Jelly asked in PetsFish · 9 years ago

how to hatch killifish?

im getting killifish off of ebay and i dont know how to hatch them please help ! i read you put them in moss with no water? please tell me how to hatch them properly and the kit also comes with artemia do you know what that is? please help and are they fresh water? ive cared for fish many times but ive never hatched any and do you know how big they get full grown?

thanks so much

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Congratulations on winning your bid. Would you please edit your question to include what species (and strain if a strain or collecting location was included) that you purchased. There are as many as 850 described species and 100s of collections identified by location in the hobby. Also, if it doesn't sound too nosy, were the eggs purchased in the US or in another country?

    Killies range in size from an inch to a foot in length. How big they get depends upon species, temperature kept at, frequency of water changes, appropriate feeding and how crowded they are. I'm sure most of that is familiar to you. You probably have raised something like baby guppies? That gives you a real advantage.

    I'm a little surprised you would buy fish eggs & know so little about them. But I suppose we've all done something similar. ;)

    About 75% of our killifish are known as plant spawners, whose eggs hatch in about two weeks, temperature pending. (Cooler temperatures may dramatically extend the incubation period and temperatures above 80F may shorten it.)

    About 25% of the killies are annuals. They lay eggs in the mud or substrate. The waters evaporate from that spot and the eggs go through several developmental stages while incubating 2-10 months, species and environment pending. It is important to purchase annual eggs only a few weeks to a month or so after they were laid. Those are a lot more durable in transit.

    Also, for reasons not fully understood, incubation may speed up when eggs are shipped. This can especially get tricky when they are "older eggs."

    On the other hand, if you bought annual eggs, you have some time to learn about killies and work out some details.

    Killifish of both types are often shipped in slightly moist peat moss. In cold weather that gets tricky because there is so little thermal mass to keep temperatures from fluctuating. A lot of us will not mail eggs or fish Nov-March for those reasons.

    I'm assuming that you know how to treat tap water with an appropriate water conditioner, leave the water open at least over night (to breathe out noxious gases & absorb O2) in safe, soap-less containers. Try to store the water where it will be about 75 degrees F. That would also be a good general temperature to raise them at, though some species could be a little warmer.

    You will want to hatch your first batch of brine shrimp when the peat moss is placed in prepared water (perhaps in a plastic shoe box). You will take a pipette or turkey baster (dedicated to all things fishy) and carefully remove the fry to their first quarters, which could be a 10-gallon aquarium with two inches of water or another soap-less container. In time they would be moved to that tank and the water gradually raised. Please plan on doing at least one 50% partial water changes a week, though a 20% water change a day might be even better. A great low light plant for fry tanks is Java moss, though it is not mandatory.

    As the water level rises in the 10-gallon tank, add a sponge filter. If you have another fish tank, run that sponge filter in there for a week or more first. They are great biological filters and even have some microscopic critters growing on them that the fry will eat.

    Your brine shrimp are salt water creatures If the seller sent a pack of them, they may also have sent some salt with them. See source 4 for more.

    Hatch just a small amount of eggs at a time. Rinse them through a brine shrimp sieve, handkerchief or paper towel Then pour them into a little jar of clean, prepared water and carefully add to the fry. The pippete may again be useful.

    Overfeeding fry can kill them, either by fouling the water or by encouraging the bloom of pathogens like velvet. Several tiny feedings a day is better than one big one. Take a piece of airline tubing and carefully siphon dead bbs (baby brine shrimp) into a light colored, inexpensive, 5-gallon plastic bucket. One can see fry accidentally swept out in the current. If you have access to the small ramshorn snails, a few of those in with the fry (when the fry are mobile) are great scavengers. If the snails are multiplying fast, you are probably over-feeding the fry.

    If your killies are plant spawners, at about 1/2-3/4 of an inch, you can begin to add finely crumbled flake food and ween them over to that. It is much more difficult doing that with annuals. You might put a couple baby guppies if the same size in to see if the killies fry will copy the guppies or livebearers and begin taking the flake food.

    The more partial water changes you can make, the cleaner the water, the more consistently but carefully you can feed them, the more likely it is that your killies will grow up healthy and beautiful.

    By the way, my answer is too long for YA. Please ask "How to force hatch killie eggs?" Thanks!

    Good luck & all the best!

  • John B
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Here is a site all about breeding and caring for killfish. I never had them, so good luck..

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.