Killie-Casino scorecard

GaryE

Fish Herder
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I've walked through Casinos, but have never had the slightest urge to 'play'. The gambler in me is a fishkeeper.

This Spring and summer, I've been trading in killifish futures, and buying eggs from species I've wanted for a long time. I'm retired and have built the kind of fishroom I've always wanted. I have sold some aquarium related work to give myself an independent budget. I had a system up, with very few fish in it, and I wanted colourful fish that could thrive in unheated tanks. Plus, I've spent 30 years enjoying killiekeeping.

You buy eggs online. The Aphyosemions I want have eggs that take 14 to 18 days to hatch. So that's your window.

Since days reached 20c, and night stayed above 10, I have bought from Czechia, Poland, France, central Canada, and China. In the past, I have had success with eggs from those countries, plus Spain, the USA, Portugal, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.

This summer has been very temperate here. I am on the Atlantic coast of Canada. If I drive 10km inland, the temperatures can go up 10 degrees. So I start with research. What's the weather where I want to buy from? What is the forecast here? If it's too warm at either end, I have to be patient. Aphyosemion eggs do poorly at 26 or higher. I've watched some wonderful offerings go by with the heat in Europe this summer.

I have recently received and hatched Aphyosemion ocellatum, cameronense, gabunense, elberti, and Fundulopanchax nigerianus. Bear in mind that if I buy 40 eggs, after the mail transit experience. 10 hatching is a great success.

I have had 1 fry each from 2 annual, 3 to 5 month incubating Nothobranchius, as well as Aphyosemion coeleste.

Total failures> Notho lucius, and a package with 2 species that fell out of the tracking system at the Polish border, never to be seen alive.

Comments from experience? Think of the distances. The mail kills eggs, which are after all living organisms. There are sketchy sellers, but not many. 90% of people send what you pay for. You don't always get it though, as an egg that dies due to heat or cold dissolves in transit, quickly. Assume good faith, but as you choose who you're buying from, remember it's a free market, buyer beware deal, with no guarantees. You have to watch the invisible hand of the market, as it's a pickpocket. Protect yourself from the minority of bad sellers by reading reviews.
The weather thing helps too. I recently saw a species I wanted to try at a good price, but upon checking, it was 33c in the city the guy was mailing from, and it had been for weeks, with no break in sight. I'm sure he would have packed and mailed the eggs, but they would have died in 24 hours.
Check the laws of your own country. This pastime is legal for me in Canada, but people in the USA are not free to indulge without expensive permits and bureaucracy. I never buy from the USA as most packages simply don't get here. I have a few killie friends in the US, but I gave up trying 4 years ago, after a string of vanished packages. If I buy from China, it is only long incubation time annual killies - the sellers are reliable in both countries, but Chinese mail is slow.
If you are in the USA, you can buy internally. It's your national border that blocks fish exchanges. And no matter where you are, don't try to buy from Brazil or to exchange with Australia.

The snail mail can be fish mail too. If you really get into being an aquarist, the possibilities are real.
 

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