I remember that we read about
Burtoni in a book about tropical fish that we got
from the local library. Most libraries have lots
of books about fish. Some of the books are very
good, some are not so good, and some are useless.
Learn how to browse the books, until you find one
that seems to make sense to you.
Library cards are free. Get one and
start reading books. If you have trouble finding
books about fish, ask one of the librarians to help
you find the shelf with all the books about fish.
If your library doesn't have many books about fish,
ask the librarian about getting books from other
libraries. Often the librarian can arrange to get
books for you from other libraries.
We read every book we could get about
tropical fish. When we found a book we liked, we
read it several times. We learned from one book
that the female Burtoni Fish were silver and the
males were brightly colored on both their bodies
and their fins. The book also said that the females
were smaller and had shorter fins than the males.
So we learned that the male Burtoni Fish were larger,
more colorful, and had longer more pointed fins.
We used to drive all over town to
look at the fish in all the pet stores and tropical
fish stores. One day, lucky us, we found some Burtoni
in a small pet store. They were expensive, and we
could only afford two. So we bought what looked
like the best male and best female. We took them
home and put them in one of our aquariums.
The male was rough on the female,
and finally we had to take her out and put her in
another aquarium. Every day for several weeks we
fed her lots of flakes, brine shrimp, daphnia, and
mosquito larva, then put her back with the male,
and had the same problem. He just roughed her up.
We worked and worked at getting them to spawn.
We talked with each other about our
"Burtoni Problem" all the time, and came up with
hair-brained schemes for breeding them. We read
more, talked with every expert we could find, and
bought every fish magazine available. But we couldn't
get them to spawn.
Two Great Aquarists
We were anxious and finally
gave up and traded our Burtoni pair and many other
Cichlids for aquariums, pumps, and other things
we needed because we'd met Richard Buttner, John
Rosenberger, and a few other aquarists with much
more experience than we had. These men had raised
lots of fish for a long time.
Both Richard and John had Killie
Fish in their aquariums, and in jars, and in wooden
tanks in their back yards. They had lots of Killie
fish, and they had lots of baby Killie fish. What
we wanted most was to start spawning and raising
fish, and we'd settle for any kind of fish. We would
never have figured out how to raise any kind of
Killie fish without the help of these two great
aquarists. There were just a few things that had
to be learned, but it had taken them many years,
lots of work, and lots of ingenuity to figure it
They showed us and told us what they
knew, and we watched and listened and learned and
before long we were raising lots of Killies. Most
of the species that we bred were easy to breed.
But a few of the species got us a little attention
and more praise than we deserved.