Nothobranchius rachovii

Some people say N. rachovii is the most beautiful freshwater fish in the world.
© C. Norwood

Origin: East Africa

Temp: 68 – 86°F (20 – 30°C)

pH: 6.5 – 8 dH: Medium To Hard

Temperament: Males sometimes fight. 2 males in the same aquarium will just about always fight, but if you have a group of males they will grudgingly get along. Males are quite rough with lone females, standard practice is to use at least 2 females when set-up for spawning.

Adult Size: Up to 2in (5cm)

Minimum Tank Size: 1 gallon to 2 1/2 gallon bowl for a trio

Feeding: Best results with live foods, but will accept most standard Aquarium food.

Breeding: A Soil Spawning Killifish, has a somewhat long incubation period of 16 to 26 weeks.


Nothobranchius rachovii is one of the Soil Spawning Killifish that inhabit the temporary rain pools in Africa. Males may achieve a size of 2 inches and have predominantly red scales with some aquablue coloration in between, the aquablue color continues onto the fins which are also white tipped. Females may achieve a size of 1.5 inches and are the normal gray Notho female bland . The eggs may be collected by siphoning the peat moss or coconut fiber thru a fine fishnet or an old piece of ladies panty hose. Squeeze all the excess water out and then store the eggs in a plastic bag (previously marked with the collection date) for 3 to 6 months. Notho fry are very tiny fry, they will need infusoria or green water to start but will begin eating microworms or baby brine shrimp within a day or 2.
Change a little water every day, but never over 20%. The fry grow very fast.

This is a very difficult Notho for me. It requires a lot of patience and rachovii seems to be very touchy about water quality. Though a difficult fish Nothobranchius rachovii makes up for it with it’s unbelivable coloration. A picture cannot do justice to the colors of this fish.