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General Category >> Killifish Breeding† Rearing† and General Keeping >> Me ? I'm Having a Ball !

Message started by Medric J. Magann on Nov 14th, 2019 at 10:21am

Title: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on Nov 14th, 2019 at 10:21am
I have been keeping tropical fish on and off since fourth grade in 1965. Life happened a few times and fish keeping got put on hold. All kinds of freshwater fish paraded before me and a lot of them spawned and rewarded me with fry that grew to adults. Except for Aplocheilus linneatus, a Nothobranchius sp. and a single male Blue Gularis no killifish. Those Killies were a teaser gift from a friend trying to lure me into Killifish. That man, Greg Simpson, was a friend known since childhood who, sadly , has since passed away. To say that he was nutty about Killifish would be the classic understatement of all time. I saw his fish room many times and helped him do things in it. Well, anyway, fast forward to now. I got a tank and set it up this past spring. Amazing the things you never forget. Set that thing right up and it ran like a Swiss watch. Now, for reasons unknown, Killifish came into my mind. Maybe because my previous efforts were so fruitless. I like to have things happen. So, I looked up the AKA on this interwebby thing. After thinking about it for a little while I sent my check and enlisted. Got my beginner gardneri and also a pair of Pachypanchax playfairii. Being a spook on Facebook's Killifish Lounge I'm learning tons ! I'm trying things and watching the fish and things are happening. This is going to work for me. The tanks are beginning to multiply, eliciting frowns from She Who Must Be Obeyed, but so what? What's she going to do ? Take my birthday away ? One thing puzzles me. Videos on Facebook show tanks that aren't all that pristine. I am anal beyond belief about aquarium maintenance . Water changes come about 3 to 5 times weekly. I am really starting to like the bare tank look. No dirt to be seen. I love that. And, I'm making mops and watching the fish go in and out of them and everything seems to be working like the Beginners Guide and Success With Killifish says it does. I'm looking forward to different fish and culturing live foods and playing with peat moss for Annuals. Me ? I'm having a ball !

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Kris Haggblom on Nov 16th, 2019 at 3:08pm
Killies are a world unto themselves! We have you now *evil laugh*

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on Jan 28th, 2020 at 10:42am
Well, for just starting out , things are going pretty good. For some reason I got a little discouraged and even let the thought cross my mind that I would give up on these Killifish and go back to cichlids and Bettas. My male gardneri harassed , hounded and killed my females. That really honked me off because I went to great pains to acquire them and people really helped me to get a foothold in this, but I harvested a few eggs and I wound up with four healthy fry. One jumped out through the tiniest crack ever and landed in a 5 gallon bucket with a small amount of water in it. The experience was too much for him and he perished three days later. I lowered the water level for insurance and am now all the wiser in knowing that a one quarter fish can jump like an adult. The remaining three are healthy, robust, eating very well and growing like weeds. I am hoping that all are females but I see color spots in the fins of one. My Pachypanchax playfairii are alive and that's about it. I think they are runts. I've had them for three months now and I really thought they'd be much bigger by now. The male is about 2 inches and the female is half that. Somebody put me in the KCC for them but I can't see myself making much of a contribution with what I have. I got another pair of Killies in December from a local pet shop. They had them as Green Panchax but a picture I put on the AKA Facebook thing resulted in someone calling them Golden Wonders. Not so ! I have been scrutinizing them with a hairy eyeball and I conclude that they are definitely not linneatus. The ventral fins are not the long elongated linneatus type. These are Aplocheilus panchax. I'm sure of it. So, anyway, it's winter but not for much longer and the fish will liven up in spring. As of this writing there has been a new moon and the fish are acting differently. Fish do notice things like that. Take care of your fish.

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Kris Haggblom on Jan 28th, 2020 at 12:20pm
Are they A. panchax or A. blockii?

And the P. playfairii were always VERY heavy feeders when I kept them long time ago, which meant lots of water changes.

All the species you have are excellent jumpers (feed them fruit flies to see just how good they can jump ;) ), so make sure to keep the tanks well covered.

