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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:p . 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) ;)
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.


Re: Killifish
you know , this is so funny i have been trying to figure out what to put in my 30 g tank when i move it . we are remodeling our bathroom upsatirs & i am planning a space for my small 30 g hex & i wanted to do something diffrent in it. i was searching the internet lastnight & came across these beauties & i sais wow , i love thses fish, they are beautiful, & they dont seem to hard to care for( like my others all cichlids ) lol..& then i get up this morning & u have apost about them , so i think i have found my next calling to these littel beauties. thank -you so much for the info that you provided it really helped alot, as to make my decision , but , as you said most of the local lfs do not carry these fish , but i have a friend that runs my lfs & i will seee if she can find out if any of her suppliers carry these great fish. now i take it you have these fish? so my question is --- how many would i be able to put in a 30 g tank, i like to see lots of action in my tanks , so i really wouldnt want to just have a pair or 2 >>> thanks for info....:D


Re: Killifish
Think of Killis as Betas. Males will atack each other. In a 30 gallon you can maybe put two males. They like to have maybe two females per male. Be aware that when mating, males can do serious damage to females. In a tank that size maybe would be better adding 2 different species of Killis, but if you do so, try them to be not from the same family to not damaging the genes :D .

Important things to remember before selecting the Killis:
1. They JUMP. Cover EVERYTHING, even the filter as much as possible
2. Some swim on the top almost always
3. They are carnivorous, so flake only diet with hurt their colors

I doubt you would have any trouble keeping them, the only trouble is finding them. Im about to meet a breeder here, but he lives 3.5 hours from here and because the school year is ending Im having trouble finding time to go there, as I will loose an entire day. Im looking for info about how well they do when you mail them. So if you cannt find them, let me know. But, it might take some time. Good luck.


Re: Killifish
After some time ssearching, the best site to see and buy Killis pictures is and There are many, many different color combinations of the same fish, like the Aphyosemion Gardneri. I have seen 5 different now. If going to order remember not start with the annuals ones.;)


Re: Killifish
My new baby!!!!!!!! Finally I got him!!!!! Much better in person even though its hard to belive. Aphyosemion Striatum Killifish ENJOY


Re: Killifish
He's beautiful, Lemuel!


Re: Killifish
The most personable fish I ever had was a Killi. I don't know which type he was, but he actually liked to be petted! If I put my finger in the tank, he'd swim up against my finger the same way a cat rubs against your legs. He must have been an annual, because that's about how long he lived. I'd love to have another, but I haven't seen another like him.


Re: Killifish
Hi Suzanne, there's actually a Killi that lives in Fl!! Its called American Flag Killi as its colors are like the flag (apparently). Its colors pattern are not that amazing but he reproduces like a Cichlid (easy and the couple take care of their young and if not remember bad they protect them inside their mouth). I just read they are kind of suceptible to some parasites, so adding a bit of salt to the water is recommended. I will post more info of this later. :D Hope you find some Killis in the LPS!


Re: Killifish
Today I was feeding my last pair of Killis I have in a 10 gallon with separator. She was "bloated" with the scales looking bad and pale. I think shes going to die. I was so mad I took the separator of so they can have the whole tank for them at least for their few days. I started to clean to gravel with the syphoon until the tank was half empty. Then I was stunned:eek:. A baby Killi !!!! I almost yell from happines! I didnt knew what to do. I run to get the net and take him out and put him with the Endlers who by the way also had babies this days. He is a bit smaller than Endler babies. I kept looking in the water I took out and no other baby there. I double, triple check the tank and guess what?! Another baby!! This one is even smaller. Its very hard to beleive they survived their parents in a 5 gallon space. Lucky me!!

So now the babies will be raised by Endlers and Cherry Shrimps. I could do anything else at that moment. Hope this works.


Re: Killifish babies
That's wonderful news Lemuel, I truly hope they survive & are male/female to carry on the family name;) maybe more will turn up hiding in the gravel! here's hoping! and praying!

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