Freshwater Fish

A Complete Guide To Caring For Golden Wonder Killifish

The Golden Wonder Killifish are a firm favorite in the aquarium community for a number of reasons. This freshwater specie is colorful and looks astonishing in any tank. In addition, they’re also one of the least demanding fish species, which explains why many hobbyists have them in their collection. 

In terms of adaptability, the Golden Wonder Killifish are one of the best species out there. If provided with the right tank size, setup, and water conditions, the fish will do just fine with minimal upkeep. Moreover, this Killifish species also co-habits well with other fish species of their size. 

Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that the Golden Wonder Killifish are prone to certain diseases which can be life-threatening. However, with proper care and tank maintenance, such diseases are easily preventable or cured. 

Below is a rundown of the essential things you need to keep in mind to keep your Killifish as healthy and happy as possible. 

Golden Wonder Killifish Overview 

The Golden Wonder Killifish comes in two other names, namely Malabar Killifish and Striped Panchax Killifish. They are among the most colorful freshwater fish breeds that are well-loved by many fish keepers. 

Originally, the fish is native to Sri Lanka and India wherein its natural habitats are streams, lakes, swamps, and slow-moving rivers. Meanwhile, some sources say that this killifish specie’s ancestors originated in Africa.

It is unlikely for this Killifish species to move into silty swamps, paddy fields, or brackish waters. In fact, Indian farmers use them to eliminate insects in paddy fields.

On the other hand, in captivity, the Gold Wonder Killifish prosper in aquariums that resemble their natural habitat.

They thrive in aquariums with plenty of aquatic plants and floating assortments as it allows them to have several territories and hiding spots. In addition, you can also add driftwood tangles for added shelter. 

The fish are a great option to add to community aquariums. Not only are they peaceful and easily adaptable, but they will also add vibrance and life to any aquarium given their dazzling colors. 

Behavior And Temperament 

Most of the time, the Golden Wonder Killifish are generally peaceful and non-aggressive in terms of social behavior.

They spend the majority of their lives shoaling around or schooling in groups. Unless they feel threatened, these killifish species typically do not show signs of aggressive behaviors. 

Whenever they feel threatened, they might try to jump out of their tank and die if not saved in time. For this reason, it is essential that you put a weighted lid above their tank. 

Additionally, this species usually roams around at top area as they search for their prey. In case an insect falls into the water, Golden Wonder Killifish will capture it fast showing off its predator nature. 

Appearance, Size And Lifespan 

In terms of appearance, the Golden Wonder Killifish typically have a bronze back, green flanks, and scales that almost look metallic gold. In fact, some of them have an entirely golden color. 

The males feature shades of blue and yellow in their bodies with accents of vibrant orange spots and stripes. Females, on the other hand, have highly toned down color tones and body form as well.

The fish greatly varies in color; some feature gold-green shades while others offer a completely gold-toned body. 

When it comes to size, adults can grow up to four inches when they are in their natural habitat. While if they are in captivity and kept in aquariums, they typically grow up to as much as three inches only. 

As per lifespan, this species of Killifish can live up to four years if provided with good-quality living conditions and optimal care in captivity. 

However, even if you try to replicate their natural habitat, Golden Wonder Killifish in captivity will not live as long as the ones in the wild. Nature provides them with the natural conditions they need to thrive which humans can’t give. 

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Golden Wonder Killifish living in the wild can live up to five years. 

Tank Size And Setup 

Given that the Golden Wonder Killifish are some of the least demanding species in the aquarium community, caring for them is not complicated at all. However, you have to commit to providing them with quality life and optimal care. 

First and foremost, you must set up a tank with an environment they can survive and thrive. As much as possible, try to replicate their natural habitat in the wild; plenty of plants and several hiding spots. 

In terms of tank size, a 20-gallon tank is the preferred minimum aquarium size for Golden Wonder Killifish.

This specie of Killifish typically swims at the top part of the tank when searching for food but they also love to spend a lot of time roaming around the different parts of their home and exploring several hiding spaces.

