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This profile was written by Bunny an active contributor to the site.  

North America


Zoogoneticus tequila

Girardinus metallicus



    Fewer than 50 adult splitfins still exist in the small, shallow pool that is their native habitat. Even then, they are grossly outnumbered by Trinidadian guppies, an invasive species, and the aggressive Two-spot livebearer. Additionally, they are pressured by environmental destruction, pollution and habitat degradation. Conservation efforts are being made to breed this fish and reintroduce it into the wild. Likewise, aquarium trade that was once a threat is now well-monitored and something of a haven to very special fish that gestates it's fry internally with something similar to umbilical cords and placentas.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Males: 2.36 inches (6.0 cm) Females: 3.15 inches (8.0 cm)
    Tank: School of 6: 40 gallons (150 liters) or larger.
    Strata: Bottom (benthopelagic)
    PH: 6.5-7.5
    Hardness: Medium, dH: 10.0-12.0
    Temperature: 68 - 75°F (20 – 24°C)


    Order: Cyprinodontiformes
    Family: Goodeidae
    Genera: Zoogoneticus
    Species: Zoogoneticus tequila

Common name:

    Tequila fish, Tequila Splitfin

Image gallery:

    Additional species photographs
    Badmans' Forum


    North America: Jalesco, Mexico. A single spring-fed pool of the Rio Teuchitlán near the Tequila Volcano. The pool is 13 feet (8 meters) in diameter and 3.28 to 4.27 feet (1-1.3 meters) deep.

General Body Form:

    A rounded, deep body with fusiform shape. Fins are moderately long and rounded. Small superior mouth. Females are nearly one-third larger than males.


    The base coloration of the head, body and fins is dark olivaceous or milky blue-grey with bright flashes of ever-changing iridescence from mosaic scales. The anterior part of the ventral surface is notably muted. A series of dark gray dots extend along the lateral line from the front of the anal fins out to the caudal peduncle. Dorsal and anal fins are blue-grey proximaly and fade to cream along their distal edges. Pectoral fins are translucent. The body of the caudal fin is blue-grey, followed by a wide crescent of saffron, and terminates in a thin band of cream. Females are more muted, lack the cream-colored edges of their dorsal and anal fins and have only a very thin, faint yellow crescent when there is any marking at all.

  • Care:

  • Water:
    Crystal clear, continually mixed water that is high in oxygen and has a gentle to moderate current.

  • Diet:
    Omnivorus: A predator in the wild, feed live or frozen artemia nauplii and insect larvae. Supplement with flakes and pelleted food for smaller fish containing spirulina. Feed once daily.

  • Tank/Decor::
    To represent a spring-fed, lacustrine environment, choose a medium to large tank with substrate of either sand covered with pebbles, fluorite or gravel. For hiding places, provide rock caves, driftwood or roots. The Common Water Hyacinth, is one of the few plants in their native environment. The hyacinth roots in the substrate, yet keeps the majority of it's vegetation above the water. However, a densely planted aquarium will help curtail aggression.

  • Communities:
    Best as a species-only tank. Keep a ratio of 1 male to 2-3 females. These fish act aggressively toward one another. Males are aggressive with other males and females. Females are aggressive to other males and smaller fish. Pregnant females are aggressive toward approaching males. Zoogoneticus live among guppies in the wild.

    A single spring-fed pool of the Rio Teuchitlán.


    Easy. Sexual dimorphism: Males are up to 1/3 smaller than female and are more intensely colored. Females are larger and are fuller-bodied. Due to it's rapid disappearance in the wild, little is known about the courtship and the spawning process. Zoogoneticus is most likely to spawn in the summer or winter. The male transfers sperm into the female using the first few spines that are split off from his anal fin (hence the name “splitfin”) and fry develop within her ovary. Uniquely, fry receive nutrients from the mother via a ribbon-like structure and they have a placenta-like attachment on their stomachs. After 6 to 8 weeks, 10-30 fry are born. Fry should be removed from the tank as adult fish will eat them. They are sexually mature and distinguishable in 6 to 10 weeks. Unlike other livebearers, females do not store sperm and must be fertilized for each pregnancy.


    Tequila fish


Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.







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