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on Jan 28th, 2020 at 4:04pm
I am 99 percent certain they are Aplocheilus panchax. I have looked at them intently and compared with many pictures. They are not blockii. Today I did a water change and discovered a tiny fry that appeared on his own. That was pretty cool. If this is happening then my conditions must be OK. I pestered everybody half to death on the AKA Killifish Lounge Facebook with a hundred newbie questions and I think I'm getting this now. Edd Kray admonished me several times that this is my puzzle to figure out and, finally, some of the pieces are falling into place. Some of the things I'm doing may elicit a few raised eyebrows but it's working for me. I'm not overly thrilled with the gardneri. They're pretty but that's all I can say for them. I like the Aplocheilus species and the Pachypanchax. I like that torpedo shape and how they act. I have three adult male gardneri and they are HUGE ! Didn't know they got that big. They have a body almost like a tadpole. Heavy thick upper body. I had them together at one point after they murdered their wives and they fought like tomcats. Had to separate them. That mouth grabbing and rolling around violently was fun to watch but I separated them anyway. As tiny as my three gardneri fry are they are exhibiting a tendency to do the same even at this tender age of one month. If one turns out to be a female, well then great, but I won't cry over not having them. My interests lie more with my others. One final comment. I got one of those round black plastic brine shrimp hatcheries and I could not be more pleased. The easiest way ever to hatch out BBS. More than adequate for my small needs.

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on Feb 3rd, 2020 at 11:40am
OK. I have egg on my face. After adamantly insisting that my new fish are Aplocheilus panchax, they are not. I went back to the pet shop to see if any were left and I bought the remaining two. Both females, or are they ? The smaller one could possibly be a male. I am not going to insist at all since, obviously, my eye isn't worth a hoot. Anyway, my fish are the Golden Wonder Aplocheilus linneatus. Careful examination confirms this. But, I'm not disappointed . Lately I saw two videos on You Who by a guy named "The Dave". Excellent videos well worth watching. One shows Golden Wonders hunting crickets and goes into a detailed explanation of their parietal eye and their extra lateral line on top of their heads. Also shows them eating some pretty big crickets. Eminently cool ! The other video is a detailed treatise on breeding. So actually I'm pretty happy with these fish and looking forward to keeping and breeding them long term. Not so happy with the gardneri. Belligerent little devils that just can't behave themselves. My fry are fighting amongst themselves and maybe if I had more that wouldn't be happening but I don't really care. I've raised Bettas on several occasions and these gardneri should be treated like Bettas. Nasty little fish these gardneri ! I like my Pachypanchax playfairii but the female isn't doing so well. She is a picky eater and isn't growing well at all. The male recently put on a good growth spurt and is a very pretty fish. I could very definitely like these fish. With what I have I am going to be a great disappointment to the Killifish Conservation Committee. But, there we are. Me ? I'm still having a ball !

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Justin Woody on Feb 10th, 2020 at 5:05pm
Glad to hear you are still having a ball! Hadn't seen you post here or on facebook for awhile so was wondering if you were still going strong!

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on Feb 11th, 2020 at 10:39am
Oh yeah, still hanging tough. My gardneri fry, few though they may be, (3) are growing really good. One is coloring up and sure seems to be a male. Another one is very large and healthy and robust. Looks like a female too so maybe I will get something going with them. I haven't been posting so much because, frankly, I am kind of tired of it. I went ape for awhile and bugged everybody with a lot of Killifish newbie questions and I'm up to speed so far as I feel to need to be at this point. I read the AKA Facebook posts and I haunt this place but I've just backed off some. I spend all my time in my fish room watching the fish instead of a screen. But, I read a post on Facebook yesterday that mentioned a guy who had a 55 filled with dozens of pairs of australe and that got me excited. Sounds cool. I like those too and want to try them. I like my playfairii and want to keep them going too. The female came out of her doldrums by feeding her BBS and the male is growing and is a very handsome specimen. Really cool looking fish. A full grown 4 incher must be awesome. So, I'm hanging in there and having fun. Hope you are too !

