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community killi tank, substrate Q
I was at my LFS this weekend and I finally saw several different species of killi at once. Most of my exposure has been via photographs on the Internet!
Ok, so I want to set up a community killi tank. This is particularly fortunate since I was planning to setup my office tank this last weekend. (The flu prevented that.)
I keep only one species of killi, Fundulopanchax Scheeli. At the LFS they had australe orange, Rivilus XXXX, Epilatus XXXX, and Lampeye XXXX. Oh, there was a single Gardinari that was a mean SOB and supposedly there was a Blue Gularis in the store but I never saw it. (Yeah, it is a pretty good store... :-)
First, I loved them all, especially the Rivilus. I was next struck by how each of the layer of the tank was occupied, the australe and Rivilus hung out on the bottom, the Lampeyes in the middle, the Scheeli go everywhere.
Now I have no guarantee that any of these will be in the store when I finally get the tank setup. So instead of asking are these a good mix, a better question is how can I tell what are good species to mix together?
Secondly, how can I tell if the species will interbreed? I have no desire to create hybrids, what is a good rule of thumb for determining if species interbreed? At least with all the fish above, the females were distinguishable from each other in case I wanted to breed them. (I'm pretty resigned to the fact that no breeding will take place in this tank. I assume that any fry would prey for other species (or their parents) and that the snails and/or bottom feeders will most likely prevent any eggs from hatching at all, yum, yum)
Finally, the most pressing question, what substrate should I use? I'm a big fan of Flourite in my planted tanks but I've never used it with substrate spawners before. It is a fairly sharp substrate and when I watch my Scheeli's spawn, she really gets pressed into the gravel. I have no problem layering it, but what should I put on top? I'm currently fond of playground sand, is this a good substrate for killies?
Oh, the tank is a 29 gallon tank, fairly tall, but it is what I have.
Thanks for listening.
pZ -- Paul Cezanne
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