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Five Killifish Breeding Projects

Try the challenge of breeding a killie from just about every continent.

By Mike Hellweg |

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The small, colorful and hardy little fish known as killifish are found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Most are only a couple of inches long, fairly to completely peaceful, and brightly colored or interestingly patterned. They tolerate a wide range of water temperatures and water parameters, from soft and acidic to hard and alkaline. Some are even found in estuaries or fully marine environments. They lay large eggs that hatch into fry that are ready to feed and fend for themselves. Most can be started on newly hatched brine shrimp, microworms and even commercial foods. In the wild, they are found alongside many fish that we keep in our aquaria. Most will eat commercial diets.

In spite of their reputation as being creatures of the shadows, many killies do fine with bright light and spend much of their time right out in the open, displaying their fantastic circuslike colors, and they often have magnificent pennantlike fins. Many species are almost bulletproof and will tolerate cramped quarters better than most fish. Many fanciers keep them as pairs or trios in very small aquariums (less than 3 gallons) or even 1-gallon pickle jars with no filtration — and the fish not only survive, they thrive.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the August 2011 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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