freshwater community4


Blackfin Pearlfish

blackfin pearlfish

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Scientific Name:    Austrolebias nigripinnis       
Min. Tank Size:   15 gallons       
Personality:  Peaceful       
Temperature:   68-74°F       
pH:   6.0-7.0/5-12°dGH      
Size:   3"       
Diet:   Carnivore       
Breeding:   Egglayer       


Best kept in a species tank or with other cool-water species.

Blackfin Pearlfish

These fish are an annual species of Killifish native to South America. The Blackfin Pearlfish can be found in various parts of Argentina and Uruguay in the Lower Parana and Uruguay river basins. This species of Killifish tends to inhabit cooler waters than many other Killifish - the surface of the water in their native environment often freezes during the coldest days of winter. These fish are named for the blue pearl-like spots adorning their bodies and fins. The overall coloration of these fishes ranges from light blue-gray to dark gray or black and the fins are typically dark with a blue band or spots. The caudal fin is dotted with small light blue spots. Females of the species are often light brown in color and have gray rather than blue spots.

Tank Set-up

The Blackfin Pearlfish is relatively easy to keep in the home aquarium. These fish tend to prefer soft, acidic water and require a tank that provides plenty of hiding places in the form of live plants, rockwork and driftwood branches. They spend a lot of the time towards the botom level of the tank searching for food in the substrate. A dark, sandy substrate will work just fine or, if you prefer, use a base of small pea gravel.


In the wild, this species feeds primarily on insects and small crustaceans but, in the home aquarium, will accept most foods it is offered. Feed a varied diet of live, freeze-dried, and frozen foods consisting of brine shrimp, bloodworms, Daphnia, or tubifex worms. Feeding a varied diet on a regluar basis will help to ensure optimum health and coloration.


Breeding this species is possible in captivity as long as the temperature in the breeding tank is kept between 58 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooler water will help to stimulate spawning. These fish are bottom spawners, depositing their eggs in the substrate of the breeding tank. To simulate their natural environment, line the bottom of the spawning tank with peat - the breeding pair may dive into the peat during spawning to deposit their eggs. After spawning has occured, remove the peat from the tank and incubate it in a plastic bag for 8 to 12 weeks - then place the eggs in soft water to encourage hatching.

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