New To Killis, Advice Would Be Appreciated.

Discussion in 'Killifish' started by Andy S, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. Andy SValued MemberMember

    I've kept and bred many different freshwater fish for a number of years but have never had Killiefish.
    I have ordered from eBay a batch of eggs of Nothobrachius Korthausae Mafia which should be ready to hatch in about a month's time. They are being supplied by a breeder in Malta who appears to be breeding over 20 different species. I understand that they are by killiefish standards relatively easy to keep?
    I've been researching but it seems the more research I do the more confusing it all becomes; there's lots of contradictory advice regarding water parameters and feeding in particular.
    Some are saying they need soft acidic water and others say they need hard alkali water.
    Some say that they will eat nothing but live food, other advice is that they will quite happily adjust to commercial flake food.
    I already have several grindal worm cultures underway as well as a brine shrimp hatchery should it be required. I am also about to start a microworm culture so hopefully between the three of them I should have things covered.
    I'm told that the fry are very susceptible to water changes and they should be left alone and just have the water topped up as and when necessary yet another site says that daily water changes are crucial for the fry to develop properly. I get the feeling that a lot of what is written is hearsay or second hand information which may not necessarily be accurate.
    Does anybody on this site have experience of this particular fish or something closely related and in particular raising them from eggs? I would rather take my advice from somebody who has experience rather than from an unknown internet source who may or may not know what they are talking about.
    I would like eventually to breed these fish (assuming I manage to rear them in the first place). This is not a commercial venture I would just like to keep the colony going since all of them that I manage to raise are destined to die within a year or so. Should they be spawned on peat or on spawning mops? Others suggest plastic containers with holes in the lid half full of peat. I don't mind using any of these methods, I would just like to have the best chance of spawning and rearing the next generation.
    I have a couple of small tanks ready to go - any advice would be gratefully received.
  2. 75g Discus TankFishlore VIPMember

    I’d ask the dealer of the eggs first, and cross check it with fishlore members. I’m not very good with killies, but other people are pretty good.
  3. ktorgValued MemberMember

    I have also ordered killifish eggs from Charles in Malta. He is a good and honest guy. Unfortunately, I didn't get a good hatch rate from the most recent eggs I ordered from him a month or two ago because it takes a few weeks for them to get here to the states and I was thinking that the weather was going to be warmer by then but instead we got hit by another cold front. Only two out of the 30+ eggs hatched over several wettings. It should be a little warmer now and hopefully you will have more luck. Greece is a lot closer to Malta than the USA so shipping shouldn't take as long as it does for me.

    N. korthausae
    fry should be big enough to eat newly hatched brine shrimp right away. I haven't used grindal worms but microworms and vinegar eels are useful for smaller fry. Feed brine shrimp until they are big enough to take small bloodworms, then it should be easy sailing from there on out.

    Regarding water parameters, Nothobranchius killifish are extremely adaptable. They have to be to survive in such an inhospitable environment. I like this website:   It talks about how they found these fish living and breeding in very acidic water holes because of the large amounts of animal dung and decaying matter present and also in very basic puddles because of the high salt and tds content left there after most of the puddle had evaporated, which just proves how versatile they are. Each species is a little different though. Check out the website, I think it talks a lot about N. korthausae. As far as water changes, I am raising some N. guentheri right now and find that they grow faster with small frequent water changes. Small bodies of water get fouled a lot quicker than big tanks! Nothing drastic but after their first few days of life the fry are a little stronger and can handle it better. Just make sure that the water chemistry and temperature are the same! I think that's where most people get into trouble. The water should also be mature and dechlorinated. I usually siphon some water from the same mature tank to use each time, which is usually water from the same tank that I used to hatch them.

    Like other nothos, they lay their eggs in peat. The plastic container with a hole cut out of the middle is a good idea. The eggs will not hatch unless they are taken out of the water and stored in damp peat until the embryos are fully developed. Males are very aggressive and unless you are going to keep a lot of them in a big tank I don't think that a "colony" would work out very well. I think a 1M2F trio would be best to keep and sell or give away the rest.
  4. Andy SValued MemberMember

    Ktorg - thank you very much for your reply, very informative, just one other question - you say that a colony is unlikely to work and suggest a trio, 1M2F, my only concern with that is that with just the one male it really is putting all your eggs in one basket (sorry about the pun). If some problem should befall my one male I'm really back to square one. I have a non-standard size tank appoximately 20 gallons, it's over 3 feet long. Would 2M4F work, would that be enough room for both males to establish their own territory or would they be fighting each other. Are there any other fish I could keep with them, I'm thinking perhaps a few corydoras, maybe a few guppies or zebra danios?
  5. ktorgValued MemberMember

    I believe that unless you have a lot of males in one tank a dominant one will harass and kill the others. They are extremely aggressive, especially towards other males. Having lots of males spreads out the aggression, but you might be able to do 2M4F in your 3ft tank, or keep extra males in separate tanks. Go ahead and try it.
    I wouldn't keep zebra danios with them as they can be pretty nippy and nothos are not the strongest swimmers. Cories might work but I have never done it before.
    Good luck!