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Re: killie ratings revisited - Epiplatys
> So, ratings. If you'd asked me in 95 I'd have said "dead easy". In 2001
> I'll say "they should be easy, but."
Boy isn't that the truth. There was the Lafia strain of bifasciatus which
threw so many small , but very viable, eggs it put Ep. dageti to shame. A
more recently secured strain has not done as much - the responsibility is
probably mine as water quality has been not as good as the last time around.
Ep. bifasciatus is a widely distributed savanna killie. That usually
suggests to me that they should be fairly flexible in terms of water and
temperature perimeters, assuming that the water is kept clean. They also do
not seem to need the very high temperatures that the other widely
distributed savanna Epiplatys (spilargyreius) needs to color up and
Paul Loiselle, who did field work on them in Ghana, suggested they were
comfortable in a wide temperature range from the low 60s F to the middle 80s
F. He then noted that they would probably be best off in the lower 70s.
Their eggs and fry are small, as are many of the Epiplatys. By comparison,
they seemed just a tad tinier than those of dageti. Very small first foods
are good for them. I had pretty good luck with a pair in a well planted 10
My first adventure with them ended after a few generations when a breeding
quintet proved curiously unproductive. Loiselle's field study (published in
JAKA in the late 60s - soon to be on that disk I presume) noted that
non-dominant males retained the juvenile/female colors in a school until the
displaying male was picked off by a predator. After a shuffling of the
pecking order, another male would color up and take his post by the spawning
spot of the moment. When my four "females" were put in a container all of
their own, they colored up as males. :(
Ep. chevalieri are from the Congo basin. According to the map in Scheel's
Atlas, theirs is also a pretty wide distribution. Once in a great while they
even have come in through commercial channels (not in the last few years -
political conditions being what they are). In addition to being demanding
about water quality, they didn't seem particularly prolific as breeders. At
summer time temperatures they produced a number of fry in a planted set-up.
Maybe the fry, pretty much by accident, were carried over that critical
first couple of weeks by the tiny critters in the planted tank.
For some reason green killies show poorly. Chevalieri tend to wash out more
than many other Epiplatys. I've noticed this with Aplo. dayi too. Given some
floating water sprite for cover and a gravel substrate, they look fine.
Since the subject of Epiplatys has come up, I've one too on an elderly pair
of Ep. ansorgei (not the singa type, but the fish that was called Ep.
berkenkampi) picked up a while back. Part of the reason they haven't given
me eggs could be because they simply haven't been always stuffed to the
gills with food and given weekly water changes. At 3-4 inches total length,
they have had room to rumble in a 20 gallon tank.
Radda, in '87, noted that what was then called Ep. berkenkampi was a
relative of Ep. multifasciatus found in a small section of west central
Gabon in exigoideum and primigenium country. He suggested a temperature
range of 23-26 degrees C (roughly 73-78 degrees F). and that the fish was an
easy breeder. By comparison, he described those Aphyosemions as moderately
Whenever one secures an "easy" fish which produces nothing, it is always a
little humbling and disappointing. Has anyone had success with this
Epiplatys? Or multifasciatus? Would temperatures in the range of 26 degrees
C make a difference? If so, somewhere there must be a submersible heater
which can be dusted off.... :)
Thanks and all the best!
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