General Killifish Discussion

Discussion in 'Killifish' started by Maineangler, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. MaineanglerNew MemberMember

    hey everyone, new to the forum (been lurking around these killifish pages for a few weeks now) figured I’d join in.
    First some back ground on me and my plans! I’m from central western Maine in our area our tap water is too notch if you’ve ever picked up “Poland spring” brand bottled water you’re drinking my tap water. My back ground isn’t necessarily aquariums, through high school and college I kept and bred a wide variety of dart frogs in heavy planted terrariums with much success. Unfortunately it’s been years sense I’ve had a tank but I’ve now got the time and space to set up a new tank! Let’s go!
    I know I’m jumping into a whole new world that I’m not exactly extremely knowledge about but I’ve done my research and I’m confident I can overcome the challenges that I’m bound to face.

    So, let’s get down to business I’m setting up a relatively small tank. 8gal’s I ordered the jbj rimless flat aquarium. The reason I ordered this tank is the filter is a simple hang on style filter that isn’t built into the tank so if I need to I can replace the stock filter with something else without having to trash the tank. I haven’t decided on a heater or not yet but the filter housing has a carmpartment to house one so adding one down the road wouldn’t be an issue. This tank will be a planted tank. I love the look of like plants plus the added filtration in this small tank should be a huge help. I am aware of basic aquarium maintenance and how bacterial water cycles work so don’t worry I won’t prematurely stock this tank that will be much much further down the road.

    Tanks are cool and all but we are here for the fish right?! Let’s talk some killifish. I stumbled onto these fish on my fly fishing instagram account. This guy was hatching eggs that have been stored for over a month dry.. yeah, sure, okay, I’ll bite (no pun intended) after that video time lapse I’ve been captivated with these fish. And the more research I’ve done the more and more I’ve found out the best information is found by talking to actual people. About their actual experiences. Obviously there are thousands of fish to choose from but I’ve got a few in mind that I like, let’s start with my personal favorite Aphanius mento. Beautiful fish, small, however I’ve read they can be aggressive. I really like the dark body of this fish and the general shape I like my fish with some “shoulder” if you will. Next I have to say that most of the Nothobranchius‘s however there are a lot to choose from and lot of the sellers seem to be overseas which I’m not a huge fan of. Next we obviously have fp sjoestedti and it’s many forms great looking fish however I’m worried about it’s size in my 8 gal. I’m not trying to put in all this work to find out that a dominant male is just going to stress or kill his tank mates male or female. Lastly and the fish I’m leaning towards at the moment is Simpsonicthys santanae. From everything I’ve read it seems like the play for me. Smaller sized fish that isn’t picky about food and seems like it could do well in an 8 gal (correct me if I’m wrong please).

    These are just a few I’m considering. I like a challenge so any fish I get I will be purchasing in egg form and raising fry. The fish I mentioned are just talking points really, any suggestions are much appreciated I’m open to anything and would love some more ideas on anything really!
    Thanks for the read I know it was a long one!
  2. ktorgValued MemberMember

    Hello, and welcome to the forum! I hope that we can help you out!
    It looks like you have done some good research, that's great!
    Killifish are a great little niche in the hobby and are pretty fun to keep but many species do need specialized care and may not be a good beginner's choice especially if you haven't had an aquarium or kept fish before or if it has been a long time since you have.
    If you are set on a killifish being your first fish then I would recommend a pair of Fp. gardneri for you to start off with. They seem to be the best beginner's killifish IMO and are fairly common. They also breed very easily which will help you figure out how to raise fry instead of repeatedly buying eggs only to have them all die. Fp. sjoestedti can be bred in a smaller tank like yours but I would not keep them in there permanently as they can get fairly large. I have never kept Simpsonicthys santanae but have heard that they are an easier South American killifish if you want to go that route. I do not know much about Aphanius mento.
    As for mail ordering eggs, it can be a fun project, but unless you are well versed in hatching brine shrimp and culturing and maintaining live foods I would suggest that you start with adults. You need a continuous supply of vinegar eels, microworms, or preferably live baby brine shrimp. The fact of the matter is that you can't feed flake or pellets to killifish fry and even some species of killis (many Nothobranchius) will only eat live or frozen foods as adults.
  3. chromedome52Fishlore VIPMember

    Aphanius mento is best kept in brackish conditions, as are most species of that genus. They are very similar to our native Pupfish in behavior, very active and somewhat aggressive. Bad news is that males don't always retain the dark black color, often they will be a medium-dark grey. When I was starting out in the 1970s, they were a very common killie, but they nearly disappeared from the hobby for quite a while. Not sure about current availability as I have been out of touch with my killifish acquaintances.

    I would agree that Fundulopanchax gardneri is a great first killifish. Another is Fp. scheeli, which is slightly smaller but less aggressive and even easier to breed. It has a couple of common names, Burundi Killie, Scheel's Killie, and more recently some people are calling it the Emerald Killie, though the color is more aquamarine than green. Not quite as available as Gardneri, but it is around.

    I think Simpsonichthys santanae would be a fish for someone with a little experience working SA annuals. There are easier South American annuals, though they may not be as colorful.
  4. MaineanglerNew MemberMember

    I’d love to get ahold of these but I’m worried about aggravation issue in my tank. There’s a little more information out there on these then most I feel like. I also feel like I read something about them consuming plants and algae occasionally I could be confusing these with something else I’m not sure.

    I’ve cultured fruit flys for a while and reading about microworm and they seem nearly just as easy. Vinegar ells also seem like a relatively easy food to produce as well. Brine shrimp seem a little over my head at the moment honestly. However I know there are products on the market that could potentially be feed like “instant baby brine shrimp” by ocean nutrition. Is that an option for feeding fry or are they hesitant to take it?
  5. ktorgValued MemberMember

    Microworms and vinegar eels are ok for a first food for smaller fry but BBS are best. From what I have read there seems to be a lot of debate as to the nutritional value of microworms and vinegar eels. Some argue that they are not much more than fillers and others say they are high in protein. The general consensus is that newly hatched brine shrimp are very high in protein. I have never tried to feed any dried BBS before, but right now I am raising some nothobranchius fry and they won't eat anything that isn't moving, so I don't know if it would work for you. When I last raised Fp. gardneri I was able to wean them onto flake after a month or so but they initially needed BBS. I would highly recommend that you learn to hatch BBS before working with killifish fry, but you can try vinegar eels and microworms.