Spawns of Austrolebias nigripinnis «La Peregrina ARG-APKP 2011-04»

We offer 10-day pair spawns of Austrolebias nigripinnis «La Peregrina ARG-APKP 2011-04» – a South American temperate annual killifish. The eggs are in coir, packed in a plastic bag and posted in a padded bubble envelope protected by rock-wool.

Habitat and Climate

Austrolebias nigripinnis «La Peregrina ARG-APKP 2011-04» were originally collected in a temporary pool along the National Route 12 (Ruta Nacional 12) within the Río Saucecito floodplains (Rio Uruguay basin) in Islas del Ibicuy Department of Entre Ríos Province (Argentina) by the APK (Associação Portuguesa de Killifilia) team in 2011. The area is traversed by many streams and punctuated by spots of trees, alternating with natural pasture lands which are employed to raise cattle and sheep. This species occurs in soft, slightly acid water.

The region’s climate is classified as warm and temperate. When compared with winter, the summers have much more rainfall. The temperature here averages 19.9 °C. Precipitation here averages 832 mm. The least amount of rainfall occurs in August. The average in this month is 2 mm. In February, the precipitation reaches its peak, with an average of 165 mm. The temperatures are highest on average in January, at around 23.9 °C. At 14.1 °C on average, July is the coldest month of the year. The variation in the precipitation between the driest and wettest months is 163 mm. The variation in annual temperature is around 9.8 °C.


Males grow larger and are far more colourful than females. Austrolebias nigripinnis is a temperate annual killifish. The fish tolerate low temperatures down to 5°C – 8°C for short periods. This species can be kept outdoors in most European countries. A group of 10 – 12 fishes will do well in 60 – 80 litre tub in your garden during warm months. We use fine gravel at the bottom, a few spawning containers with coir and various aquatic and marginal plants. A few snails such as Lymnaea stagnalis, Physa fontinalis, Planorbis planorbis, Viviparus viviparus and freshwater crustaceans like Gammarus pulex and Asellus aquaticus are used as a cleaning crew. Aeration or filtration is not required. The fish have to be fed daily live foods only – Daphnia, Tubifex, Bloodworms, Glassworms, White Worms and so on. At such conditions you can expect the best colouration, good health and prolific spawns. They will start spawning as soon as the water temperature is above 16°C – 18°C. The optimal temperature to keep and breed Austrolebias nigripinnis is from 18°C to 22°C. A few hours of indirect natural sunlight each day is always beneficial even if your fish are kept indoors. Keeping them in water warmer than 22°C will short their lifespan. Always make sure the fish is in clean water, always boil peat very well before using it for spawning. Austrolebias nigripinnis requires good water quality all the time.


When Austrolebias nigripinnis natural habitats become desiccated during the dry season the adult fish die, leaving fertilised eggs encased within the substrate. These are resistant to desiccation and remain there until the rains return some 3 – 4 months later at which point the fry hatch and grow very quickly with sexual maturity reached at around 5 – 7 weeks of age. Typical lifespan in the aquarium is about 12 – 18 months.

Most people of course breed Austrolebias nigripinnis indoors using small glass aquariums. For breeding purposes the aquarium size should be at least 10 – 15 litres for a pair or trio (1 male and 2 females). The addition of an air-driven sponge filter is useful to prevent water stagnation, larger sponge – better water quality. The aquarium should be moderately illuminated. A few hardy plants like Anubias species are recommended. This fish is not aggressive, although there might be an occasional aggressive male. Austrolebias nigripinnis are quite prolific spawners if conditioned and fed well. This species tends to be more of a diver type of spawner than a plough type. Coir or peat moss is the preferred medium but any other suitable type of spawning substrate can be used. A spawning container can be used inside the breeding tank if desired. In case of breeding with more than one male you also should provide more than one spawning container. Every male must have one and you will see they show nice territorial behaviour to attract females into their own spawning place. Spawns are collected every 3 – 4 weeks. The substrate with eggs should be placed in a mesh net and dried on newspaper for several hours until it is moist rather than sodden. Then it’s placed in a plastic bag (the zip-lock type are good) and kept at a temperature of 21°C – 22°C. If you are spawning several species or multiple broods it is a good idea to label each bag with the date, hatching date and species to prevent any disasters.

The eggs are small in size, from 0.9 to 1.0 mm, and can withstand much abuse. The eggs are a little bit adhesive and can be seen in a peat moss with some effort. Please note that the eggs incubation period of Austrolebias nigripinnis can be as long as 3 – 5 months and even longer, depending on the incubating temperature, peat moisture, and other factors. You have to be quite patient checking the eggs every 3 – 4 weeks for the embryo development.

Hatching can usually be induced by simply placing the eggs in shallow water in the raising aquarium (container) after 3 – 4 months of incubation, where the wetting of the eggs stimulates hatching. Do not be tempted to hatch the eggs early, as this can impair the development of the fry. If the eggs fail to hatch, place the peat back into storage for another 2 – 3 weeks. Repeat this until you get a hatch. Some breeders even re-dry the peat following a hatch and wet it again after another 4 – 5 weeks. This often yields more eggs that have developed more slowly. Eyed-up eggs with moving embryos inside are a sure indication that the eggs are fully developed. When you hatch the eggs do frequent water changes for increased fry growth rates. The fry are medium in size and can be fed with BBS or Microworms at birth. If you maintain the water as recommended and diversify fry’s food, they can be sexed out in about 4 to 5 weeks, and ready to breed at 5 – 7 weeks. This species can be easily bred and maintained as long as you act in accordance with all the recommendations.

Species Summary

  • Scientific Name: Austrolebias nigripinnis
  • Describer: C. T. Regan, 1912
  • Population Code: La Peregrina ARG-APKP 2011-04
  • Water Source: Río Saucecito Floodplains (Rio Uruguay Basin)
  • Region: Islas del Ibicuy Department, Entre Ríos Province, Argentina
  • Subgenus: Argolebias
  • Family: Rivulidae
  • Collector(s): Luis Pontes Maio, Diego Moreiras and John Saad – APK (Associação Portuguesa de Killifilia)
  • Disposition: Peaceful and Timid
  • Total Length: 45 – 50 mm
  • Spawning Method: Substrate (Coir or Peat Moss) Divers
  • Breeding Proportion: 1M : 1F or 1M : 2 F
  • Breeding Difficulty: Less Demanding
  • Average Incubation Period: 3 – 4 Months at 21°C – 22°C
  • Peat Wetness: Semi-wet
  • Fry Size: Medium (baby brine shrimps can be fed right after hatching)
  • Sexual Maturity: 5 – 7 Weeks
  • Life Span: 12 – 18 Months (depends on food and keeping conditions)
  • Filtration: Moderate (very low current or no current)
  • Water Changes: 1/3 Weekly (Important!)
  • General Hardness: 0 – 5 dGH
  • pH: 6.5 – 6.8
  • Temperature Range: 18°C – 22°C
  • Lighting: Moderate Light
  • Diet: Live Foods (Bloodworm, Tubifex, Artemia, Daphnia, Grindal or White Worms, etc.)
  • Keeping Difficulty: Less Demanding


The storage conditions and package handling during transportation are out of our control. We can’t be responsible if something went wrong (customs issues, dead eggs on arrival, dissolved eggs, problems with hatching, belly sliders, hatch rate, sex ratio etc.). No refunds will be sent in case of such problems. By placing this order the buyer completely agrees with this disclaimer.


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