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Little did I know that Killifish are something else altogether. They are tropical fish and yet much is different from other tropicals. They spawn and lay eggs, just a few at a time, on a nearly daily basis. They are best housed in small aquariums. Two to ten gallon tanks are standard even for the larger Fundulopanchax sjoestedti (Blue Gularis). Dimly lit bare tanks are best. You won't see "Aquarium Beautiful" in many Killie fish rooms. Eggs are collected and handled manually. Yes ! They supposedly feel like very small craft beads. Killifish aficionados are nutty about live foods and they have this down to a science. Do I want to jump into this ? You bet your boots I do ! And If you want to see the most beautiful fish outside of the marine reef hobby look at Killies. Nothobranchius rachovii isn't the cover fish for most fish calendars for nothing. Anyone can keep Killies successfully with a 2 1/2 gallon and a 5 gallon tank. The small tank for breeding and the 5 for fry raising.
 

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Careful what you say! 5 gallon tank?!?!? I see Killifish in my future. :rofl:
 

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I was just thinking the same thing! I have a 5G and 2.5G sitting empty.
 
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The small 2 1/2 gallon tank is for breeding because it keeps the pair in close proximity for breeding. The 5 is for fry raising to concentrate the food. Killies don't produce huge numbers of fry. Raising them sounds like a continual process of rearing small numbers.
To get a better picture of things wako.aka.org has a lot of information. Wisconsin Area Killifish Organization.
 
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I have read online that they need 10 gallons and 20 gallons would be better. Some of the rare ones sell for $35-$50.
 

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Dimly lit bare tanks are best.
I will have to disagree with this bit. All fish should have something on the bottom of the tank and they should have lots of plants or spawning mops to hide in and feel comfortable. If you have lots of plants and feed the adults a lot of food, they usually ignore the babies and you can scoop the young out with a plastic cup.
 

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Did you raise Killifish @Colin_T ? Just want to be sure we’re getting proper information.
 

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My information is available to anyone who wants to listen. If you don't trust my advice, then do whatever you like.

But yes, I have kept, bred and raised various killifish ranging from Epiplaty, Aphyosemion and Panchax species. I never kept Nothobranchius at home but did care for them in the shops and had a friend who specialised in killis.

If you keep and breed killifish in water with a pH above 7.0, you get more male offspring. Males sell better than females because they are more colourful.
 

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Amazing. I'm not interested in breeding or selling fish but I have 5 tiny killifish that I dearly love. Charming little guys and girls. My tank is probably not conducive to breeding because there are such a variety of fish and for that I'm grateful - as much fun and exciting breeding sounds like I don't want to have too many fish on my hands. Would love to hear any stories like Colin's about your success in breeding these wonderful little fish.
 

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My information is available to anyone who wants to listen. If you don't trust my advice, then do whatever you like.

But yes, I have kept, bred and raised various killifish ranging from Epiplaty, Aphyosemion and Panchax species. I never kept Nothobranchius at home but did care for them in the shops and had a friend who specialised in killis.

If you keep and breed killifish in water with a pH above 7.0, you get more male offspring. Males sell better than females because they are more colourful.
I never said I didn’t trust your advice and there is no reason to get defensive. The OP had read his information and I was simply wondering if yours was more hands on experience.
 

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Amazing. I'm not interested in breeding or selling fish but I have 5 tiny killifish that I dearly love. Charming little guys and girls. My tank is probably not conducive to breeding because there are such a variety of fish and for that I'm grateful - as much fun and exciting breeding sounds like I don't want to have too many fish on my hands. Would love to hear any stories like Colin's about your success in breeding these wonderful little fish.
@Jan Cavalieri how big is your tank and where did you get your killifish?
 
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Colin_T

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I kept killifish in tanks that were 18 inches long x 10 inches wide x 12 inches high, and 24 inches long x 10 inches wide x 12 inches high.

My friend who kept killis had them in tanks that were 14 inches long x 8 inches wide x 10 inches high. He even bred them in 10 litre buckets :)
 
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I will have to disagree with this bit. All fish should have something on the bottom of the tank and they should have lots of plants or spawning mops to hide in and feel comfortable. If you have lots of plants and feed the adults a lot of food, they usually ignore the babies and you can scoop the young out with a plastic cup.
That is one of the things I'm puzzling over. One source I've read says bare tanks tend to blanch out their color and he prefers a dark substrate. Another advocates bare tanks for cleanliness and ease of retrieving spawning mops for egg retrieval. I agree with the former and with Colin. The plants to make the fish feel secure and also to add a biological element to the water. Everything I'm reading seems to indicate a lot of personal preference and individual experimentation. I like plants and besides, I went to the bother of obtaining Java Moss on Colin's recommendation so I intend to avail myself of its benefits.
As to PheonixKingZ's remark about the small tank, yes, they can be kept in such a small tank. My gardneri are only about 1 1/2 inches in length and nearly disappear in their five gallon.
 

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Killifish are no different to other fish in regards their general care and keeping, so they do need a clean tank. However, you can have gravel, plants and ornaments in an aquarium and still have a clean tank.

Fish need a definite top and bottom in the aquarium. They need substrate so they know there is something there. And they need something on the back of the tank so they know something is there. Fish can't see glass and don't understand what it is. If people didn't know what glass was we would stress out too. There is nothing there and I can see through it but can't go through it. Ahhh, what is it? Fish are no different. They have never encountered glass in the wild and instinct tells them there is mud or gravel or sand at the bottom, and sky up top. And on the sides are muddy or sandy banks.

For years people have been saying Discus need to be kept in bare bottom glass tanks with nothing else in. Prior to the 1980s, Discus were kept in planted tanks with gravel on the bottom and they did fine. I have kept Discus in bare bottom tanks and in tanks with gravel and plants, and they do a lot better in tanks with a substrate and plants, and dither fish. In the 80s, Jack Wattley started keeping Discus in bare bottom glass tanks and he did exceptionally well with them. Because of that, all the Asian breeders started keeping them in bare bottom glass tanks and they did reasonably well. The fish had fewer health problems and were easier to treat. What wasn't known is most of the problems associated with Discus at the time (and to present day), is caused by contaminated food being fed to the fish. The Asian breeders feed the fish on various organisms that are grown in sewerage farms.

Wild Discus don't live in a pristine environment and neither do killifish. They live in creeks and rivers with mud on the bottom and vegetation growing in and out of the water. Some killifish (Nothobranchius) actually lay their eggs in mud and the eggs sit dormant in the dry mud waiting for the next rain. When it rains, the eggs hatch out and the baby fish grow rapidly and produce eggs of their own.

Nothobranchius eggs are regularly packed in damp peat moss, which is put in a plastic bag and shipped all around the world. The eggs remain viable but dormant in the peat moss for months.

If you want healthy fish, do regular water changes and gravel cleaning, as well as filter maintenance. If you gravel clean a tank containing killifish or rainbowfish, suck the gunk out into a clean white bucket. Leave the water to sit and then look for eggs on the bottom of the bucket.
I used to gravel clean the tanks into a bucket and leave it there for a week and simply scoop the fry off the surface as they hatched, and move them into a rearing tank.
 
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