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Re: The truth about what I'm in for
Charlie Langton wrote:
> Okay, so I dreamed about keeping killifish, just a small, continuous
> population of four or five species. That's why I was very attracted to the
> paragraph in the AKA Beginners material that talked about permanent setups,
> raising fry in with their parents, not as many fry, but good hardy ones, no
> pulling mops or plastic tubs...
> Then I began asking questions. It seems no one does it like this, at least
> not exactly -- even if they don't pull mops, they either remove the parents
> or the fry to another tank, and unless I'm getting it wrong, the parents
> could breed again, etc. etc. and there's bound to be an ever-growing number
> of tanks...
That's up to you, and what you really want. Part of the fun, for many of
us, is producing a surplus to trade or give to fellow hobbyists.
> Maybe I'm getting it all wrong. I've only heard from one person who
> actually uses the permanent setup, and he removes parents after fry are
> hatched. I really need to get a better idea how this is going to play out
> before I jump into it.
> My first question is -- Is there anyone out there who uses permanent setups
> in the way the AKA Beginners material indicates? Or a website with more
> info? ( I know there aren't any books on it, sadly).
I have. Many times. Success depends on the species and how much you want
extra fish to take to the local auction or LFS.
*Ps. annulatus* do very well in small tanks with a few pair, some thick
floating plants and some fibrous peat or sunken mops on the bottom.
Various locations of *gardneri* do well if you just need a few fish for
replacement. Most other *Fp.* eat their babies and eggs too readily to
work very well.
Some of the Chromaphyos will do well in such setups, as will some RIVs.
OTOH, my *australes* never worked in a "Natural" setup.
> Then, lets say I set up four tanks, one each for a pair of different Fp.
> Species for example:
> How many more tanks will I need to purchase in the next year -- four more to
> move the parents to, so I can use the original tanks as fry tanks?
None, but remember that they are breeding tanks and not viewing tanks. You
need enough cover for some babies to escape, and that means the parents
may be only slightly visible, without a flashlight. Certainly, my
successful "natural breeding" tanks have never looked anything like
display tanks. The only "natural" tank that ever looked nice was a small
display tank on the mantle with *N. korthausae* Reds that water incubated
(to my considerable surprise).
> If so, will the parents be likely to breed again in the new tanks? And
> selected fry a little later? (I'm hearing tanks, tanks, tanks.)
You only need more tanks if you want to save more babies. The juveniles
are normally much more predatory than the parents, and end up eating all
new eggs and babies until they are of breeding age. You need to keep
removing them if you want any real production. That means rearing in shoe
or sweater boxes, etc.
> Or maybe I'd have to get five more tanks -- one to house all the original
> parents as a community, and one each for the best looking pair of fry from
> each species to start the cycle over?
> Or more?
> Is there a way I can raise killies in a maximum of 8-10 tanks and not a lot
> of small plastic tubs to boot?
Small containers have a huge advantage for just a few fry. They can find
the food and eat it before it spoils. That may be why many of us use
plastic jugs and shoeboxes. They also let you keep more species separate
on smaller amounts of shelf space.
> Will continually mating progeny eventually ruin the gene pool? How do
> people avoid this?
No. Most killifish are so inbred in nature that they are almost like
clones to start.
Bad genes were long-since removed, so inbreeding seems to do no harm.
[Continuous bad selection of breeding stock has damaged many strains, but
that was just blamed on inbreeding by the more ignorant.]
> I just think these fish are beautiful and fascinating. I wanted some badly
> for my 55-gallon community tank when I first set it up, but was advised
> against it. Now I'm ready to tackle them on their own, but I don't want to
> go from none to hoards, or build a wing onto my apartment for them. Is
> there really a way to breed killies in a small way?
Some of the greatest breeders of all time had nothing but a small rack in
a tiny apartment. Anyone have a link to a picture of the late Herr
Roloff's wonderful setup?
> I'm sorry. I know some of you have tried to answer at least some of these
> questions before, but I'm just not getting a clear game plan.
I suspect that is because you are approaching the hobby with a slightly
different perspective than most killinuts. IMHO, that is great, as we can
use new ways of looking at our hobby and you are providing a very good
one. Keep it up, and I wish you the best of luck.
Wright Huntley -- 209 521-0557 -- 731 Loletta Ave, Modesto CA 95351
"The main political divide of our time is between those who trust
the state and those who do not." -- Alberto Mingardi
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