Killifish

Killifish as a group comprise over 700 species from most regions of the world. Some are easy to keep in the aquarium, others are difficult. Most are brightly coloured, others, have fascinating behaviour. This site contains the basics on how to keep killies, fish photographs and breeders tips and my own killiblog. This site currently contains 435 pictures of 188 different species. Check out the most recently added killifish images.

Nothobranchius furzeri MOZ99-6
Rivulus rectocaudatus DWTS 08/03
Fundulopanchax nigerianus Makurdi
Simpsonichthys reticulatus
Nothobranchius orthonotus MOZ99-8

Killifish photos

Fundulopanchax arnoldi
Fundulopanchax arnoldi Ughelli TR 01. A pair on display at the 2008 BKA convention.
Nothobranchius lucius
Nothobranchius lucius Kinungamkele TAN 05-48 - like other fish in the melanospilis group, females have spots on their bodies and unpaired fins

killifish for sale

10 (ten) Fry of Fundulopanchax nigerianus «Jos Plateau» (Killifish)

GLASGOW, GLASGOW (CITY OF), G53, UNITED KINGDOM

$50.44


Offering a pair Offering 10 (ten) fry of stunning Fundulopanchax nigerianus «Jos Plateau» (Plateau State, Nigeria).... more

10 (ten) Fry of Aplocheilus dayi dayi 'Sinharaja' (Rare Killifish)

GLASGOW, GLASGOW (CITY OF), G53, UNITED KINGDOM

$50.44


Offering a pair Offering 10 (ten) fry of rare Aplocheilus dayi dayi 'Sinharaja' (Sri Lanka).... more


Killifish care

Generalisations on keeping killies are somewhat few and far between, as these fish inhabit such a wide range of environmental niches worldwide, and have therefore adapted to very wide range of conditions. Many people have an idea that these fish are difficult to keep, and whilst there are some easy killifish species, there are many that can test the skills of the most experienced fishkeeper. Actually most killifish are quite easy to keep, especially in a species tank (i.e. not a community tank), and the 'difficulties' are more related to breeding them.

However the following generalisations are largely true

  1. Killifish don't live very long
  2. Killifish only eat live food (or frozen live foods)
  3. Killifish don't thrive when housed with other species

So, to succeed at keeping killifish, and to answer the generalisations above, you'll need to: 1) continually breed your fish, 2) continually breed (or collect/buy) livefoods, 3) keep one (or more) tank / species. All of this is time consuming and takes up space. Successful killifish care is not hard, but requires a significant commitment in time. However, unlike many hobbies, there is very little expense required beyond buying starter cultures of livefoods and the eggs/fish themselves.

This website details many of my experiences in killies: hatching eggs, breeding methods, culturing livefoods (grindal worms, whiteworms, fruit flies etc, see foods and feeding)

Types of killifish

The majority of killifish maintained in captivity hail from Southern and Central America, Africa and Asia with limited numbers from Southern Europe, the Middle East and North America. By far the most popular, largely due to their intense colouration, are the annual fish of East Africa and South America, and the non annual fish of West Africa and Central America.

Annual Killifish

Annual killifish are those that live (usually) in temporary waters: pools that dry up on a regular basis. As such, these fish have to cram their life cycle into as a short a period as possible, hatching, growing and reproducing in a few months only. The best examples are the Nothobranchius species of south and east Africa, and the (formerly) Cynolebias species of south America. The eggs of these fish have adapted to survive in the mud of a dried up pool, and are ready to hatch when the wet season starts.

Non-annual Killifish

Species that live in permanent waters are far more akin to other fish species, and are perhaps less of a challenge to the new killikeeper. The best known non-annual killis are the Aphyosemion and Fundulopanchax of west Africa, and the Rivulus species of south and central America.

Killifish conservation

Due to the fact that many killifish species inhabit a very small geographic area, they are particularly susceptible to extinction by habitat destruction. Numerous species are thought extinct, for example Nothobranchius steinforti has not been found since 1976, despite extensive searches. Others, such as Nothobranchius capriviensis are likely to be lost by construction projects that remodel the landscape in which their temporary pools would occur. It is the aim of many killifish keepers and societies to maintain captive populations of as many species as possible, to safeguard against future extinctions. For this reason, it is imperative that fish with known collection data are not cross bred with other similar-looking fish, as this may result in sterility in captive populations.


What's new on killi.co.uk

Nothobranchius furzeri
  • How to keep Nothobranchius: my view on the best ways to keep Nothobranchius: reducing aggression, raising enough females, and having spare males for the community tank in your living room
  • Major site revamp for 2019! After a while in the wilderness, killi.co.uk is back, with a new mobile/tablet friendly design. There are a lot of new photographs to come, nomenclature updates and blog posts. Old features, such as the breeding reports, have been brought up to date; if you've bred a killifish recently, why not fill in a report
  • Brand new blog posting Nothobranchius furzeri 2008 a description, photos and video clips of my latest furzeri hatching.
  • New Nothobranchius description. Two localities of Notho, previously referred to as aff. rubrippinis have been described as Nothobranchius cardinalis
  • Brand new blog posting Nothobranchius sp. Messalo River MZHL 05-12
  • New Nothobranchius species - pictures of the newly collected Zakouma National Park strain of Nothobranchius rubroreticulatus


killifish for sale

6 (six) Juveniles of Epiplatys infrafasciatus Akok JVC 2017-29 (Rare Killifish)

GLASGOW, GLASGOW (CITY OF), G53, UNITED KINGDOM

$37.83


Offering 6 (six) fry of rare Epiplatys infrafasciatus infrafasciatus «Akok JVC 2017-29» (South Region, Cameroon).... more

6 Live Golden Topminnow (Killifish) FREE SHIPPING

., USA

$34.99


This listing is for 6 very healthy golden topminnows (Fundulus chrysotus). This is a type of wild Killifish that is native to this area (Northern Louisiana). My practice is to net what I ship out of my pond on the same day I ship, to make sure what you get is as healthy as is possible. I insulate very well and include an ice pack. FREE SHIPPING.... more

Pair of Pachypanchax playfairii «Mahé Island» (Rare Killifish)

GLASGOW, GLASGOW (CITY OF), G53, UNITED KINGDOM

$31.53


Offering a pair (male and female) of rare Pachypanchax playfairii «Mahé Island» (Seychelles).... more