Unappreciated Treasures of Killifish

Killifish are not well-known in the aquarium hobby and are infrequently seen in local fish stores despite being some of the most colourful freshwater aquarium fish available.

Teeth carp that lay eggs belong to the Cyprinodontidae family, which is very distantly related to mollies, guppies, swordtails, and platies.

The majority of these are small (1″ to 2″ in size), with the most noteworthy species measuring less than 6 inches. Most killifish in aquariums live for two to five years.

The most striking feature of Killifish is their diverse spawning techniques, which separate them into three categories: annuals, semi-annuals, and non-annuals.

Annuals live in ephemeral pools that dry up once a year, lasting up to six months.

They hatch, grow, reproduce, and die in less than a year, and their eggs lay dormant until the next rainy season.

Semi-annuals live in areas that may or may not dry entirely, whereas non-annuals live in permanent bodies of water.

Keeping killifish ranges from simple to complex, depending on the species. While they may have specific requirements, Killifish are worth the effort if you want to try something different!

unappreciated-treasures-of-killifish

Natural Habitat for Killifish

Killifish inhabit tropical and subtropical waters on all continents except Australia and Antarctica.

They inhabit temporary ponds, marshes, creeks, and shallow streams, with some species reaching brackish estuaries.

Many killifish reside in habitats with overhanging trees and plants, which provide low light and cold temperatures. A few species, such as the pupfish of the southwestern United States, exist in desert pools with water temperatures above 90°F.

Water Requirements for Killfish

While many Killifish come from soft acid water, captive-bred strains acclimating to local water conditions are becoming more common. Before purchasing a killifish, you should perform comprehensive research to establish the water conditions in which the fish were raised.

The preferred water conditions vary by species, but most killies flourish at a pH of 6.0 to 7.0, total hardness of 7° to 10° (120 ppm to 160 ppm), and temperature of 68° to 75° Fahrenheit.

Some skilled killifish keepers do not use filters (they conduct frequent water changes), but a hang-on-the-back or sponge filter is advised for the average enthusiast.

To maintain proper temperature and optimal filtration, use an Aqueon Aquarium Heater and change the water to 10% weekly or 25% every other week with an Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer or Syphon Vacuum Gravel Cleaner.

Before adding fresh water to your aquarium, mix Water Conditioner into the tap water.

Housing Tips for Killifish

Due to their small size, many Killifish are ideal for nano and desktop aquariums. While 5–10 gallons will be enough for a trio of species, community setups or keeping multiple males require an aquarium 20 gallons or larger.

Keep the lights down and add some peat moss or driftwood to non-breeding tanks to make the water softer and reduce the pH, as well as low-light tolerant plants like Cryptocorynes, Java moss, and Java ferns. Killifish are excellent jumpers, so a tight-fitting lid is essential!

killi fish

Behavior/Compatibility of Killifish

Killifish enthusiasts often maintain them in species tanks; however, many varieties may be kept in communal aquariums. Most Killifish are relatively calm, although males can be belligerent and possessive toward one another.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. The Golden Wonder Killie (Aplocheilus lineatus), a popular and widely accessible killie, and the Blue Gularis (Fundulopanchax sjoestedti), one of the largest and most well-known killifish, are both aggressive and should be maintained alone or with other “spirited” fish. Always research the species you want to buy before mixing them with other fish.

What Do Killifish Eat?

Killifish are carnivorous. Frozen brine shrimp, daphnia, mysis shrimp, mosquito larvae, bloodworms and newly born brine shrimp nauplii are all viable options, depending on the size of your fish.

Killifish are known to resist dry diets, yet many hobbyists have had luck with them. Aqueon Tropical Flakes, Colour Flakes, Betta Food, and Betta Treat are all worthwhile options! Feed your fish various foods, but only what they can consume in 2 minutes or less, once or twice daily.

Killifish Breeding Level: Easy to Difficult.

Killifish are egg layers that can be classed as top or bottom spawners; however, some species switch between the two.

The level of complexity varies with species; however, there are a handful that even beginners can breed. To breed annuals or semi-annuals, fill a 2½ to 5½ gallon tank with peat moss, almond or oak leaves on the bottom.

The post Unappreciated Treasures of Killifish appeared first on Unity Pets.

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