There's a lot to learn about this tiny jewels. Killis are often referred as annuals fish, because some species live in waters that run dry. Before dying, they leave their eggs to re spawn as soon theres water again. But make no mistake, they die only because water runs out
. In our tank conditions they will live more than that. Like any other fish out there, there are many species of them that are not annuals and have the same colorful characteristics. And guess what, some can kept by beginners! So lets start.
The American Killifish Association (AKA) separate Killis in 5 groups:
1. Aphyosemion (not annuals, many suited for beginners)
2. Fundulopanchax (not annuals, many suited for beginners)
3. Epiplatys (not annuals, many suited for beginners) this ones are surface fishes
4. South American Annuals (ANNUALS)
5. Nothobranchius (ANNUALS) some says they are the most beautiful fish on Earth
This fishes require little space (pairs are kept in 5 to 10 gallon tanks), but this is solely used because of breeding, not because they are incompatible with normal fishes. They require that the tank has a filtration system or minimum, an air pump. If you are looking to keep a small tank with gorgeous fish, this would be your choice. Females are not as beautiful. Killis are carnivores, but will eat anything. Their color will fade a lot if feed only with flakes. Most people recommend to feed them with different kinds of food, and live food will benefit them the most. The only compatibility problem is that they will eat smaller fishes (thats why most people have the smaller Killis
) and males are aggressive upon males of the same species. Most Killis have a small mouth so shouldn't be a major problem. One excellent idea would be having a pair of Killies in a 10 or 20 gallon tank, heavily planted. You can have them reproduced there, specially many species of Aphyosemion and such species as Epiplatys annulatus. This species like some others don't require to have their eggs being remove from water. Perfect!
Now be aware, Killis jump. Be sure that before allowing them to spend the first night you have covered every tiny space in the tank. They are small and can even jump from the available spaces for the heater or the filters corner. No matter how small, cover it, belive me. Water parameters, such as pH and salinity depends on each Killi, so a little more research is needed before buying. Be aware that some people sell the eggs instead of fish. Eggs not always are easily hatch, so try fish first. Eggs are less expensive, but not necessarily a better deal. Killis are rare in pet shops, but every now and then are available. So this can help you a little if suddenly you find yourself in the store with a Killi, believe me, they are hard to resist. Most are hard, strong fish, but if you plan to have them for years to come, like 5 or more years, you will have to reproduce them (anyway, reproducing fish is never a bad idea, specially Killis). Hope this help.
For more information, send me money (just kidding) www.aka.org
Some pics, Fundulopanchax Gardneri p-82 and a Ijebu-Ode, they were raised with flakes! I can't imagine how much better they can get.