Sam Borstein's Cichlid Page

Poeciliopsis gracilis
(Heckel, 1848)

Porthole Livebearer

Poeciliopsis gracilis
Above: A Poeciliopsis gracilis. Photo by Sam Borstein.


Genus- Poecilia= many colors (Greek), opsis= appearence (Greek).
Species- gracilis= slim (Latin).


Poeciliopsis gracilis is a very nice, small, peaceful livebearer from Central America. The fish's pattern gives it the nickname the Porthole Livebearer. Although not the most colorful livebearer, this species is very active and easy to keep.


This fish is found in sluggish parts of creek and rivers, as well as flood waters on the Atlantic slope of Mexico.

Size, Maturity, and Sexual Dimorphism:

Size: Males- 1.5 inches, Females- 2.5 inches
Maturity: 1.5 inches
Sexual Dimorphism: Males are smaller than females. Males also have a gonopodium.

Porthole Livebearer Male

Porthole Livebearer Female Female


This fish is easy to keep. A small group can be kept and bred in a 5-10 gallon species tank. This fish can also be put with docile fish in a community tank. These fish are very good jumpers and it is important to cover the tank.


These fish will do will on a quality mixed flake. With some small live or frozen foods mixed in, they will be very happy.


This livebearer is very prolific. They will breed and breed and breed. The female's gestation is about three week, after which point the fry are born. The fry are small, about quarter inch long. The adults will not harm the fry which will eat brine shrimp right after birth.


This is a great livebearer to keep as it is easy to maintain and easy to breed. It is more of a hobbyist fish. If you can find them, they are a pleasure to keep and I highly recommend them as they are at least an easy fish for your clubs breeders award program.