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on Mar 27th, 2020 at 4:09pm
Here we are in the midst of the plague ! My playfairii are getting nice. They even laid eggs after a water change last week. I really want to keep them going. Time now to do a dedicated mop set up in a separate tank. Things being the way they are these days I feel an urgency and sense of responsibility to do right with these fish. I hope all of you out there in AKA land are OK and your families are alright. Take care of your fish.

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Kris Haggblom on Apr 1st, 2020 at 12:50pm
Great job with the playfairii! Better than tv.

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on Apr 2nd, 2020 at 5:42pm
Those Pachypanchax playfairii are looking really nice the bigger they get. I like them a lot. And you are right about being better than TV. I've seen every single episode of The Andy Griffith Show so many times I could just scream.

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on Apr 30th, 2020 at 5:17pm
Lots of fun today. Water changes for everybody. While looking at the changed water in the bucket I saw fry ! Managed to save 5 little tykes. I suspect they are linneatus but there looks to be a difference in some. Perhaps playfairii ? Time will tell. Now, an hour later I spied one lone fry in the big tank with the big fish. Bold as a burglar he swam right out in plain sight. The male playfairii took a run at him but to no avail. How can something that small swim so fast ? No mop in there. They must have spawned into the Java Moss. Thatís a really good plant to have. Got to get me a lot more of that. Very slow growing. What is going wild is my frogbit. It didnít do much at all for the longest time but it now covers the entire surface of my 20 high and shows no sign of slowing down. Whether it is the tropical or European variety I donít know. I have heard that the tropical variety flowers. Stay tuned to this Bat Channel. My one lone female gardneri I raised is growing very well. She is fat and healthy. Mayhaps Project Gardneri will yet bear fruit. So, all things considered, my killies are working out good. Me ? Iím still having a ball !

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on May 16th, 2020 at 3:20pm
Wow ! Do linneatus fry ever pack on the size fast ! Growing like weeds !

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Kris Haggblom on May 19th, 2020 at 9:59am
Most killies tend to do that - especially when well cared for. Keep up the good work.

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on Aug 27th, 2020 at 3:14pm
Things are still chugging along although not in the way I had hoped. I lost all my gardneri except for one male. I lost my male playfairii and the female is a runt. But, I have Aplocheilus lineatus in abundance. These are the fish that should be the first for beginners. I learned a lot of the basics with this fish. My efforts at keeping live foods is going very well. I am having excellent success with Grindal worms and fruit flies. The fish love them and I think it helps with growth. My lineatus are all good healthy fish. So, I have my mind on other fish now. Not in replacement of but in addition to. Nothobranchius guentheri are something I want and would be good as a first soil spawner. I want to try my hand at another plant spawner too. The gardneri were a bit belligerent for my tastes but they are pretty and I'll try them again someday. I was thinking about Aphyosemion(?) australe. The Gold variety. I thought that I could help do my part to advance the AKA agenda by breeding these and sprinkling them into my local fish/pet shop. I like the color and look of them too. Well, anyway, I hope to have fry of something else besides Golden Wonders. I like Killies. They are a challenge that I'm glad I took up.

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on Mar 12th, 2021 at 1:11pm
Well, here I am after one full year in the AKA and having completely failed with gardneri and playfairii. I have Golden Wonder Aplocheilus lineatus and I am having great success with them. I have no trouble at all producing and raising fry. I don't pick eggs or let them hatch with the adults. I put a mop in with the adults for a week and then move it to a 2 1/2 gallon hatching tank. They hatch out and then I move the fry to a five gallon to grow out. It's a lot of fun raising one species only. I see behaviors and activities that I never expected to see. I think the fry are too small to take BBS right from the start so I feed microworms and vinegar eels for about 4 days then newly hatched BBS. They get Grindal worms after a month and they are eating wingless fruit flies at 6 weeks or so. The growth is rapid after they start eating flies.  One thing I have noticed with my method is that I see fry hatching at about 7 days instead of the 12 to 20 days that Ed Warner talks about in his book. Temperature is 75 degrees and water is 100 to 130 PPM before adding 4 teaspoons salt per 10 gallons. I had a dubious flirtation with straight R/O water that I abandoned but it had the benefit of ridding me of any and all snails. In one 5 gallon I have cyclops ! Don't know where they came from. I bought some Vesicularia dubyana Java Moss at a pet shop last summer but nothing else. Yes, they are cyclops. They match the picture in my Innes Book. Bigger ones with egg sacs on their hindquarters and very small ones without. I suppose the fry are eating them but I have not observed them doing so. So, anyway, I'm still having a ball. Up to six tanks now with only my lineatus.

