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Re: KillieTalk Digest V1 #80
Happy New Year Y'all!
> Most certainly i'm going to get this fish, Aphyosemion nigerianum
> akampka, in a couple of weeks. I'm a bit scared because i don't know > nothing (i really mean nothing) about this fish, besides the fact that > it is a Killie. Does anyone knows something about this killie so that > i can be ready to take it in my hands?????? If someone has a picture > of it i would thank that person if he sent it to me by mail.
Check the AKA amd killi.net sites for pictures. I believe the AKA also
has a slide of it from their slide sales program. The German group (DKG)
is also a great source of slides and pictures. Im terms of literature,
the various national killie clubs usually have excellent beginner's
guides. (I especially liked the British one.) Also Steffan Hellner's
book (variously in German and English) or the Baensch Atlases (also in
German and English) are good starting points.
The gardneri from Akampka is one of a large group of yellow finned
gardneri which have been given the subspecies status "Aphyosemion
gardneri nigerianum" or "Fundulopanchax gardneri nigerianus" according
to which ever authority you select. It is strongly advised to keep all
of the gardneri strains separate and to refer to them by their location
names. (They sell for more with a place name too.) Because they are
great jumpers, don't even have tanks of different strains of gardneri
near each other. (They may jump from tank to tank to tank to tank!) A
number of those strains can not be recollected!
Scheel's 1990 Atlas published by TFH shows a number of the yellow
gardneri, but not Akampka. Seegers' Aqualog, Killifish of the World, Old
World Killis Vol 1 on page 89 does have a photo of that fish by an
excellent photographer - although it is not the best example of it.
Gardneri strains, sometimes referred to as "the guppy of the
killifish," have probably started more people breeding killies than any
other species. If you want lots of eggs put them in a small, bare
bottomed, top-covered tank with a sponge filter, weekly 20-40% water
changes and as much frozen or live food as you can. They will do well on
flake food, but you will get more eggs with meaty foods.
Watch the males, some will be hard drivers. Once in a while a male will
beat up a female and either she will have to be rescued or given hiding
places. More rarely a female will pummel a male! Fish raised together
from fry are often more peaceful with one another.
Their eggs can be left on the mop (of synthetic material) and placed in
a hatching tank. Or their eggs may be picked, placed in a container of
clean water similar to their breeding water and left in a shaded area.
They should be monitored the first couple of days for fungused eggs
which should be removed with an eye dropper. If a lot of eggs are in the
container, it might make sense to change the incubating water after a
week. Hatching at room temperature should be in 10-16 days. Below 20
degrees C. hatching may take considerably longer.
When one or two fry hatch from a container, some of us get impatient
and put the remaining eggs into a well rinsed medicine vial, breath into
in, close it and carry it in one's pocket for a couple of hours, thus
"force-hatching" many of the rest. The advantage of this is that the fry
are all at the same size and stage of development. They can be fed NEWLY
hatched brine shrimp. Put a couple small snails in to clean up extra
b.b.s. (baby brine shrimp).
Once in a while someone will pick all the eggs in a batch and put them
in a container with WET peat moss. The eggs are not in water, but the
peat is very humid - more so than with annuals. The container is
covered, fungused eggs removed with tweezers (or nimble fingers) and
after two weeks the whole thing is dumped into a bare tank. Have enough
water that they are 15+ cm deep - water pressure can also force eggs.
All of the fry should hatch at once if the eggs were kept above 22 C.
Alternatively, they can be spawned in a tank with either gravel about
the size of your little fingernail or some kind of clean peat moss and
whatever plants you can spare. Again feed the adults well. After two
weeks remove the parents. While it is not necessary, this is the only
time I would use an undergravel filter if I had one laying around. (They
can circulate water through the gravel and around the eggs.
I use the so-called "natural set-up" a lot because of time
restrictions. In this case a pair of killies is set up in as big a tank
as can be spared - 40 liters is a good start. (The bigger the tank, the
more the fry.) A substrait of peat moss or gravel, a box or sponge
filter and as many plants as can be (tastefully?) included will do fine.
