Persian Killifish (Aphanius mento)

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Persian Killifish

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Persian Killifish

Aphanius mento

38 Litres (10 US G.)

4-5 cm (1.6-2")




7.0 - 8.0

4 -30 °C (39.2-86°F)

5-20 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

2-3 years



Additional names

Persian Killifish

Additional scientific names

Lebias mento, Cyprinodon mento, Aphanius alexandri

Natural habitat[edit]

Unlike many Aphanius species, this killifish has a large (though spotty) range covering a wide swath of the Middle east; most aquarium strains originate from Turkey. Their native habitats are usually overgrown with aquatic plants and/or algae and experience pronounced winters.

Tank setup[edit]

This fish does best in groups in tanks rich in cover, such as plants or spawning mops. They require hard, alkaline water but have no need of a heater in most homes and benefit from a cooling period during the winter; as they are also quite tolerant of high temperatures, they make excellent container pond fish and can spend at least part of the year outdoors in many regions so long as they cannot escape into the wild. If kept in container ponds, they must be brought inside before a hard frost occurs, as they will not survive for long under ice. Like most killifishes, they are willing jumpers and require a lid.

Tank compatibility[edit]

A habitual fin nipper but not particularly aggressive to fishes with short fins. Best kept in a species tank or with similarly sized, resilient fishes that have short fins. Should be kept in groups of 6 or more to minimize harassment on the lower ranking fish.


These fish are fed best with live/frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, bloodworms and daphnia. They frequently take flakes as well, but feeding them live/frozen foods regularly will ensure better condition and breeding success. They willingly eat algae in the wild and may benefit from a vegetable component in their diet.


Males are always more colorful than females, with blue patterning in their fins and blue spots on their body (compared to the yellowish females with clear fins); during their spring/summer breeding season dominant males are unmistakable, developing dark brown to black coloring with much bolder blue coloring. This species spawns primarily near the bottom of the tank in plants or gravel, with most eggs being produced during the aforementioned breeding season; they are ravenous egg and fry eaters and the parents will usually need to be removed after spawning if any number of fry are to survive. The fry can take baby brine shrimp and microworms immediately upon hatching. Fry take months to reach maturity but can breed at unexpectedly small sizes, as small as a fingernail.


External links[edit]