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May 082018

I just thought some of you would be interested to learn I am working on the second volume of The Killifish Encyclopedia.

This volume will be focused on African Annuals. (Gee … A on the list)

I am currently looking for photographs for the majority of species and will provide a list of what I need.  Any photographer whose pictures are used will receive a free copy of the book as a thank you, but since the sales numbers of a limited book like this are so low, I cannot afford to pay for each photo.  I am seeking many species that I can photograph myself.


Apr 172018

This past weekend was supposed to be a reformation meeting for UNYKA after about a 2 year break.  Unfortunately the weather decided to interrupt our plans.  SO now we have tentatively set the next date for a meeting on Sunday, May 20th in New Berlin NY.  Technically Dr. Dan Nielsen will be the host, but we will be meeting at a local pizza shop.

UNYKA has been on hiatus primarily because of the health of some of its members.  Several of us have had serious conditions ranging from open heart surgery, to kidney (failure) dialysis and major surgery for a variety of other concerns.  It’s sad so many of us are ‘getting old’ at the same time.  But the good news is most of us are improving – enough to want to get together again.

Personally, I am going through a difficult time on some other levels.  My wife and I are seriously considering a move to Florida.  Sadly, Winter is becoming hard on both of us.  For me, my heart condition limits how much I am allowed to do with shoveling, etc. and I truly hate the cold weather now – my joints ache more than I want to deal with.  I know, I know … whining ain’t gonna help.  The things I used to love doing – winter sports, skiing, skating are now things of the past. I can no longer do those things.  Basically, I am pretty much restricted to sitting in my office during the worst of the winter weather.

In early May, Phyllis and I will be in Ocala FL to look at homes we might purchase.  We are going there because our close friends Kim and Henry Boyd live there now and it would be nice to spend regular time with them again.  Of course the other reason is to have access to a great killie club, Sun Coast and the friendships I look forward to renewing once we are there.  I also realize I will never run a 200 tank fishroom again, but at least in FL I won’t have to pay out thousands of dollars in heating bills – yes some AC, but we would have that anyway.  My plan is pretty simple – whatever we use as an office will contain 20-30 tanks and everything will be good.  (At least until my addiction takes over and I convert a garage.)

But this is really about getting UNYKA up and running again.  Most of the members are looking forward to holding a meeting and that is what we are going to do.

 April 17, 2018  TOM'S BLOG No Responses »
Feb 232018

Maybe its the drugs I am taking for my ‘cold’ or maybe the winter doldrums are getting to me, but as I sit here, I realize how much I miss keeping killies.

Now there are valid reasons why I cannot do what I used to do – take care of upwards of 200 tanks of fish and Yes I do still have a tank of killies – a community tank in my living room which allows me to use dry foods to feed my E. annulatus, A. biv lagos red and Aplo. normanni, it’s just not the same as going down to the fish room, picking eggs, culturing live foods and raising fry.  Nope they are not reproducing in the community setting, or at least the fry are being devoured before I see them.

Since my heart attacks and subsequent surgery, my energy levels remain low to non-existent.  Maybe for a couple hours a day, early in the morning, I feel well enough to accomplish something, so I have focused on my writing and webdesign.  Yes, I just returned from a cruise and stop at WDW and I pushed myself pretty hard.  Still it has taken me several days to recover at all from the effort.  My body still aches and my legs are fatigued and hurt most of the time.  I really am not a complainer, but when I think of the fish room, it saddens me that I don’t have the energy to do the work necessary.

I also miss the connections I had through UNYKA (Upstate NY Killifish Assc.)  We really need to have a reformation meeting to find out just who is serious about continuing the club.  I firmly believe the social aspect of the hobby is what keeps it fresh.

I admit, I have ignored Killienutz website for awhile now.  I do need to get back to work on it.

Well, so much for my whining for now!

 February 23, 2018  NEWS & INFORMATION No Responses »
Oct 312017

I just wanted to let everyone know how much I enjoyed getting together with the Burlington VT group again.  I even came home with some fish (A pair of guppies and a pair of Chrom. bitaeniatum Lagos red.  I nabbed a few plants also.

It was great to spend a little time with Mike Echt and Carlos Pereya from UNYKA.  We had a chance to talk about getting together soon.

Thanks Dave, Jeanine and the rest of the hard workers of TFCB.

