Striped panchax Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: December 17, 2022

The striped panchax is a very popular freshwater fish that is native to Sri Lanka. It is a peaceful fish that is perfect for beginners. It is an omnivore and will eat most things that you put in the tank.

The striped panchax can grow to be about 6 inches long and can live for up to 10 years.

Species overview

The striped panchax (Aplocheilus lineatus) is a type of killifish that’s native to South India. It’s also been introduced to Sri Lanka, where it’s considered an invasive species.

This fish prefers stagnant or slow-moving waters that are heavily vegetated. They are often found in rice paddies, canals, and ditches.

The striped panchax is a carnivore and will eat a variety of small insects and invertebrates. In the wild, their diet consists mostly of mosquito larvae.

This fish is popular in the aquarium trade because of its distinct black and white stripes. It’s a relatively small fish, which makes it a good choice for nano tanks.


Striped panchax

The first thing you’ll notice about this fish is the thick black stripe that runs vertically down the center of their body. This stripe is bordered by two very thin white stripes.

The black stripe is the most dominant color on this fish, but their sides are a light silver. The belly area is also a very pale white.

The dorsal and anal fins on this fish are both black. The dorsal fin is taller than the anal fin and has a very pointed look to it.

The caudal fin is forked and has a black and white checkerboard pattern. The pectoral fins are also black and white.

The ventral fins are black with a white edge. These fins are very long and thin.

The eyes on this fish are very large and have a red iris.


The lifespan of a striped panchax is around 3 to 5 years. This is a pretty typical lifespan for a fish of this size.

The main factor that will impact the lifespan of a striped panchax is the quality of care they receive. Things like water quality, diet, and stress levels can all play a role in how long these fish live.


The average size of a Striped Panchax is around 4 inches, with some fish reaching up to 6 inches. These fish are relatively small, which is good news for those who don’t have a lot of space in their aquarium.


Tank Size

The recommended minimum tank size for striped panchax is 15 gallons. If you’re looking for a smaller freshwater fish that can still provide some visual interest, this may be the fish for you.

Keep in mind that if you want to keep more than one fish, you’ll need to increase the size of your tank accordingly. For every additional fish, you should add 2 to 4 gallons to the size of your tank.

Water Parameters

The striped panchax is a freshwater fish that is native to Sri Lanka. In the wild, they inhabit slow-moving waters with plenty of vegetation.

To keep your striped panchax healthy and happy in captivity, you need to provide similar water conditions.

The good news is that they are not picky eaters and will do well in a wide range of water parameters. Just remember to be consistent and avoid sudden changes.

Here are a few guidelines to help you create a striped panchax-friendly environment.

  • Water temperature: 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH levels: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Water hardness: 2 to 12 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

When it comes to setting up the inside of an aquarium for Striped Panchax, you can be as creative as you want. There aren’t any specific things that this species NEEDS to have, which gives you plenty of options.

We recommend some of the standard decorations that you find in a lot of freshwater tanks. There are a ton of great plants you can include (like hornwort or water wisteria). You can even throw in some floating aquarium plants too!

Rocks, driftwood, and caves are all suitable as well. It’s important to avoid going overboard with this since these fish like some room to swim.

Also, if you’re keeping your Striped Panchax in a smaller tank then it’s going to be difficult to include a lot of this stuff anyway.

A classic gravel substrate is always a good choice, but you can do with something soft and sandy if needed too (use other species you keep as a guide with this).

Common Diseases

The striped panchax is a hardy fish that is relatively resistant to disease. That being said, they can still get sick if they’re not in the best of conditions.

The most common disease that affects this species is ich. This is a parasitic infection that is quite common in freshwater fish. It’s caused by a single-celled organism that buries itself into the skin of the fish.

The most obvious sign of ich is the presence of white spots on the body of the fish. If you see this, it’s important to take action immediately.

The good news is that ich is relatively easy to treat. There are a number of different medications that can be used to get rid of the parasite.

The key is to act fast. The longer you wait, the more chances the parasite has to multiply and cause serious damage to your fish.

Another thing to keep in mind is that striped panchax are rather sensitive to changes in water quality. If the water in their tank is not clean and stable, they’re more likely to get sick.

It’s important to do regular water changes and to monitor the levels of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates in the water.

Behavior & Temperament

The striped panchax is a peaceful fish that does well in community tanks. It is an active fish that prefers to stay in the middle to upper areas of the tank.

The striped panchax is a carnivore and does best on a diet of live foods. In the wild, its diet consists of small insects, crustaceans, and worms. In the aquarium, it will accept frozen and freeze-dried foods, but live foods should make up the majority of its diet.

The striped panchax is an egg-laying fish. The female will lay her eggs on a flat surface, and the male will fertilize them. The eggs will hatch in about 24 hours, and the fry will be free-swimming a few days after that.

The fry are very small and will need to be fed live foods. After a few weeks, they can be large enough to accept frozen foods.

Tank Mates

When it comes to finding tank mates for a striped panchax, there are a few things to consider.

First, these fish come from brackish waters. As a result, they prefer water that’s on the saltier side.

This isn’t to say that you can’t keep them in a freshwater tank. In fact, many people do. But it’s important to be aware that they might not do as well in freshwater as they would in brackish water.

Secondly, striped panchax are predators. They’re not overly aggressive, but they will eat smaller fish if given the chance.

For these reasons, it’s best to keep them with fish that are too large to be eaten and can handle saltier water. Some good tank mates include:


Striped panchax are easy to care for and even easier to breed. They’re not too picky when it comes to water conditions and they will readily breed in the home aquarium.

The best way to ensure a successful spawning is to set up a separate breeding tank. The tank should be at least 30 gallons and should have a sandy bottom.

Add some live plants and some hiding places. Then, adjust the water temperature to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

When everything is ready, add two females for every male. The males will have longer fins and a more colorful body.

Feed the fish plenty of live foods and wait for them to spawn. The female will lay her eggs on a flat surface, like a piece of driftwood or a stone. The male will then fertilize them.

Once the eggs have been fertilized, the male will guard them. He will also fan them with his fins to keep them oxygenated.

The eggs will hatch in about a week. At that point, you can remove the adults and start feeding the fry live foods.


The striped panchax is a great fish for beginners and experienced aquarists alike. They’re easy to care for and don’t require much in the way of maintenance.

They’re also a very peaceful fish, so they’re a great addition to community tanks.

Overall, we think the striped panchax is a great fish and we highly recommend them!