I'm thinking of putting a couple of killifish in my 5.5 gallon tank to take to college with me this fall. I've never owned killifish before, so I know very little about the different varieties.
Which types of killifish would be small, hardy, relatively inexpensive -- basically, good for a beginning hobbyist like myself?
Small & hardy most killis are. Inexpensive is incredibly relative, as they're not widely commercially bred. If there's a local killi geek/breeder, then you should be able to get them right easy. I got two rather rare breeds for free at an aquarium society giveaway because one of the members is majority into them and donated pairs of about a dozen different species.
One important thing is identifying annual versus non-annual killis. Many species of killis are seasonal fish, and will live for less than a year. They live in pools which don't stay year round- so they lay their eggs, which can survive the dry season, and will hatch once the water comes back. While it can be quite a fun thing for a killifish freak, it's probably not what you're looking for. I'd recommend getting a non-annual killi. While they're not the longest lived fish in the world, they're extremely hardy, and will live a few years.
Because of their unreliable availability, I'd recommend checking out what's around, rather than getting set on a certain species. Golden wonder killis are one commonly available type, unfortunately, they are rather large, and will outgrow your tank. I've seen clown killis around lately, and they would work quite well. There are also many panchax that would work nicely.
Killis are an incredibly varied type of fish. They can be coldwater or tropical, peaceful or aggressive and, to some extent, small or large. Just make sure you do your research (and get your info from more than once source!) before purchasing a killi.
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