Spawning Killies The “Natural Way”

Post by: PPulcher on January 19, 2006, 08:44:19 AM
I’m planning on setting up a large planted aquarium. It will be a 75 gallon tank with good lighting and CO2 injection. I think killies make great subjects for the planted tank s, as they are colourful, and they really appreciate the cover that plants provide.

I typically keep my killies in small tanks with either floating plants or spawning mops. What I would like to try in this larger tank is a ‘colony’ of sorts, where I don’t have to harvest eggs. I have tried this on a limited basis in 10 gallon planted tanks, but I’ve had little success with Fp. gardneri, Aphy. striatum, Aphy. gabunense. Either I’m not feeding the fish enough and they are eating the fry, or there isn’t enough cover for the fry.

I think for this plant I would use either striatum or gabunense, as I have not found too much fighting between males. It will be a species tank.

Has anyone who has attempted such a thing in a larger tank comment?

Post by: ealvarez on January 19, 2006, 09:07:05 AM
im with you on this one, have only tried it with gardneri in a 10g tank and it worked for me, they didnt bother theyre fry much. in a much larger tank, especially a planted tank i dont think youll run into many problems, should be plenty of cover for the little guys if they happen to get chased

Post by: CompletePondCare on January 19, 2006, 11:03:11 AM
I’ve allowed nature to take its course in my Fp Scheeli and Aphy. Striatum tanks since last November. I keep 2 breeding pr. per tank, I keep them well-fed and the tanks have a lot of artificial plants for cover, but I don’t think I’d call them ‘densely planted’. There are Endler’s Livebearers co-habiting w/ the Scheeli and just a couple of fancy male guppies co-habiting w/ the Striatum.

Results: 4-6 surviving Scheeli fry per spawn, no surviving Striatum fry thus far. I’ve collected Striatum eggs and successfully hatched them out prior to November, so I know fertility isn’t the problem. It’s either cannibalism or, more likely I think, the Striatum fry hatch out so tiny that they need a tiny-fry diet to survive the early weeks. The Scheeli fry also hatch out pretty small, but not as tiny as the Striatum; the Scheeli seem able to get enough to eat from adult-food leftovers. I’ve put some of my separately-reared Striatum fry back in the tank w/ the adults when they were big enough to take regular foods but still small enough to be eaten if the adults wanted to chase them, and the adults showed no interest.

One more thing to know — your filter intakes in the tanks will have to be modified to prevent fry suckage, which means fitting them with sponges or the like. While this increases fry survival rates, it also creates more effort on your part to keep the tanks clean & water healthy. The water flow rate through the modified system will be reduced and you’ll have to remove external detritus from the sponges pretty frequently to keep water moving through them.

:goofy: Alternatively, you could take the survival-of-the-fittest view and deem the filter intake hazard a kind of IQ test for fry.

Post by: PPulcher on January 19, 2006, 12:38:02 PM
In the tanks where I’ve tried it, the filtration has been sponge or box filters. I will even take the lids off of box filters so fry don’t get caught.

I figured (perhaps incorrectly) that established, planted tanks would provide enough micro-food for fry. I also feed a healthy doese of BBS daily to all my killie tanks, as well as either live or frozen foods. These days, I can only typically feed a tank once per day because of my schedule.

In really heavily planted tanks, I rely on the plants as filters most of the time to be honest. I’ve never seen any ammonia. In fact, I need to add NitrAte a couple of times per week.

Post by: PPulcher on January 19, 2006, 12:44:54 PM
Just a thought: do you think the Endler’s (and the gaggle of fry they produce) help with the situation? Or are they there mainly as dithers?

Post by: CompletePondCare on January 19, 2006, 02:37:02 PM
You’re probably right in thinking a well-planted, fully established tank would provide enough infusoria to feed tiny fry. My tanks have artificial plants, so they’re not providing as good a food source for fry.

As for the Endler’s, I did originally get them with the intent of using culls as food for my killies. However, all culls I’ve put in with the Striatum and Scheeli have survived into adulthood without harrassment.

In the Blue Gularis tank, it’s a totally different story! They would eat ME if they could.

Post by: nonamethefish on January 19, 2006, 09:46:35 PM
Could have been cannibalism or the Endlers eating the fry. While adult seldom bother the fry I know juveniles often eat their younger siblings.

I tried this in a 10 gallon with some Aphyosemion splendopleure and it has gone quite well…now at maybe 15 or so fish.

In a 75 gallon I think a big colony of any of these species might work. You could even try a small Aphyosemion species and then put in a small Epiplatys to live in the upper portions of the tank.