I like water sprite and Java moss or or Java fern or Crypts in a pot. A
certain number of fry will begin to appear. Whatever is used, there
should be a top cover.
There will not be as many produced as with the other breeding
arrangements, but the youngsters will often grow faster (feeding on
whatever they're given specifically, off of micro-organisms on the
plants, off of scraps from the parent's food and on slower siblings).
Many people feel that the colors and quality of such fry will be
superior too. If the larger fry are removed and the tank well
maintained, such as set up can be productive for a couple of years.
> I was wondering if there is anyone in the Cincinnati area, or
> anywhere else, that has 10-20 extra aphyosemion gardneri eggs and
> would be willing to part with them.
Go to the <aka.org> home page and link to the list of AKA affiliate
clubs. The Cincinnati group, one of the legendary killie groups in the
country, has a home page and e-mail contacts. They meet at members'
homes. I know they will help you if at all possible. Mailing this time
of the year is a risky proposition.
A word about visiting a killie keeper's fishroom. If I have visitors,
and this reflects my experience with others, I will introduce the tour
by suggesting that there is no harm in asking for eggs, extra plants or
food culture starters. If I can't help or don't want to because what is
being asked for is too rare to give away (or I finally got the stuff to
grow), I'll just say no. (Probably that is the only time "just say no"
works.) I ask the visitor to take no offense... I didn't when asked for
Sometimes it is better to inquire, "would you sell eggs of whatever?"
That allows your host to set the agenda. Egg prices are likely to be
nominal (a few dollars) on the more common killies anyway.
Another fine way to get killies is to drop by killie shows. Most have
both displays and auctions. Many times there are workshops. More and
more allow Saturday box sales. Opportunities to meet and palaver with
killie people are common.
Several great shows and auctions are planned for this spring. (I love
spending other people's money and time.) Michiana will still have their
show I am told (despite the passing of Ron Coleman) March 21-22 in
Elkhart, Indiana. Chicago will host Dutch killie collector Wim Suijker
(hopefully bringing a bunch of killies from Europe) near O'Hare Field
for our annual spring show and auction March 28-29. Exclusively Killies
(Indianapolis-Anderson) is holding their show the first weekend in April
(April 4-5) and SLAKA (St. Louis) is hosting their show April 18-19, a
nice time for families who may be on spring break. There is also the AKA
national Memorial Day weekend in Syracuse. Either Cincinnati or the
Canadian Killifish Association will probably have a show Labor Day
weekend. Info on all of these will show up on the AKA pages. For more
details e-mail the club contact people.
> mine are only
> dwarf angels and are fine with my neon tetras, they have been housed
> together for quite some time.
"For some time" is a significant phrase. There is an easy rule of thumb
for all aquarium fishes. If someone else, especially if another species,
can fit in their mouth, eventually it will. I have even seen one
goldfish in a tank for weeks at a time with a piranha - at least for a
while and while the piranha was well fed.... Most killies are
surprisingly good community fish (American flag fish excepted), but they
will snarf down smaller fish too.
I have fed killie culls to cichlids and livebearer culls to larger
Fundulopanchax. On the other hand I have kept large Epiplatys and
Fundulopanchax with some of the smaller tetras - the characins weren't
bite sized and all coexisted well. Killies sometimes are more at risk
with non-killie tank mates, especially if they occupy the same part of
the tank. Don't keep killies next to similar sized brooding cichlids and
don't keep top cruisers like Aplo. lineatus with the pike livebearer
(Belonesox). The slower moving, less aggressive killies will get
I was feeling loquacious today. I hope nobody minds. Tomorrow vacation
is over (bummer) and it is back to the grind.
All the best!
PS: Anybody within driving distance, come to the Chicago meeting Jan. 9
at the Schiller Park Days Inn on Mannheim Road south of the airport.
There will probably only be a couple dozen killies for sale because of
the weather, but it will be a barn burner of a meeting.