Breeding Skiffia francesae

Skiffia francesae were listed online as “a New Species of Goodeid Fish from Western México” by KINGSTON, D.I. in 1978. Their common English name is the Golden Sawfin Goodea.
Their natural habitat is a quiet, thermal and clear to murky water environment with only a slight current. The substrate is a deep mud with a few rocks, silt and sand. A few species of aquatic plants are present and the average temperature is between 75 –79°F. The water is heavily polluted.
In the wild they are considered to be a threatened or extinct species. Fortunately, aquarium populations have been maintained in different countries, so this species has not been lost yet. They are a shoaling fish are best kept in larger groups.
Males are a bright gold with superimposed gray cast; colors are more vivid when courting. Females and juveniles are a grayish-green color with scattered small black flecks. The males reach a size of approximately 1 ¾ inches, the females approximately 2 inches in length. They are a livebearer, and after a pregnancy of approx. 8 weeks, 20-30 fry are delivered and these fry can be ¼ – ½ inch long. A heavily planted tank is recommended as they will eat their own young.


I keep 5 adult females and 3 adult males in a 10 gallon aquarium and feed them a medley of flakes, shrimp pellets and frozen blood worms. Part of their nourishment should be vegetable based and I have noticed that this tank is free of algae since their arrival.
I somewhat attribute my success in breeding them to blind luck. One evening I noticed that I had two rather large females that looked like they might give birth. I caught one of them and put her in a breeder net with a bunch of hornwort and anacharis. The next morning she was thin and there were no fry, indicating that she had eaten them. But much to my surprise, there were approximately 15 babies outside the breeder net, some trapped between the net and the glass. I quickly removed the female inside the breeder net, caught the fry, and placed them inside. Later that day, I switched them, the hornwort and anacharis over to a hang on breeder box that circulates the tank water, providing a gentle flow of water from the main aquarium.
I feed the fry Ken’s fry granules (.5 mm) two-three times daily, cleaning out the excess food and waste from the bottom as needed.

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