Therefore, you must set up a tank that provides them with more opportunities to explore. 

Moreover, if you are planning to house a handful of Golden Wonder Killifish and other species in one tank, it is ideal to get a tank that’s at least 30 gallons in size. 

Once you got the right-size tank, the next thing to do is to set up the tank. The best way you can replicate the Golden Wonder Killifish’s natural habitat is to put plenty of aquatic plants in their tank. You can also select a good variety of floating plants such as dwarf lettuce. 

Other tank accessories you can put are driftwood tangles and aquarium decors that can serve as additional dwelling spaces and hiding spots for your fish.

You can also put a sandy substrate as it can help in making it feel more like a natural environment for these fish. 

Lastly, because the Golden Wonder Killifish have the tendency to jump out of their tank, it is important that you put a weighted lid that will prevent them from escaping. 

Feeding And Diet 

The Golden Wonder Killifish are carnivores; they eat insects and larvae in the wild. Some of their favorites include mosquito larvae and bloodworms. 

When keeping them in a tank, you can give them a variety of meaty foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and free-dried frozen meat fish feeds.

It is also important to give them live food because it helps with the enhancement and maintenance of their vivid colors. 

However, they are not fussy eaters, as flakes food and pellets would be fine for them as well. 

Moreover, when feeding them with live food, make sure to source one from a trusted seller. This is because live foods such as insects and larvae usually introduce parasites and diseases into the tank. 


When breeding the Golden Wonder Killifish, it is recommended to put a pair of male and female fish in a separate tank that is about 20 gallons in size.

In this tank, you can put a maximum of two pairs for breeding. Additionally, just like with their home tank, you must put a weighted lid on top of the tank to prevent the fish from jumping out to their death. 

Here are a few factors to consider in order to help you identify the male and female Gold Wonder Killifish.

1. Body Color

  • A male fish has a golden gleam all throughout its body.
  • A female fish in good lighting also has a golden gleam but is not as intense as the male fish. Most females tend to have plain silver-toned bodies.

2. Size Difference

  • Male Golden Wonder Killifish tend to have a larger body size than females. 

3. Eye Color

  • A male fish’s iris features a specific greenish-blue tint.
  • A female fish may feature some color but a bit more toned down and not as noticeable as the male fish. 

4. Anal Fins

  • Males tend to have a more pointed and larger anal fin than females. It is also noticeable that their fins extend down their bodies towards their tails. 
  • Females, on the other hand, have a rounded and much smaller anal fin. 

Here are a few more tips for breeding the Golden Wonder Killifish:

  • Don’t put substrates so that the breeding tank is easier to clean and make more hygienic. 
  • Use artificial spawning spots instead of a plant. This help keep the tank clean and bacteria-free. Plants may also introduce pests and diseases into the tank which is not great for breeding. 
  • A sponge filter is a great way to keep the water clean and keep minimal water movement. A top-filter system is not a great idea for breeding tanks as it will draw the eggs into it and get them killed. 
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Golden Wonder Killifish Tank Mates 

Aside from providing Golden Wonder Killifish with the best tank environment, it is also crucial to choose the right tank mates for them. While this species of Killifish is less demanding, they can get easily stressed out if bothered by other fish. 

When the Golden Wonder Killifish feel threatened or startled, they tend to jump out of their tank and get killed if not put back in on time. Thus, when picking a tank mate for them, only choose ones that are calm and non-aggressive. 

Here are a few fish selections that make great Golden Wonder Killifish tank mates. 

1. Dwarf Cichlids

Size: 4 inches

Tank Size: 20 Gallons minimum

Diet: Omnivorous

Temperament: Peaceful

Care Level: Easy to moderate

Dwarf cichlids make excellent tank companions for the Golden Wonder Killifish given that both species are peaceful, small, and less demanding.

Thus, the two fishes will get along just fine in an aquarium tank. In addition, both species feature astonishing colors that will make their tank full of life and vibrance. 

