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Re: A couple of Newbie-ish questions
> I've read in the past that killies can be kept in unfiltered tanks, and that
> some actually prefer it that way. What is the general concensus on this?
*My personal* "concensus" (i.e., opinion) is that filtration is almost
always best for most killies. I even cut down the lift tubes on "Dirt
Magnet Jr." sponge filters, or make my own, so I can have them going in
I keep some without filters, but have to be very alert to troubles in
them. Be safe. Filter. If not heavily planted, filters really are a must
-- particularly for those in more alkaline water!
I know folks who raise show-winners without filtration, but they are
unusually diligent about care, too, and do about five times the water
changes that most of us do.
> Also I'm trying to find some good Killlie books, both on maintainance and ID.
> I'm a little wary of Axelrod's book (mis-ID), and was wondering if there's
> anything similar to Linke & Staeck's book on dwarf cichlids, for example. The
> Baensch index is what I use for ID at the moment, but is there anything more
There are just too many thousands of killy species. At one time,
Scheel's Atlas tried to do it. Gorgeous! Ex$pen$ive, too. :-)
Steffen Hellner wrote a great little book for Barrons on basic killy
keeping (sorry, forget the exact title). Get it. Costs less than a tenth
what Scheel costs and still has good pics.
He also now writes the killy stuff for the Baensch Atlas Series, and
that is one of my main sources for accurate info on killies, as well as
general aquatic husbandry. I have Vols. 1, 2, and 3, at present.
Together, they are pretty good -- particularly Vol. 3. [Nomenclature,
unfortunately, often is grossly wrong as they do follow the German hobby
in refusing to accept some ICZN descriptors, like *Fundulopanchax*. That
will continue to confuse the hobby. In the US we generally try to follow
the accepted scientific standards, as set by ICZN.]
There are some specialized books I find good, too, but some tend to be
expensive. My most dog-eared of those is Radda and Purzl, _Colour Atlas
of the Cyprinodonts of the Rain Forests of Tropical Africa_. A close
second in wear is Roger Brousseau's book on South American Annual
Killifish (Hobbyist's Guide to...).
The latter lacks the beautiful photos of the former, but is the world's
all-time bargain in good useful information on "where" and "how to." Buy
it directly from the author, tho. [The 1994 Edition is getting a wee bit
dated as the SA fish have recently been radically reclassified.]
Speaking of dated information... Until their policy of sitting on timely
new information, just to sell more old overprintings, gets changed, I am
suggesting buying *no* publications from the AKA. What you get may be
badly in need of updating (far, far more than Brousseau's book). The
current BOT seems blithely unaware of any ethical problems in their
policy, or that it may not be in the best interest of the hobby at
large. I hope I'm wrong, but I will just buy my books elsewhere until I
know better. We can help them rethink that short-sighted policy if we
all do. ;-)
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntley1 at home dot com
One big difference between a Libertarian and a Republocrat is the
Libertarian knows it's not a waste to vote against a Demopublican.