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Johnson 18's Tank Rack! Several Species!

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This journal will document the building and the keeping of my killifish tanks. While I hope to successfully breed these colorful little fish, I don't want tanks that are set up strictly for breeding. Many people keep Killifish in tiny tanks for breeding, like 2.5 gallons or less(think the little boxes sold for hermit crabs and such), often stuffed full of sphagnum moss or peat, along with no substrate and lights.

While I want these low lech, I don't want them quite that low lech! I will go through and list my thoughts about how I'm planning to set these up. I'm starting with two tanks and may expand from there.

I've never kept killifish, so if you have, PLEASE let me know if I'm messing up!! I'm absolutely alright with more experienced people offering me advice or saying "hey, you're doing this wrong, idiot!!"

EDIT: I've had a lot of questions about Killifish, which I think is absolutely fantastic! I love that this seems to have sparked interest in many people. Unfortunately, I am definitely still learning about these little fish. I will try to answer any and all questions of course! I have also found that the Killifish people are super organized! I would recommend that anyone wanting to learn more about Killifish should check out the American Killifish Association's website. They've got a ton of information, including killifish basics, beginner info, along with good beginner fish recommendations! I'm seriously impressed with these folks, hell, I might even join eventually! hahaha.
END EDIT.

The Killifish: I'm starting with two species of killifish, both are considered to be "easy" killis. I bought both of these species at an auction last weekend where there were at least a hundred of different types of killifish. The two I'm starting with are both non-annual Killifish. I believe both species are plant spawners, so I can leave eggs in the tank versus drying the out and aging before being able to hatch.

The first species is a trio, 1 male and 2 females, of Aphyosemion australe Cap Estrias BSWG 97-24. This is a small species from Gabon, and one of the few Killifish with a common name, the Lyretail Killifish. It's a gorgeous little fish, overall orange with a number of different colors mixed into its patterns! I'm planning to get at least one more trio, if I can, from the same person who donates them to the auction. This trio has proved quite hard to take a picture of as they never stop moving!

I stole this first image off Flickr, it's a lovely little pair.


The second species I have is two pairs of Aphyosemion cinnamomeum Kurume APL 13-35. This species is from Cameroon & gets a bit larger, like 6cm. (Haha!) This is mostly a purple color, with a bright yellow crescent shape in the tail. These fish are currently in my 55 gallon shrimp tank & they need to be moved out asap! While I haven't seen them eating the shrimp, I'm sure the shrimp are at least getting picked on as they're hiding constantly!

This first image is from the interwebs, the rest are in my 55. These fish have been getting more color every day!



The males just a day or two after getting them. They're colors have gotten better but you can start to see the yellow on the fins.



Females:





Tanks: I'm debating back and forth between a pair of 5 gallon tanks or 10 gallons. The 5's are almost certainly large enough, but a 10 gallon tank gives me more wiggle room as far as the water conditions go. I can grow more plants in a 10 gallon tank. As far as dimensions, I've got room for either one & there's no real advantage(room wise) to going smaller(I don't think...) I don't currently have 5s, but I've only got one derimmed 10, so I'm gonna have to buy tanks either way. If you can't tell, I'm leaning towards using 10 gallon tanks.

Filtration: air driven sponge filters! I've already got some of the dual sponge filters. Just picked up an air pump yesterday, it's the same one I use to power the same filters in my 20L Apisto tank. I've got two in that tank & will just be putting one in each of these tanks.

Heaters: idk. The kinds that warm up cold water. Hahaha.

Lights: I've got a variety of lights I could use probably including the clip-on cfl domes for Home Depot, as well as a couple 18" BML Dutch(12in board) with the adjustment knobs to turn them up and down.

Substrate: As I'm mostly just wanting to go low tech, crammed with lots of Crypts, other easy root feeders, & moss, I believe I may go with MGOPM mixed with something to increase the CEC and capped with Black Diamond Blasting Sand. If I get any species that are substrate spawners this will change so that the substrate and eggs can be removed, dried & aged before being rewetted when it is time for the eggs to hatch.

Plants: The plan is to put in lots of heavy root feeders: lots of Cryptocorynes, maybe some of the smaller swords, and probably not any sort of actual carpet plants. It's possible I might give MM a try as a carpet in one. Idk, though. I've got a wide variety of plants so we'll see what ends up in these tanks! I'm going to try and pack them fairly full.


I know this is long AF! If you've made it this far, THANK YOU!! Please let me know what you think of my plan! I'm open to ideas or suggestions! The tanks will hopefully be started today! If not, well, it might be sometime this week.



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Discussion Starter · #102 ·
You get the coolest stuff. I need to get involved with some clubs. What size tanks are you using for Killies?


My killies are in a variety of sizes. Ranging from a medium size kritter Keeper up to 5.5g tanks. It really just depends on the species & their age. Like the A. australe ‘burnt orange’ are fairly young adults & I have two pairs in a medium KK. My large kritter keeper has three pairs of adult Nematolebias whitei living in there for a few weeks. I’ve had other killies that I wouldn’t even want to split the sexes up into their own large KK alone.

Dude, there’s gotta be clubs near you. The AGA has a great list of clubs, same with the AKA. There’s another website that has all the clubs broken down by state. I don’t remember the name, but just google Aquarium clubs by state. I forget where you are or I’d make some suggestions.


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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
I'm in Pinellas county in Florida. Basically Tampa area.


Well, you’re in luck then... these are the two main ones I know of in your area. Through them you might find that there are more than just these two.

Tampa Bay Aquarium Society
https://tbas1.com

Suncoast Killifish Society
http://www.sks1.com



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