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Killifish / Aplocheilinae / Golden Pheasant

Golden Pheasant, Blue Gularis
Aphyosemion sjoestedti*

Synonyms: Aphyosemion coeruleum, Fundulopanchax sjoestedti, Fundulus caeruleum, F. sjoestedti, Nothobranchus sjoestedti.
Physical description: An elongated species with a fan-shaped caudal fin. The color depends entirely on the population.  Two variants are most often seen; a green type and a golden morph.   The green variant has a background of green with over-laying red spots and stripes.  The lower parts are blue and the belly is white.   The fins are green with red markings and have a green edging.  Females are reddish-brown.  The golden race has an shiny olive-brown back, and green-gold to blue-gold flanks.  The front part of the body is marked with dark red spots, while the rear part has several dark red, transverse stripes.  The fins of this morph are elaborately elongated and green-gold in color.   Red splotches mark the fins.   Female are brown-gold.
Size/Length: To 4" (10 cm)
Similar species: Other Aphyosemion species.
Habitat: Ponds and marshy pools in coastal rainforest regions.   West Africa; Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Togo.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: A tank measuring 30" (76 cm) with a capacity of 20-25 gallons (75-98 L) is sufficient for a male with two or three females.  Provide many retreats with rocks, wood, roots, and thickets of plants.   Use a dark substrate, preferably peat and use subdued lighting.   Keep the tank well-covered.
Water chemistry: pH 6-7.5 (6.5), 2-12 dH (4), 70-77°F (21-25°C)
Social behavior: A lively species that is predatory towards small fish.   Keep one male with several females.  
Suggested companions: Hatchetfish, Corydoras , Loricarids, Pangio , Congo Tetras,  some Mormyrids, Pelvicachromis, Synodontis.
FOOD: Live; insects, insect larvae, Brine Shrimp, other crustaceans, fish fry; flakes are occasionally accepted.
Sexual differences: Males are more colorful and larger than females.  
Breeding techniques: Use a peat moss substrate or a container containing peat moss (See breeding of annual in the introduction of Killifish) as this species buries its eggs.   Remove the peat from the tank after spawning and allow it to  dry for a day.  Place the peat, which should be always kept moist, in a plastic bag, and store it at a temperature from 64-75°F (18-24°C).   Be sure to air out the bag periodically.   After four to eight weeks, the moss can be placed in a tank containing soft water.   After the fry emerge from the moss, they can be fed on Artemia nauplii
Breeding potential: 6.  This species is fairly easy to breed.
Remarks: As a result of this species' wide distribution, several regional/coloration varieties are known.  This species is an 'annual' Killifish.  *Some ichthyologists suggest that Fundulopanchax sjoestedti is the correct name of this species.
Difficulty of care: 5.  This beautiful Killifish species tends to be aggressive towards others of its own species.   The Golden Pheasant requires live foods in its diet.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com