Wild Killiefish belonging to the genus Epiplatys can only be found in Africa, where they lives close to the waters surface and feed on insects. Epiplatys Killiefish can be kept in aquariums, and will usually not require more than a basic knowledge of Killiefish keeping. They are not very hard to feed and will not only eat insects; Epiplatys Killiefish can usually be trained onto flake food and frozen foods. They will also appreciate most types of worms and larvae, and even fish can be eaten if small enough to fit into the mouth of the Epiplatys Killiefish. Since the Epiplatys Killiefish is equipped with a relatively large mouth, there are a lot of fish species that should not be kept with Epiplatys Killiefish.
The Epiplatys Killiefish will work out well in a community aquarium, as long as the other fish are too large to be considered prey by the Epiplatys Killiefish. Some Epiplatys species will grow up to four inches, and if you wish to keep those species in a community aquarium the aquarium will naturally have to be quite big, since the Epiplatys can not be kept with smaller species. All Epiplatys Killiefish are very capable jumpers, since they catch flying insects in the wild. The aquarium where you keep your Epiplatys Killiefish must therefore be securely covered. The surface hunting habits of the Epiplatys Killiefish has even caused them to develop a kind of “third eye” on the top of their heads. This third eye is a light sensitive organ that makes it possible for the Epiplatys Killiefish to detect changes in light when the lure at the surface. If you move your hand over your Epiplatys Killiefish, or shadow it in any other way, it will rapidly seek shelter under something in the aquarium. Do not scare your Epiplatys Killiefish often by doing this, since it will be stressed and believe there are a lot of predators present. The Epiplatys Killiefish is always focused on threats from above, and is very easy to catch with a net when you need to move the fish to a new aquarium. As long as your catch the fish from below, it will hardly notice you until its too late.
If you intend to breed your Epiplatys Killiefish it is extra imperative to keep them in a planted aquarium, since all Epiplatys Killiefish are plant spawners. Most breeders prefer to move the parents to a separate breeding aquarium, to ensure a higher survival rate for the fry than in a community aquarium. In a community aquarium, a lot of eggs and fry will be eaten by the adult fish. A breeding aquarium for Epiplatys Killiefish should be decorated with special spawning mops or java moss plants. The female Epiplatys Killiefish will deposit her eggs on the spawning site. If you make sure that the parent Epiplatys Killiefish are well-fed, they will usually not pose a treat to the eggs. You can therefore let the parents stay in the breeding aquarium for approximately 10 days after the eggs have been deposited. Epiplatys Killiefish offspring usually need 12-14 days of development before the eggs hatch and the fry emerge. The fry should not be fed until they have consumed their yolk sacs. Suitable started food for Epiplatys Killiefish fry is small Brine Shrimp nauplii.
Epiplatys dageti monroviae. Copyright www.jjphoto.dk
If you intend to let your Epiplatys Killiefish spawn in the community aquarium, you should make sure that the aquarium is densely planted. A lot of eggs and fry will still be eaten, but at least a few individuals from each batch will usually survive if they are provided with plenty of hiding places. Hiding among plants to avoid predators is a natural behaviour for the Epiplatys Killiefish fry.
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