the balance in the tank.

Delta Killifish have the advantage of their resilience in that if you deal with a disease outbreak at an early stage, you can often limit it to just one or a few fishes, depending on the severity. 

It is common for all types of fish to be infected with the disease before the first signs can be detected even when keeping more delicate types of fish. 

It is ultimately up to you to provide your Delta Killifish with the proper environment and feed them a healthy diet in order to prevent the disease from developing. 

In order to avoid stress, the fish should be kept in the closest possible habitat to their natural habitat since this will make the fish healthier and happier. Fish in a stressed environment tend to be more prone to contracting diseases.

Killifishes from the Delta region are extremely resilient. Despite this, it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the common diseases that affect tanks. 

A small difference can make a huge impact if you know the signs and are able to spot and treat them early.

Video About Niger Delta Killifish


How long does the niger delta killifish last?

Their lifespan is usually 1 to 2 years.

How can distinguish between male and female fish of this niger delta killifish?

Males have a vivid coloration that stands out from the females. Unlike males, females are usually much shorter, less colored, and have shorter fins. They are usually half the size of males.

Are they aggressive?

This fish does not seem to be aggressive towards other species. They can be kept in a communal environment and will not harm any other species.

It has been noticed that the Delta Killi males will sometimes battle with each other, so it is best to keep a pair of them per tank.

Due to the short lifespan of these fish, most aquariums recommend keeping them in tanks composed of a single species in order to encourage breeding.

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