Art Leuterman (2016)
Welcome to the web site of the American Killifish Association. This is your online portal to the fascinating world of killifish. Members and non-members are welcome here, although a few features are reserved for members only. If you are not yet a member there is still plenty for you here. If you are a member I hope you are taking advantage of all the web site has to offer you.
We are living in the Golden Age of aquarium keeping. Never before have we had the opportunity and ability to keep and breed so many different aquarium organisms. While this is most dramatically noticed with the reef hobby, the rest of aquarium world is flourishing as well. Every year dozens, if not hundreds of new fish are discovered from around the world. Many of these are killifish, and in this hobby you often have the chance to keep and breed some of these fish before they are formally described and named. You will find that we tend to be conservation-minded, and many of us have as a goal to set up captive-breeding programs for the fish under our care. Some of the species in our hobby have been captive bred for decades! Killifish hobbyists were also the first to recognize the importance of different populations in preserving the biodiversity of the fish we care about.
The killifish hobby is suitable for aquarists of all ages and skill levels, and members of the AKA have always been eager to help all who are interested in killifish. Killifish keepers may have a nano tank on their desk or a basement full of aquaria. You can get into the hobby for only a few dollars, yet with over a thousand killifish species, never get bored. Even after a decade in the hobby, there are species I have yet to see. While most killifish don’t have common names, don’t let the scientific names intimidate you. They are just words. With a little practice they will be rolling off your tongue easier than you can say “She sells sea shells”.
While you are here, I would encourage you to browse through the gallery of photographs of killifish from around the world. There are many talented photographers among killifish hobbyists and you can see some of their photos here. Some of the links on this site will take you to other sites with great photography as well.
Then, under the resources section in the left-hand column, be sure to check out the Beginner’s Guide. This is an excerpt of the complete Beginner’s Guide book that is sent to all new members, but it will give you an idea of how easy killies can be to keep.
Other valuable resources here are the Killifish Master Index (KMI), a reference work unparalleled by any other aquarium society. We also host Tim Addis’ amazing site on West African Killifish. I also encourage you to browse the forums, or search there if you have a specific question about the fish and how to keep them.
The best way to get started is to learn from those already in the hobby. I encourage you to check out the Affiliate Club page and see if there is a club nearby. Also check out the calendar to see if there are any events near you. If you are able to go to the annual convention you will see hundreds of pairs of killifish on display and for sale, and be able to talk to dozens of killifish keepers. You may make some new friends. After all, where else can you go to talk to people from all walks of life about pretty little ditch fish!
So I hope you look around, find something that interests you, and think of our web site when you think of killifish.
Art Leuterman, Chairman
American Killifish Association