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Tropical Fish Breeding
with Information about How to Raise the Fry.


Here's a female Mbuna with a mouthful of eggs. Females like this one often hide in dark places among the rocks, where they mouth-brood their eggs.




This page concludes the discussion about Tropical Fish breeding with a short discussion about how to breed a small African Mouth-Brooding Cichlid and ends with a comment about a Killifish. Click here to go back to the previous page in this discussion.

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The male, Haplochromis philander, would lie sideways tipped at about 45 degrees to the bottom of the aquarium with one of his fins spread out on the glass bottom. The female swam around picking up the eggs as she laid them, and occasionally she'd get a little confused and apparently mistake the pattern of spots on the his fin for one of her eggs, and she'd peck at the pattern on the male's fin.
We weren't smart enough to figure out what was going on, but later we learned that when she pecked at the males fin, he would release his sperm and fertilized the eggs right in her mouth. I first saw this a long time ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
The mother fish eat nothing at all or very little, while they brood the eggs in their mouths. Really the females eat practically no food at all. Sometimes actually no food for three weeks. After about 21 days the female would release babies that had hatched from the eggs in her mouth. The babies were easy for us to raise. They were much bigger than Killifish babies, grew faster, and were much easier to care for than the baby Killifish.
We began to make money selling them. Quite a bit of money. We could afford to buy Burtoni Fish, but this time we got 10 or 12, and they began to spawn immediately. The only thing we had lacked years before was more than 2 fish. If we'd had 6 or 8 Burtoni, we'd have spawned them. But we had to learn how to spawn Killies, and do this, and do that, before we could come back and spawn the Burtoni just like snapping our fingers. Really it was very easy, after we could do it.
A Series of Accidents
We gained lots of experience, money, and equipment by breeding the Killifish, the fish we called Philander, the Burtoni, and some other fish.
Looking back, it all seems like a long series of accidents that gave us just the right conglomeration of techniques and equipment to begin breeding the famous Mbuna Cichlids from Lake Malawi, when they were first exported from Africa and exploded into the aquarium hobby.
But that's another story. Click here for more about the Mbuna Cichlids.
Click here to read about the mouth brooding Mbuna Cichlids in Giselle's Restaurant.

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Brine Shrimp Eggs - from Aquarium Guys. Click on this ad to buy now.




About Killifish
Recently Tony Terceira found our web site, and when he sent us an email, we recognized his name as someone we'd known long ago, when we were just trying to get started breeding a few fish.
We exchanged email with Tony and reminisced with him a little about the old days. We told him how much we appreciated the good advice and help that he and other experienced aquarists had given to us a long time ago.




Copyright ? 2000 Tony Terceira
All Rights Reserved




Finally, Tony said he just couldn't stand the fact that this web site didn't have a single picture of a Killifish. So he sent us the picture shown above of a beautiful Killifish for all of us to enjoy. The fish in this picture is a male of a species that was called Aphyosemion australe, when we bred them, but scientists learn more about fish all the time, and sometimes they agree with each other that a scientific name needs to be changed.
So this fish may have a different scientific name now. The fish in the picture is probably between 1.5 and 2 inches long. Tony says he'll send us some more information about this fish.

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Brine Shrimp Direct - Products to Make Your Tank Thrive. Click on this display ad to learn more about these products.
Books about Killifish
The book shown below is listed on You can click on the title or on the image of the book to go to the page at, where the book is listed and discussed. In some cases you can preview several of the pages in the book.
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book.   Killifish
By Steffen Hellner

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This page was updated on May 22, 2016.




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