Common Name- Humpback Limia
Water conditions- Not critical,
water changes, good aeration and
filtration with some water movement.
Behavior- Peaceful community fish, dominant males will
spar with one another, but it never leads to injury.
Well behaved with other fish.
Breeding- 5-20 Young approx. every 30 days
Size- 2 inches
This fish is thought by some to be difficult to keep going,
or that it will crash, in that the population will
suddenly die off without a clear reason. In fact, it is a
hardy fish that will do well when the aquarium is
maintained a certain way.
They will do well in a 10 gallon aquarium with active water
movement provided from an aeration type box or
inside filter. A hang-on-the-back filter is fine, but an
added airstone would be a recommended addition.
However, they do best in a larger tank of 20-30 gallons. They
prefer consistent water quality as is generally
the case in a larger tank, and prefer to have plants
available to hide in (Java fern, anubias etc.). The
dominant, older fish will generally stay out in front.
They are fine with medium to strong light.
Unlike the Tiger Limia, a very close relative, the
nigrofasciata seems sensitive to ammonia buildup in a tank,
such that they will die off when the water has been allowed
to decline. This is the aspect to their care most
responsible for problems when they occur. For this reason I
do not use Java moss with them, as it can harbor
organic waste. About once a month the tank bottom will be
siphoned up. A very thin layer of
gravel is fine as long as it stays reasonably clean.
They prefer to hide in plants, but are affected when mulm or
decaying organic waste is allowed to collect beneath
those plants. The ability to lift up or remove plants to
siphon up detritus that collects around them is essential.
They will eat their fry, so females should be isolated to
have their young. Fortunately, with this species the
females are small enough to be comfortable in a pet store
style net breeder. In this case I do use a little Java
moss to provide hiding places for the fry and an obstacle to
the mother trying to get to them. Be sure to still
leave the female swimming room. Keep the female in the
breeder in the same tank if at all possible. Be sure to
feed her well in the breeder so she does not eat the young
when they are born. Like all livebearers, the female
generally drops between sunup and noon. Remove her as soon as
you see the young. Raise the young up on
baby brine shrimp and finely crushed flake food. A Vegetable
algea tab or flake also greatly contributes to their
health. 5-20 young are generally born.
A 20-30 gallon bare bottom (or thin layer of gravel) tank
with aeration generated water movement, temp. in the
mid 70ís, lightly-moderately planted with medium light is
perfect. Weekly 10% water changes, attention to keeping
the bottom reasonably clear of mulm and a quality flake food
supplemented with baby brine shrimp occasionally will
keep them at their best color and breeding condition. Provide
a net breeder for the females when they become gravid
to collect the young, and raise the young separately from the
adults for a fair period to give them the best odds
About 2 years ago the fishroom experienced an unexpected
decline in their numbers, and I eventually lost all but
a few pair. After much experimentation it was found that this
fish needs a stronger component of biological filtration
in their tank than other species here, and the problem was
solved by adding a very thin layer of gravel (1 pebble or
so thick) across 1/3rd - 1/2 of the tank bottom to complement
the box filtration and water changes the tank already
Today the numbers are back up and they are doing very well.
Also, as reported to me from customers, and eventually
done here, the nigrofasciata really seem to benefit from
frequent feedings of frozen brine shrimp. All fish do, of
course, but the nigrofasciata will show a dramatic difference
in size when fed with live or frozen foods to complement
their dry food.
One interesting characteristic this fish shares with Limia
Tiger is that young males will sex out at very different
rates, resulting resulting in groups of 3-5 month old fish
that appear to be all females. Some males will sex out
early, but what may appear to be a near adult female fish
will slowly sex out to be a male as it ages. For this reason
it is best to order these in a 2-4 month old fry group of 6-8
fish, which will ship better, cost less, and nearly
guarantee at least 1-2 pair. See Fry Deals for more
See other Care Guides