Re: NANFA-- breeding success with Fundulus species

R. W. Wolff (
Mon, 29 Mar 2004 22:51:03 -0600

The best success with Fundulus and other similar killifish outdoors in is
larger shallow ponds. The bigger the better. Even for ommata. I had ommata
some how make it from a garden tub on the opposite corner of my yard to the
killi pond the first year I kept them outdoors. Within that season, and
questionable begginings, they managed to produce several hundred young,
probably being hatched there themselves. Glad to learn that at the front,
and save the irritation of small tubs not producing. The great thing about
a big pond for them, is many species can be kept in it and still produce
hundreds of young. A few small species tubs can produce a few young, but a
large pond can produce hundreds of young from several species.

My killi ponds are atleast foot deep. They are packed with all sorts of
weeds and some heavy cover like rocks and driftwood. They also have
substrate of sand, gravel or a mix. The smallest ones are 5 foot wide by ten
foot long roughly. A run down of a typical stocking of a killi pond. Three
or four Fundulus species, a Lucania, ommata, flagfish, a elassoma or two, a
darter specie, a dwarf sunfish ( bluespotted, banded etc.) , badis specie,
rivulus specie,dwarf crawfish etc. You get the picture. Alot of fish in a
good sized area. They all find their place. They all do their thing. These
are all small species which in general have to produce lots of young to be
successful. That is what you do when you are at the bottom of the food

Best to leave tubs and other small ponds ( less than 30 gallons) to elassoma
and other fish that don't move around much. It can be scary putting your
small fish in a large pond, but the rewards are worth it. Last year I turned
one male and three female L. goodie into several dozen. Pretty good in a
pond that is 15 by 10 feet and three foot deep in the middle. I have had the
same luck with a small group of elassoma, now that was another welcome
surprise. Just design the pond so that when it drains, the water will end up
pooling in the middle, with no obstructions there. If you drain slowly with
a small pump, all the fish will gravitate away from heavy shore cover and be
easily netted out of the resulting puddle.

Ray W.
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