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Re: [Killietalk] Setting up first Killie tank!
John Wubbolt wrote:
> Ok Im listening Wright, why not?
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Daniel originally wrote:
> I'm thinking about setting up my first killie tank (huzzah!), mainly to
> raise killie eggs to fry that are big enough for my 29G planted display
> tank and office nano tank. I was thinking of the following:
Killies are not, as a general rule, suited to community tanks. They are
puddle fish, like Bettas, and many species are just as destructive to
An exception might be some of the Lampeyes.
> Small glass tank (2-4 Gallons? Not sure what size is
10G for breeding is easier, cheaper, and less likely to go bad
> Smallest Heater I can get hold of (25w or smaller),
Yep, and IMHO you would need it for most coastal equatorial killies.
They may tolerate 60 F, but many will not breed at much below 75F. Some
BIVs need at least 78 F.
> Small air powered filter or small internal power filter,
Air only. Power filters provide too much current for any but Lampeyes,
who are river fish, to a larger extent.
> Some gravel/substrate,
No. Boiled and very-well-rinsed Canada sphagnum peat. Fibrous peat if
you can get it. No substrate for babies-only tanks. You need to overfeed
and remove the excess, and any substrate gets in the way of that.
> Some Hardy plant cuttings from my main tank or maybe just some
> java moss & floating plants.
The latter two are fine. Floaters may make jumping less likely, but you
need a tight-fitting glass lid to keep most killies from trying to climb
the evolutionary ladder (and becoming crispy critters on the floor).
> Is there anything else I'll need? I'm not wanting a permanent killie
> tank just yet (living in a small apartment, so space is restricted) but
> something I can take down when I'm not using and also use as a general
> fry or hospital tank. Is there anything else I'll need to successfully
> hatch out killie eggs and grow the fry?
A working brine-shrimp hatchery well before the babies hatch (to get the
bugs out of the system). Few killies can be raised without some form of
live foods. Nothing beats newly-hatched Artemia (less than 6 hours old).
Vinegar eels are good, and wingless fruit flys are great when the babies
get bigger. Remember that egg-laying-toothed-carps are basically
predators and not scavengers. It is a tough exercise to get many to take
dry or frozen foods.
> I'm still unsure of species currently, I'm thinking of maybe South
> American species as the display tank is a South American setup: soft
> water, low ph, heavily planted, stocked with a pair of Rams, some tetras
> and some cory catfish.
Many, if not most SA Annuals are best kept in harder water -- they
mostly don't live in the Amazon and many are estuarine (semi-brackish)
fish. Even those from native soft water seem to reproduce very well in
hard water. All are murderers that will destroy your Rams and Tetras,
tho. They may also easily get velvet in softer, acid water.
> The office tank I'll probably have as a killie
> species tank but for the moment the killies would be in the planted SA
> community tank.
Why not bypass the community tank? It can serve as killifish habitat,
but the likely problems are very difficult to correct.
Many killifolk like to deny the problems I'm describing. There is a
really good reason you don't find big tanks with many killifish in most
fish stores. Those reasons are why we have to attempt to breed our fish,
as we cannot just run out and buy more in the usual store-loved cycle of
buy, kill, buy, etc.
Lots of killies, like Chromaphyos and smaller Epiplatys seem relatively
peaceful, when compared to the typical nasty Rivulus. Nevertheless, they
can get territorial and vicious if and when they get in a breeding
mood.You can keep 2 or 3 pairs in the 10G if you have enough Java moss
in it. Other excellent plants include Egeria densa and Najas
guadalupensis. Hornwort is good if you can keep it going. [Mine always
liked more current than the killies wanted.]
Does that explain why I don't think a first attempt at killifish should
be in a community tank, John?
Wright Huntley - Rt. 001 Box K36, Bishop CA 93514 - whuntley at verizon_net 760 937-2276 (cell) 760 872-3995.
"I find it necessary to remind myself firmly that the customs of my own tribe are not the laws of nature." Robert A Heinlein
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