Striped Pikelet

The natural home of the striped pike (Aplocheilus lineatus) is in the area of India. There it lives predominantly in small, stagnant waters, moats and rice fields with a high water content. It is probably the most beautiful coloured Asian lampeye fish ever. The degree of difficulty of keeping it is medium.

What distinguishes striped pike?

The striped pike is a very good hunter. Its facilities enable it to observe its prey on the surface and in the protection of the floating plants, to aim and to catch it from a standing position.

With its elegant body shape and attractive colouring the striped pike is an eye-catcher in every aquarium.

The appearance of striped pike

Jeff Kubina, Pike, CC BY-SA 2.0

With its size of 8 to 10 cm, this pike species is one of the largest specimens of the genus Aplocheilus. The characteristic features are: elongated body, flattened head, strikingly pronounced mouth and eyes. The dorsal fin is rather small and sits far back. The anal fin is large and spatula-shaped.

The colouring of the striped pike shows a light green to olive green tone on the back and an almost white belly. On the flanks several horizontal stripes can be seen. They are decorated with greenish golden shimmering shiny scales. The fish owes its name to these horizontal stripes.

The optical appearances can vary and differ clearly between the sexes.

Housing conditions:

  • Species-appropriate basin with at least 100 cm edge length
  • Floating plants for hiding and as a spring brake
  • Possibly an aquarium cover as additional spring brake
  • No socialization with sizes under 4 cm
  • Keeping of a group with at least 1 male and 2 females
  • Balanced water values with a temperature of 22 – 26 ° C
  • Mainly live food
  • Socialization with sizes under 4 cm

Gender differences

The sexes of the striped pikelets can be easily distinguished by their body stature. The males are clearly larger and stronger than the females. They are more conspicuously coloured and the ventral fins are longer. The cross-stripes fade with the years, but the green-golden shiny colouring on the back and sides of the body increases. Young males have a yellow band in the anal fin.

The females are strikingly cross-striped. The anal fin is transparent and shows few dark spots and a red lower seam. On the dorsal fin a dark, round spot is visible.

Water values for the striped pike

In the wild, the pike is exposed to constantly changing water conditions. For this reason, it does not place high demands on the water values in the aquarium.
  • Temperature: 22 to 26° C
  • pH value: 6 to 7, 5
  • Total hardness: 5 to 15 dgH
  • Carbonate hardness: up to 12 dgH
The water quality must be clean, clear and well filtered. A regular water change should be planned.

Feed and nutrition for striped pikelets

In the wild, the predator catches approaching insects such as mosquitoes. The food in the aquarium should be mainly live, but in any case high in protein:
  • Mosquito larvae, fruit flies, Grindal worms
  • Minced fresh meat
  • Occasionally “floating” flake food
  • Commercial fish feed and frozen feed
Live food up to half the own body size is possible.

The ideal aquarium for striped pike

A striped pike requires a tank size of at least 100 cm edge length. Since the fish lurks most of the time under the water surface for prey, floating plants must be available for hiding. In addition, pike also hunt their own species, so dense border planting must provide further hiding places. The correct substrate of the aquarium consists of fine sand.

To prevent mating stress , one male is occupied by two to three females.

The ideal technique consists of a good filter, a heating rod, not too bright lighting and a cover. With good care the striped chick can live for two to three years.

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