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Nothobranchius palmqvisti


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And I thought photographing bettas was hard. I think I took about 300 shots before I started to get some that were decent. He kept hiding behind the java fern. This is the fish I got at the EDAS Auction on Saturday. I was suffering a little from buyers regret on the day because I generally prefer to keep the non-annual killies. Plus when I got them home this guy looked mostly grey with only a few red specks and I seriously wondered what I was thinking when I was waving that bidder number around on Saturday. But look at him now. :lol:

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VERY nice looking fish... those are great colours - glad he decided to come out from hiding for you.

I've never had killies but that one is a good reason to think about it.

Is he an annual species? Do you they breed in pairs like bettas or do they just spawn with any number of others?

With annuals do you have to collect the eggs and dry them before you can attempt to hatch them or can you just leave them in the tank?

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Yes. I got a pair but the female is tiny. And they show no interest in each other at all. Mind you they've only been in the same tank for a day. I had them in separate tanks to begin with but the female's tank was taking a lot longer to cycle than the male's. It was going through a cloudy stage which is not unusual but it was cloudy for much longer than the male's tank which was set up at the same time. So I decided to pull her out and join her mate.

Wayne, yes these are an annual species of killie. They live fast and die young. LOL. I think you could breed them in small groups. Not 100% sure about that. I haven't had them for a while and last time I kept annuals I only remember keeping them in small tanks in pairs or trios (1 male 2 females). If I remember correctly the males get quite aggressive with each other and if there are other males present they spend the whole time defending territory and not enough time doing the hokey pokey.

The killifish hobby is in an absolutely dire state in Australia. Killiguy is running a little conservation group to preserve the remaining Nothobranchius species in Australia as they are now prohibited from import. But the non-annual species, ie the Aphyosemions, Fundulopanchax, Epiplatys, Rivulus etc aren't faring much better. There are no large commercial producers of killies so they essentially only get passed on by hobbyists. There are some Asian suppliers on AquaBid but the quality and the variety isn't great. So although the non-annuals could be imported, it's still difficult to get them. Encourage everyone to have a go at keeping killies. Don't be too fussy with species. Whatever species you can get a hold of, breed it, pass it on.

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It doesn't look hard to keep them - they pass bags of peat around like it's pass the parcel at the SKG! (hey - there's a new idea for a party game, LOL! pass the bag of killifish peat!)

I have suggested that one of the SKG meetings have a demo for beginners - I would really benefit from that.

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They are great aren't they :fun:

Pairs work well.

Yes you can also breed them in groups but apparently having more than two males is better to diffuse the aggression. They only get aggressive to protect the spawning site from the other males. So to diffuse the situation if you have them in a small tank having the whole bottom covered with peat or in a large tank to have multiple containers with peat work well.

Eggs in the peat are not that delicate, keeping them at a constant temp will increase the hatch rate though. Even though they live fast you should be able to collect eggs everyweek for up to 6 to 8weeks or more so it leaves a lot of room for error. There are some Nothos that require a bit more attention but due to the sheer number of eggs they produce, breeding can be relatively straight forward once you get into the routine of collecting peat and storing it.

Usually the problem is having too many fry!!! :D

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I concurr with Serkan!

How often you take the peat out is pretty flexible, partially depending on how big a hatch you want. If you collect and replace the peat once every 2 weeks, say, over the course of 6 months, that gives you 12 lots of peat. For most species, you could probably expect a breeding life of more than 2 months, so while it isn't 'take your time', it's not like you only get the chance to harvest eggs once.

For hardy species, the eggs are pretty much indestructible, and often the peat releases a cloud of fry. That said, they have to be actively bred to maintain a population, which is how I think we lose species.

I think the idea of a demo at the SKG meeting is an excellent one. Would get a lot of 'debate' re method from all corners, which would be entertaining :fun:

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Two months breeding life? Hmm.... if I knew that before, I'd forgotten it. Maybe this is why I don't normally keep annuals. I wonder how old these guys are.

Here's a pic of how I've set them up. It's a small tank, 20 x 20 x 20 cm, filled to about 7 litres, little filter at the back. Takeaway container filled with peat, hole in the lid. I've seen the male investigating the peat. Haven't seen the female in there with him yet. They better breed before they die. I'll be very annoyed if they don't.

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That is a seriously adorable setup! I love it. That narrow leaf java fern is the bomb!

I wouldn't think that most nothos or simpsonichthys had such a short breeding life, no. Let's say the fish lives for 18 months ideally, and breeds well until it is 1 year old, and starts breeding at three months. That would give us an effective breeding life of maybe 7 months. There are other much more experienced people than me, but I would think that those figures were a conservative estimate of breeding life for run of the mill annuals.

I might guess the male was at least 2-3 months old? He looks adult size and is all coloured up, definitely sexually mature.

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they may have only a 7 month breeding life but if I understand correctly, you can re-wet the peat at certain intervals and more eggs will hatch, so you get multiple batches of fry from one single spawn.

When you consider that the fish would also spawn multiple times during the 7 months, that's a lot of fry!

(says Lisa who hasn't even got her act together to get some peat in the tank with her only killifish pair yet, LOL! Watch one DVD and suddenly you're an expert :lol:).

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Ok, thats not so scary, thanks everyone. Next question is... oh hang a sec, I think I just realised the answer. You'd need to be strict about keeping one species per tank so you know which eggs you have, right?

I like your little set up Razzi, I have a tank I can do that with. Do you have an air uplift type sponge filter in there? Can't see it behind that beautiful plant (how the heck do you get it to grow like that?).

What do you feed the fry?

Thanks for answering my questions everyone, let me know if I should start a new thread.

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AHH... the secret to having java fern all lush like that is to go to the EDAS auction and buy it from someone really good at growing plants. :lol: Yes, there's one of those little air driven rectangular filters with a sponge in it. The fry will eat MWs, VEs and BBS just like betta fry.

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If they've eaten the whiteclouds, I would imagine they would be the Gold panchax Aplocheilus lineatus

Love your tank Michael. I think the only thing you need to be a bit careful for is to make sure the female gets enough to eat with the larger male in the tank.

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Funny you should say that. Exactly what I was thinking. But even when I had her in a tank on her own she was kinda difficult to feed. I'm only feeding frozen bloodworms which was a staple for my killies way back when there weren't many good dry foods around. But I bet you Ludwig is pretty old school and probably only feeds live foods.

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