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Killifish Spawning Methods

By Clint Norwood

There are various methods of spawning Killifish, some of these methods will seem redundant but if you are having problems spawning your fish you can try all these methods until you find one that works for you.

Soil Spawning Killies

1. The most popular method is simply to keep a pair together in a 1 to 2 1/2 gallon tank with boiled peatmoss as a spawning medium. This is usually successful and many people never vary from this method.
2. A variation of method 1 in which 3 or more pairs or trios are set-up in a 5 gallon or similar sized tank. Never keep 2 males in a small tank, to prevent fighting it is better to have at least 3 males present.
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3. A variation of method one. In this set-up you separate the male and female for a week or so and then introduce them into a spawning set-up (1) as described above. In this set-up you would only leave the breeders in the tank for 1 or 2 days, not feeding the fish at all during the time they are in the spawning tank. The advantages in this method is that it doesn't pollute the tank or the peatmoss, it allows the female to build up a good quantity of eggs and it allows the female to recuperate from the constant attentions of the male.
4. A slight variation of the above methods where the peatmoss medium is put in a small glass jar or plastic container instead of covering the entire bottom of the tank.

Plant Spawning Killies

1. Variation number 1 is a permanent set-up, with a well planted tank. A pair of killies will spawn and fry will appear on their own. You can allow the fry to remain in the tank with the adults or remove them for separate rearing. This a quite successful set-up for about 50% of plant spawning killies. This method works exceptionally well with the Gardneris, Bivs and Epiplatys.
2. A variation of method 1 in which the adults are removed and the fry are allowed to grow up in the spawning tank. The advantages in this method is that fry predation by the adults is eliminated. One would usually leave the adults in the tank for up to 3 weeks and then remove them. This is a very good method to use with Blue Gularis and other Fundulopanchax.
3. In method 3 a spawning mop is used. A spawning mop is a "mop" made of synthetic yarn in which the adults will deposit eggs. The eggs are picked off the mop by hand or tweezers and placed into a small container of water to incubate.
4. As in method 3 but the eggs are placed on top of wet peatmoss for incubation. The advantage here is there is a much less likelihood of the eggs getting fungused. Eggs on peat usually take at least a week longer to develope than eggs in water. Another advantage of this method is that all the eggs are placed into a fry tank at the same time, and the eggs will all hatch at the same time thus you will have all the fry at approximately the same size throughout their growth period. This is an excellent method to use with Australes.
5. A variation of method 3 in which the whole egg laden mop is semi-dried, placed into a plastic bag and incubated for 3 weeks. This method has many of the same advantages of method 4. 6. Most if not all plant spawning Killifish can be successfully spawned in any of the methods presented for soil spawners. The incubation period for plant spawners is usually 3 to 5 weeks for semi-dry incubation.

Switch Spawning Killies

Switch spawning Killies can be successfully spawned with any of the above methods.

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