All You Need to Know About Norman's Lampeye Killifish

Species Snapshot:

  •     Species Name: Poropanchax normani
  •     Size: 1.2-1.6 inches (3-4cm)
  •     Lifespan: Up to 3 years
  •     Native Distribution: Central & Western Africa

Anatomy and Appearance

The Norman's Lampeye Killifish is a striking, slender, fish with a slender body. They have beautiful creamy, silvery-white rounded scales, with dispersions of blue/white here scattered along their body line. These fish also have a subtle yellow/red tinge around the fins. They have a flattened head and an upward-pointing mouth with no barbels. Of course, they are most known for their namesake, the “illuminated” horizontal crescent of the top part of their iris. Males are larger, more colorful, slightly longer, and have more pointed fins than their female counterparts. Females are somewhat duller in color, have a shorter body length, and have rounder fins.

Ideal Tank Setup

Temperature: 73°-78° Fahrenheit (23°-26° Celsius)

pH: 6.5-7.0

KH: 4-15 dKH

Ideal tank size: 10 gallons or larger, for a group of 6

Norman’s Lampeye Killifish are a hardy and peaceful species, making them suitable for beginners and veteran fishkeepers. They reside in the upper portion of the water column, and like to have open space to swim in. As they spend so much time in the top areas of the tank, they appreciate having some cover from floating plants. While the waters of their origin are on the softer, more acidic side, they are largely tank-bred in the trade and have adapted to a wider parameter of water conditions. In their native habitat, these fish are found in shallow, heavily vegetated areas of small bodies of water. As such, they will appreciate a tank with ample vegetation to give them plenty of hiding spaces. 

Given their coloration, contrasting dark substrate and decorative stones/wood will allow more opportunity for the colors of these fish to shine! As with most fish, maintaining optimal water parameters and quality is of utmost importance when caring for these fish. Unlike other Killish that are often kept in pairs, the Norman Lampeye Killifish thrive in groups. For those looking to bring out their true natural shoaling behavior, they can be kept in a species-only tank.

Diet and Feeding

In the wild, the diet of the Norman’s Lampeye Killifish primarily consists of insect larvae, small aquatic insects, and small invertebrates. Fortunately, these fish are not very picky eaters and will gladly accept a range of high-quality dry, frozen, and live foods. 

Some fish keepers have noted that it is easier to start with feeding fresh/frozen offerings of baby brine shrimp, cyclops, bloodworms, or daphnia, before gradually introducing and easing them into a diet that has more dried foods. Their mouths are very small, so if you are to feed dried foods you should make sure to break them into a size suitable for them.

Lampeye Killifish.

Temperament and Tank Mates

Given their rather diminutive size, these Killifish are best kept with other similarly sized fish. Examples include Ember tetras, pygmy corys, and other nano-fish. While they may predate on shrimplets like other fish, they also do well with dwarf shrimp such as red cherry shrimp and other neocaridina species.


Breeding of the Norman’s Lampeye Killifish isn’t particularly complicated, however, should one want to ensure a greater brood yield a separate breeding and rearing tank should be established. These are spawning fish, as such scaping a tank with clumps of java moss or a spawning mop will help entice parents to lay/deposit their adhesive eggs. To help facilitate spawning, live and frozen foods should be readily fed and water parameters kept at pristine conditions. Once the babies are hatched and free-swimming, the young fry can be fed infusoria or finely powdered foods, eventually progressing to baby brine shrimp at the 2-3 weeks old stage. Adults will prey on their eggs & fry, so if you want to maximize survival, adults should be separated once the fry is free-swimming

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