 October 31, 2017  NEWS & INFORMATION No Responses »
Oct 292017

Well,  I am off to the first auction I have been to in several years – in particular a general fish club one.  I am primarily looking for plants, perhaps a pair or two of killies and maybe something that catches my attention – guppies, odd livebearers or who knows what.  It will be good to see a few old friends and generally chat fish.  I am bringing a few copies of The Killifish Encyclopedia to donate to their auction and perhaps sell.

Jul 122017

After several days of constant work, I have completed the genus listing of all South American killifish and individual pages for each species.  But the fun is only the beginning.  Now I need to populate each individual species page with care, breeding and taxonomic information.  This doesn’t even mention photographs (which I could really use donations of nearly every species out there.)

You can take a look at http://killienutz.com in the Knowledge Base to view the work completed so far.

While I am certain I have missed some species here and there (and have not added the Lampeyes yet), I believe my listings cover the vast majority of killifish.  I have made some observations about what exists out there.

  • Sadly, only a small minority of killifish species are in the hobby.  Some are simply protected by the status in the wild as threatened or endangered and not available for collection, but others have been lost over the years for any number of reasons.  When I look at the over 1,000 pages I have created already and I look at how many are around, it is a sad commentary.  A commentary I might editorialize at some time in the future.
  • This game of ‘lumpers’ and ‘splitters’ within the scientific community is sad.  While both sides can offer valid reasons for the work they accomplish, it bothers me a great deal that much of the information is very difficult to find.  In order for KillieNutz Online to remain current, it takes many hours of research and some begging for papers.  I am hoping to convince some of the collectors and taxonomists to add me to their list of people in which they provide the latest information (electronic PDF form, etc.).
  • I look at the membership numbers here in the United States and also in Europe and begin to wonder where the breeders are.  Yes there are some of you out there, but there are far too few for this hobby to provide a place for innumerable desirable killifish.  To those who work hard with their fish, I applaud you.

As some of you know, I have maintained KillieNutz Online since the 1990s (even the late 1980s if you count a BBS.  It has always been my goal to provide the best possible source of information on the Internet about killies.  I have finally brought the website to a point where fleshing it out is the next major step.  I have a great deal planned and I hope to begin providing regular news and updates about new species, the latest shows and results and much more soon.

Until next time!

Jul 072017

WHAT IS HAPPENING?  Work is being accomplished nearly everyday.  At this time, I am adding basic pages for every species of killifish.  These pages do not contain much more than the name of the species, but will be fully fleshed out when all have been created.  I intend to include information for hobbyists as well as taxonomic data.  Photographs will be added as they become available.  Anyone willing to provide pictures for KillieNutz (and later Vol. II of The Killifish Encyclopedia) please contact killienutz@killienutz.com .

Jul 052017

First Fry!

It’s been a few years now since I was actively working with my killies, so I was almost like a kid at Christmas when the first fry appeared magically this morning.

I was surprised this morning when I went down to feed my fish and found a few A. australe (orange) fry in the egg tray.  All I had planned to do was check my mops and hope for a few more eggs, but the surprise is even more interesting because I have only had the young breeding pairs a couple of weeks.   I think they arrived around the 20th of June and while I did find eggs a couple days later … not many, but eggs anyway … I really did not expect them to be viable.

   It’s now July 5th and the first of those eggs hatched … in about 15-16 days!  Normally I would expect A. australe to be 18 days to 3 weeks, so it was a great start to my day.

I have Fp. gardneri Makurdi eggs that are developing and even a couple from Pachy. sakaraymii.  I picked some peat from N. guentheri yesterday and lo and behold …Notho eggs to package up and incubate.  I do have a couple orders of eggs scheduled to arrive this week, so I should be adding to the fry totals shortly.

Now if only I can have a good round of golf later today.

 July 5, 2017  TOM'S BLOG No Responses »
Jul 042017

Doctor eye’s health of local creek home to threatened species

   The Alabama Department of Conservation lists the creek as the only marine habitat off the Coosa River for the stippled studfish, or the fundulus bifax. It says the species is native and restricted to the Mobile River Basin, with others found in the Tallapoosa River.

   A species of killifish, the stippled studfish is largely classified as near threatened due to population scarcity and decline in habitat quality by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, IUCN.

   Auburn University Water Resources Center also lists the species as imperiled due to its rarity and Alabama Water Watch states it can also be observed in the neighboring Lake Martin area in Hillabee Creek.