How to care and breed Killifish

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IKillifish, being small-sized and colorful in nature, are very popular among the different types of aquarium fish. They are also easy to keep and breed in an aquarium. Most of these fish are found to have a body length that ranges between 2 to 6 centimeters, but, some species may grow up to six inches in length. There are around 1270 species of killifish that belong to different families. Among them, the family Rivulidae contains around 320 species. It is said that the name killifish is derived from the Dutch word 'kilde', which indicates the habitat of these fish - small water bodies that may disappear during summers. The eggs are laid in the substrate and hatch only when the dried water bodies are filled again during rains. The fry grow fast, due to the unpredictable nature of their habitat. These fish mate, breed and die, as the water dries up.

Killifish Care Instructions

Different types of killifish are raised as pets and the most popular among them are species from genera like Aphyosemion, Aplocheilus, Epiplatys, Pseudepiplaty, Panchax, etc. You must have a basic understanding about the specific species you choose for your fish tank. If you go for Aphyosemion species, most of them are found to have a lifespan of one year. This is not the case with Panchax species, that may live up to five years. In short, the requirements may vary from one species to another. The following are some of the general guidelines that can help you in raising killifish as pets.

Killifish Tank and Compatibility
These fish can be kept in well planted tanks with slightly acidic water. It is always better to maintain a pH level of 5.5 to 7. They require lower temperature settings and so, should not be kept with those tropical fish that require warmer waters. You must also provide some driftwood, rocks, etc., that can be used by the fish, as hiding places. Some floating plants can also be added to the tank, which must be provided with a substrate of peat moss. While, bigger killifish species can be kept with other fish in a large fish tank, smaller ones often need separate aquariums. It has to be noted that certain species of killifish are very aggressive, especially the males. So, too many males and a small tank is not at all a good combination, as they may fight each other and die. They are found to be compatible with small catfish, tetras, barbs, dwarf cichlids and non territorial ones. It is better to keep them in tanks with secure lids, as they are good jumpers.

Feeding and Breeding
Providing the right food in right quantity is one of the basics of killifish care. They can be fed with fruit flies, white worms, mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, grindal worms, etc. You may also use packaged killifish foods that are available in pet stores. In case of killifish fry, feed them with artemia (brine shrimp), for the first week. Later, you may go for baby brine, white worms, etc. Regular killifish food can be given, as they grow to adults. As far as killifish breeding is concerned, small-sized ones are found to be difficult to breed. But, you may get successful, if you transfer them to a separate tank and provide the ideal environment. While some species are found to lay eggs on the substrate, others may use spawning mops or plants, for this purpose. Once the fries are born, it will be better to separate the adults from the tank. In case of lyretail killifish, breeding is said to be easy, when compared to other types.

Now, you have a basic idea about the various aspects of killifish care and breeding. However, the above said is only a brief and general overview about the subject. So, you have to gain thorough knowledge about the specific type of killifish, you are intending to get for your aquarium.

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