In this section of the articles library you will find information about how to keep and breed Killifish. Killifish are tooth carps and belong to an order named Cyprinodontiformes. Killifish are popular among aquarists, but you will seldom find Killifish in your local fish store. If you want to keep Killifish it is therefore advisable to contact a breeder directly. The larger fish auction sites will offer Killifish and many breeders have their own web pages and can be found online. You can also find Killifish breeders in forums where Killifish are discussed. Even though Killifish are not as easy to obtain as Guppy, Platy and Kissing Gourami, Killifish are suitable for novice aquarists and even a comparatively inexperienced aquarists will usually manage to get his or her Killifish into spawning condition.
The name Killifish is sometimes spelled Killiefish, with an “e”. Killifish without an e is the oldest spelling variant and is derived from the Dutch word for creek. Killifish is commonly found in creeks and streams in Africa, Asia, America and Southern Europe, but they also inhabit lakes. The American Killiefish species inhabit the region between Ontario, U.S. in the north and Argentina to the south. Since Killifish live in such different parts of the world the different species have adapted to various conditions.
If you want to keep Killifish it is important that you research the feeding habits of your particular species. Some Killifish species must be fed meaty foods, preferably live. Insects and their larvae are recommended. Other Killifish species can not be kept on such a diet since they feed on plankton in the wild. A third group of Killifish are skilled predators and feed chiefly on live fish in the wild.
Killifish species utilizes several different reproductive methods, depending on the specific environmental factors in the region where that particular species have developed. Some species will simply scatter their eggs on plants. If the Killifish live in rocky areas, it will instead deposit the eggs inside caves or crevices. A third group of Killifish will create protective nest and lay their eggs inside. The Killifish species that live in temporary puddles and smaller lakes in areas affected by severe droughts have developed a completely different reproductive method. Since these puddles can dry out completely during the dry season, the eggs are buried deep down in the mud once they have been fertilized. The adult fish will die if the puddle dries out during the drought, but the eggs can survive in the mud for several months. When the rainy season commence, the eggs will sense the water and fry will rapidly hatch. If you purchase a Killifish that live under such conditions in the wild, you should bare in mind that their natural life span is very short. They are programmed to hatch and reproduce during one single rainy season and well seldom live for more than 9 months in the wild, frequently even shorter. The genus Cynopoecilus is also worth some attention when we are discussing the reproductive methods of Killifish, since Killifish species that belong to this genus will use pseudo-internal fertilization. This species show us how the livebearing fish species might have developed from the egg laying ones. There are egg laying as well as live bearing tooth carps, and the Cynopoecilus species form a link between the two groups.