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on May 21st, 2021 at 6:11pm
An interesting development. I have one Aplocheilus lineatus Golden Wonder fry with a pronounced dark spot where the vertical stripe would be on the wild type fish. There are also several others that show this to a lesser degree. I was told by a member on the Facebook group that this could happen and he was right. I will keep my eye out for more.
Another thing is that I had a little runt lineatus and I should have culled him but I liked him and kept him. He took off and had a big growth spurt and is now maturing into a magnificent specimen. The things you see when are maintaining a single species !
Awhile back Gary Elson had an article in a recent JAKA and said that everyone should try their hand at maintaining a single species for a while. I understand why now. So much can be learned about a fish by focusing on just one.

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Tyrone Genade on May 22nd, 2021 at 5:47pm
Glad to read you are still having fun!

What happened with the Gardner? Did they bloat and die? They don't tolerate a rich diet for long.

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on May 23rd, 2021 at 3:52pm
Yes, it's fun, this Killifish keeping. They are very interesting fish. Some of the reading I've been doing lately in the JAKA and other sources has got me looking at the Fundulus species. I guess some more tanks are in my future.
The gardneri just kind of wasted away on me. They were picky eaters and often would not eat at all for days at a time. The females were the first to go. It's a shame too because I thought they were really nice fish. Same thing with the playfairii. Just not robust or healthy. My store bought Golden Wonders eat, breed and thrive like Convict Cichlids. No stopping them.
Another interesting development today. It's springtime in Montana and the mountain snowpack that feeds the Yellowstone River is melting and feeding it. My tap water is coming out at 60 PPM.

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Tyrone Genade on May 24th, 2021 at 9:12am

That is kind of strange for gardneri. In my experience they are not timid and will take any food given. My problem with them is that they are gluttonous and will over eat, bloat and die. I had playfairi briefly and they also seemed pretty tough.

I hope you can find some Fundulus to try. Fundulus zebrinus and Fundulus kansae are native to Montana and, while photos look rather dull, I have seen zebrinus in the flesh and they are awesome.

If you would like to try some Fundulopanchax scheeli let me know. They have no problem with dried food and living in community.

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on May 24th, 2021 at 1:20pm
Thank you for that offer of the F. scheeli but I'm going to stick with my lineatus for now and keep my eyes open for Fundulus. The Fundulopanchax species are very pretty but I like dull silvery minnow looking fish for some strange reason.
Thank you also for that information on Fundulus zebrinus and F. kansae. I recently acquired the Peterson Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes after seeing the NANFA website. I'm thinking about joining that organization as keeping native fishes appeals to me.

Title: Re: Me ? I'm Having a Ball !
Post by Medric J. Magann on Jul 13th, 2022 at 4:04pm
Well, after much thought I decided on a new Killifish. It isn't going to be the native Fundulus zebrinus I hoped to find close to my home. A 500 year flood on the Yellowstone River last month has effectively put the kibosh on that idea. Pretty sure that population is well downstream if they were even there. It isn't going to be Fundulopanchax gardneri either. I'm still hurt after the miserable failure I had with them. But . . . there is one fish that has always caught my eye and upon seeing them for sale in this months BNL F&E list I got ahold of the guy and ordered three pairs of Aphyosemion australe Orange-Red strain hybrid. I know this is a common fish that everyone has probably had but I like their looks. Since joining the AKA in 2019 I've learned a few things that will help me that I didn't know when the Gardneri beat me up. I sure hope this works. I want fry from these fish. Fry that grow up and give more fry.

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