freshwater community4


Cape Lopez Lyretail

cape lopez lyretail

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Scientific Name:   Aphyosemion australe      
Min. Tank Size:   15 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   70-77°F      
pH:   6.0-7.0/5-12°dGH      
Size:   2.25"      
Diet:   Omnivore/Prefers live foods     
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best if kept in a species tank; however, it can be kept with small community species such as Rasboras, Characins, Dwarf Cichlids, Corydoras, Catfish and Anabantids. Choose peaceful tankmates since this species of Killifish can be shy and may be outcompeted for food by more robust species.

Cape Lopez Lyretail

Also called the Lyretail Killifish, this species was one of the first Killifish to become popular in the aquarium hobby. Unlike many Killifish, Cape Lopez Lyretails are not annual fish and can be found in permanent bodies of water throughout parts of Africa in Gabon, Cameroon, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These fish have elongated bodies that are typically brownish yellow or orange in color, marked with many small red spots. The fins of these fish are long and pointed and the outer rays of the caudal fin are elongated, giving these fish the "lyretail" name.

Tank Set-up

This species is often recommended to new Killifish owners because they are long-lived and easy to breed. In the home aquarium, these fish prefer dark substrate and the water should be filtered through peat. Lighting in the tank should be diffused through the use of surface plants and additional areas of dense planting throughout the tank are recommended. The Cape Lopez Lyretail can be kept in a community tank with other small, peaceful species like Rasboras, Characins and Dwarf Cichlids. These fish tend to be fairly shy, however, and may be outcompeted for food by more robust fishes.


Most tank-bred specimens of Cape Lopez Lyretail readily accept prepared foods and can also be given live and frozen foods as well. For optimum health and coloration, feed a varied diet of live/frozen foods such as brine shrimp, Daphnia, and bloodworms along with a good quality flake.


Breeding this species is relatively easy and spawning can often be accomplished using a method called egg "hanging". The breeding pair should be conditioned separately on live and frozen foods then placed in a spawning tank filled with soft, acidic water. After spawning has occurred, the eggs should be removed and incubated in a small container lined with damp peat moss. Depending on the temperature, eggs typically hatch in 10 to 20 days.

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