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How do you take care of a Killifish?


When we talk about Killifish, Killis fish or Killisfish, we are not talking about a fish, we are talking about a family of fish, specifically we are talking about the oviparous Cyprinodontiformes, leaving aside the viviparous Cyprinodontiformes, the famous guppies, mollies or platys. This division is not very orthodox, from a scientific point of view, but nevertheless Killifish associations exist all over the world, so there is a real fever for Killifish.

Aphyosemion gardneri


When we talk about a group of fish, as varied as the Killifish are, we can find a great variety of sizes, appearance and color of the fish.Killifish are divided into at least 10 families of fish, with 65 genera and some with more than 100 different species of fish. Killifish sizes can reach up to 2.75 in, although there are much smaller species of Killifish and others that can exceed these dimensions. There is also no uniformity in terms of body shapes, there are Killis with a cylindrical and elongated body, while others show a laterally flattened body.There is a really curious variety, which has a lance-shaped caudal fin, while in the vast majority the caudal fin is more rounded. A common morphological characteristic is that they have a protractile mouth, in which small teeth are arranged, that run through the jaw and pharynx.What most Killifish agree on and what has given them great popularity, without a doubt, is their color, they are very attractive fish, with vibrant colors.We can distinguish that there is sexual dimorphism, quite evident between males and females. It is easy to differentiate males from females, because they have a greater number of colors, or they are present more intensely than in females. Another morphological aspect useful to distinguish both sexes, we have it in the caudal and anal fins, much more pointed in males. Not to mention the size, the males differ because they are larger.

Epiplatys annulatus

Distribution and habitat

Killis are distributed almost all over the world, with a huge variety of habitats. They are absent in Oceania, North Asia and Northwest North America. We have the Cyprinodon macularius that lives in the California desert and can withstand temperatures of up to 125 ºF, while we have the Fundulus that lives in Canada and can withstand temperatures below zero.
Killis produce eggs capable of withstanding periods of drought of up to two years, even more in some species. This peculiarity can also explain the Killisfish phenomenon, since lovers of these fish can exchange eggs with a simple postal package.

Aquarium conditions

Continuing with the thread of the article, the great variety of existing Killis fish would make it necessary to adapt the aquarium to its correct habitat. However, we can venture some general characteristics, which could be used for a great variety of species, the most commercial ones. of small fish, we do not need an excessively large aquarium, with 13.21 gal it would be enough.There are species with jumping tendencies, in this case the aquarium should be covered, to avoid greater evils. It is a great idea to include enough plants in the aquarium, to generate natural shelters, and that the fish can hide.
The water temperature should be between 64.4ºF and 78.8ºF, with a pH between 5.5 and 7. Killis like the aquarium water to be refreshed frequently. We must remove at least 50% of the water from the aquarium, once a week.

Nothobranchius rachovii


They are fish that feed almost exclusively on live prey in the wild, but in the aquarium they accept not only live prey, they can also be fed frozen products, such as red larva or brine shrimp. Some hobbyists include liver of finely chopped chicken, which is usually to your liking. You have to be careful, and the leftover food must be removed to avoid problems and illnesses.

Behavior and compatibility

Most Killi species are annuals, meaning they only live for one year.
When they are fry and very small, they are sociable and have no problem sharing space with other specimens. As their biological clock activates, some species become more aggressive, trying to guarantee their survival and that of the species. spawning season, the males will try to protect their territory from other congeners, they become more aggressive.

Nothobranchius korthausae


In the reproduction of the Killis it is necessary to distinguish between the annual species, which bury their eggs in the substrate, and the non-annual species, which lay their eggs stuck to the plants.
The spawning of annual species occurs in an aquarium of 15 to 20 liters, where several pairs of the same species are introduced. The bottom is covered with boiled peat, which will serve as a nest for the pairs.
The females usually lay a few eggs each day.The substrate is removed every two weeks and placed in bags, which will be kept at a temperature between 59ºF and 77ºF, until we place them in their final aquarium. Once a month, we check how they are developing and how long they need to hatch. . You can tell that it’s almost there, when you can distinguish the black eyes of the fry.
The fry that have consumed their yolk reserve are fed with nauplius of Artemia.

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