Ameca splendens; otherwise know as Butterfly Goodeidis or Butterfly Splitfin, are a pretty livebearer from Mexico and one that is on the verge of extinction. The females are generally an olive and black mottled fish, while the males develop very yellow fins and scales that sparkle, giving them the common name the Butterfly Goodeid.


In its former natural habitat, the bedrock is limestone, resulting in a hard and alkaline water with a general hardness of 6-10 dGH, while the carbonate hardness is usually between 7 and 11°. The pH is around 8, and temperature varies little between the seasons, but ranges between about 70 and 85 °F (20 and 30 °C) between day and night.

I have found they do just fine in straight tap water here in Lexington KY which for me has a pH of around 7.5 out of the tap. The full water report can be found on KY Amercian’s website. 50% of the water is changed weekly using tap water that is allowed to come to room temperature in rubber maid barrels.

The tank is bare bottomed that has been painted with Java fern tied to rocks.

Sponge filters are the only filtration used and I also do not keep a heater in the tank and let the temperature fluctuate with the room.

Feeding is quite simple and a diet based on a spirulina based flake as the base food along with alternating feedings of live baby brine shrimp, frozen brine shrimp and blood worms which will keep the fish in excellent health.


Males are smaller than females and have a yellow edge to the caudal fin. Males also possess an andropodium, which is a modified anal fin for reproduction. Look for the notch in the male’s anal fin.

The gestation period is roughly two months and the fish reach maturity at around 2.5 inches. It took me close to one year to raise 1 inch juveniles to my first batch of fry seen in the video below.

As you can see in the video the fry are quite large and are ignored by the parents.

Ameca Splendens For Sale


I have Ameca Splendens for sale from time to time. Please check the fish for sale section to see what is available.

Endangered species:

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

My Ameca Splendens Fry 2019-09-01
Ameca Splendens Adults 2018-12-14