When it comes to their diet, dwarf cichlids are omnivores and will thrive eating most aquarium foods such as pellets, flakes, and select live foods. 

2. Corydoras

Size: 2.4 inches

Tank Size: 20 Gallons

Diet: Omnivorous

Temperament: Peaceful

Care Level: Easy 

Corydoras are among the most recommended fish species for newbies who want to get into fishkeeping. They are small, peaceful, and easy to take care of.

This fish specie is also very gentle and peaceful which is why they make great tank mates for many other species including the Golden Wonder Killifish. 

Corydoras come in various colors like green and gold. Mostly, they feature black markings on their fins and head and their bodies often have either a greenish-brown or a pure brown color tone. 

This specie of fish is omnivorous; aquarium foods such as flakes, pellets, frozen foods, and plant matter are some of the foods you can give them. 

3. Rummy Nose Tetra

Size: 1.75 inches

Tank Size: 20 Gallons

Diet: Omnivorous

Temperament: Timid and Peaceful

Care Level: Easy

The Rummy Nose Tetras are a type of schooling fish specie renowned for their calm demeanor. They make suitable tank companions for many other small species such as the Golden Wonder Killifish. 

This fish species is known for its red nose hence why its name. They also feature a slender body frame with accents of black stripes.

Just like the Golden Wonder Killifish, Rummy Nose Tetras thrive in tanks with plenty of plants. It is also recommended to put them in a tank with other calm and peaceful fish specie that won’t bother them. 

In terms of diet and feeding, Rummy Nose Tetras are omnivorous and will eat pretty much any aquarium food including pellets, flakes, plant matters, and freeze-dried meals. 

4. Cardinal Tetra

Size: 2 inches

Tank Size: 20 Gallons

Diet: Omnivorous

Temperament: Agile and Peaceful

Care Level: Easy to Moderate

Cardinal Tetras and Golden Wonder Killifish have a lot in common in terms of temperament and care requirements.

Cardinal Tetras are peaceful and playful, and they are also less demanding just like this specie of Killifish. Therefore, the two fish specie would cohabit well in one tank. 

The Cardinal Tetras are among the highly-coveted species in the aquarium community due to their stunning features. This fish feature bright colors with bright-red fins and a slender blue-violet body. 

These fish are omnivorous and would each pretty much any aquarium food including commercial fish feeds, freeze-dried meaty fish foods, and plant matters. 

5. German Blue Ram

Size: 2-4 Inches

Tank Size: 20 Gallons

Diet: Omnivore

Temperament: Peaceful

Care Level: Easy to Moderate

The German Blue Rams are a small type of fish that are suitable as tank mates for Golden Wonder Killifish given their peaceful temperament.

One of the reasons why German Blue Rams are a great addition to your tank is because they can keep it clean by eating the algae that grow in the tank’s glass and decorations. 

These fish offer charming physical features including large eyes, and a pointed head and their sides and back have a blue color while their belly is white. Additionally, their fins and bodies come with black spots. 

German Blue Rams are timid; they would thrive in an aquarium with plenty of plants and artificial hiding spots. In terms of diet, this fish specie is omnivorous and would eat typical aquarium foods such as pellets, flakes, as well as frozen or live foods. 

6. Celestial Pearl Danios

Size: 2 Inches

Tank Size: 20 Gallons

Diet: Omnivorous

Temperament: Peaceful

Care Level: Easy

Celestial Pearl Danios are well-loved in the aquarium community because of their unique and stunning features. This fish will definitely bring life and color to any tank.

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This fish specie works well as a tank mate for many other small-sized fish species including Golden Wonder Killifish. They are peaceful, non-aggressive, and love to be in groups.

The Celestial Pearl Danios adapts easily in aquarium environments if provided with great-quality care. They are also less demanding which makes them a perfect pick for beginner hobbyists. 

This fish specie is omnivorous and would consume a variety of foods including aquarium feeds, frozen foods, plant matter, and live prey. 

