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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.


Jul 032017

I’ve had several species of killifish for a few weeks now and it is fun again to spend time in my fish room.

In the past week, I have begun to harvest a few eggs from my A. australe (orange), Pachy. sakaramyi and Fp. gardneri Makurdi.  I haven’t pulled the peat from the N. guentheri or any of the other annuals I have set up, but there looks like there has been some activity.  It’s been a long time since I was excited about my fish breeding.  I have eggs coming from a couple of sources, E. dagti and N. foerschi.  I hope to have both those species up and running shortly.

My white worms are producing just enough so I can harvest a few for my breeders, but I am still searching for a daphnia starter culture.  I used to be able collect daphnia locally, but I will have to find a new source for them to get a starter going in my tubs at home.  I definitely would like to do this.  Fortunately, I have brine shrimp eggs from the past and even though the hatches have not been great, they are enough to feed fry when they come and have enough left over to add to my adult fish’s diet.  Surprisingly, several of my fish are taking dry food better than I remember.

I am going to have to find a small, inexpensive refrigerator and/or a freezer so I can get a few starters of microworms (or banana worms, etc.) and I need to find some vinegar eels.  Once I have all of those in place I will really be ready for the fry I know are coming.  I know I can get most on Aquabid, but, C’mon … those prices are ridiculous.  I live too far from any aquarium clubs to make the trip without a better reason than to ‘maybe’ find some cultures … I guess I will simply need to wait until an auction is within reach.

I still have to take a number of ‘sit-down’ breaks while I work in the fish room, but I am getting a bit better.  It has been a learning process for me – just how much stamina I have, etc.  I had a nuclear stress test this past week and have not heard from my doctor’s office yet, so I am thinking that it showed my situation is good or maybe even improved.  I am playing golf today and Wednesday and starting to push myself a bit more to walk.  I really need to get back to decent health.

Until next week!

 July 3, 2017  TOM'S BLOG No Responses »
Jun 262017

Nothobranchius streltsovi is found in central Tanzania in the Ugalla River Ssystem.  As described by Stefano Valdesalici, it is a close relative of N. ugandensis.  Apparently it has two color morphs found in the same waters.  

Exerpt: Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 153-161 October 2016

Nothobranchius streltsovi, new species, is described from specimens collected in pools associated with seasonal streams
in upper catchments of the Ugalla River, Malagarasi drainage, central Tanzania. It belongs to the N. ugandensis
species group based on male diagnostic characters comprising light blue scales with a broad, irregular reticulated
pattern on the body, vivid red or orange oblique bars on the head and dorsum, yellow or blue anal fin, large
vivid red spots on dorsal and anal fins, rounded head with a slightly concave to nearly straight dorsal profile,
predorsal profile convex from nape to posterior extremity of dorsal-fin base, and variable cephalic squamation.
Nothobranchius streltsovi has two sympatric colour morphs and is distinguished from all other members of the
N. ugandensis group by the following combination of characters: scale margins orange; caudal fin orange, spotted
proximally; pectoral fin spotted proximally; anal and pelvic fins with red dots, light blue proximally, yellow or
creamy white distally; seven branchiostegal rays; 31-34 longitudinal, 14-16 transverse, and 15-16 circumpeduncular
scales; supraorbital neuromast formula 2 + 3 + 4.