7. Otocinclus Catfish

Size: 2 Inches

Tank Size: 10 Gallons Minimum

Diet: Herbivorous

Temperament: Peaceful

Care Level: Easy to Moderate

The Otocinclus Catfish is a small fish specie that has a peaceful and calm demeanor. It works very well as a tank mate for many other small fish species including Golden Wonder Killifish.

This bottom-dwelling fish will spend most of their time scavenging for food, mainly algae, in the tank’s bottom area. Putting them in a tank will help keep them clean and hygienic. 

The Otocinclus Catfish come in various nicknames such as Algae, Eater, Oto Cat, and Dwarf Suckermouth.

Aside from algae, you can also feed this fish any diet that is rich in vegetable matter. However, they also consume most aquarium foods such as pellets and flakes. 

8. Cory Catfish

Size: 3 Inches

Tank Size: 10 Gallons Minimum

Diet: Omnivorous

Temperament: Peaceful

Care Level: Easy

The Cory Catfish is another popular choice among hobbyists in the aquarium community for many reasons. This fish is well-known for its calm demeanor which is why it gets along well with many other fish species such as Golden Wonder Killifish. 

The Cory Catfish will spend the majority of its time scavenging for food scraps or schooling with other Cory Catfish. Moreover, just like the Golden Wonder Killifish, the Cory Catfish are less demanding and require very minimal upkeep. 

These fish are omnivorous and survives by eating various aquarium foods such as pellets, flakes, and plant matter. 

9. Guppies

Size: 2 Inches

Tank Size: 20 Gallons

Diet: Omnivorous

Temperament: Peaceful

Care Level: Easy

Guppies are one of the most common species kept by hobbyists in aquariums because they are readily available and very easy to take care of. These fish work well as tank mates with other fish due to their peaceful and playful behaviors. 

Guppies come in different color variations and fin structures which make them look stunning in every aquarium tank.

As per their diet, Guppies are omnivores and would eat a variety of aquarium foods including flakes, pellets, plant matter, and freeze-dried foods.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Food Should You Give Golden Wonder Killifish?

The Golden Wonder Killifish are mainly carnivorous and consume various live meals such as bloodworms, insects, insect larvae, mosquito larvae, daphnia, and crustaceans. They also consume a selection of free-dried foods. 

What Diseases Are Golden Wonder Killifish Prone To?

The Golden Wonder Killifish are well-commended by many hobbyists as they’re a very hardy fish that rarely gets ill if provided with optimal care and a hygienic tank environment.

They are also unlikely to get ill when given a selection of healthy foods. However, they can get prone to certain velvet and bacterial diseases, especially if their tank is dirty or contaminated.

Diseases can be brought by tank accessories such as decorations, plants, and substrates. Other fish or live food are also other factors that can bring disease to the tank.

What Are The Care Requirements For This Fish?

Caring for the Golden Wonder Killifish is uncomplicated and less demanding. You only need a tank that is at least 20 gallons in size and set it up with plenty of aquatic plants including a variety of floating ones.

You can also choose to add dark sand as a substrate and a couple of driftwood tangles and aquarium ornaments that will serve as their hiding spots. 

Does The Golden Wonder Killifish Have Aggressive Tendencies?

Golden Wonder Killifish are not aggressive at all. In fact, they are among the calmest and most peaceful fish species in the aquarium environment.

However, they can easily feel stressed out and threatened if bothered by other fish in their tanks. Therefore it is very important to choose their tank mates carefully. 

Where Can You Purchase The Golden Wonder Killifish?

This specie of Killifish is available in some pet shops and in online stores. However, Golden Wonder Killifish are mass-produced in Indonesia. 


With all the exceptional features and characteristics of Golden Wonder Killifish, they are undoubtedly one of the best fish species to add to your aquarium at home. In addition, given that they are a very hardy and less-demanding fish, they are a great pick for someone who wants to get into fish keeping. 


Passionate fishkeeper. Nature lover. Creative thinker. Music junkie. Adventurer.

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