Name: Nothobranchius kafuensis
Nothobranchius kafuensis is one of the many annual killies of the genus Nothobranchius available in the hobby. Taxonomy within this genus is always changing, as new species are being discovered and old ones split up. Like many other species, Nothobranchius kafuensis is quite variable. It comes in 3 main forms: red, blue, and intermediate. These forms are represented by many different locations (pictured is the blue 'Kayuni' ZAM 97/9 location). It is important to keep track of the location information on your fish, and not mix fish from different locations. Also, if you plan on keeping more than one kind of Nothobranchius, extreme care must be excercised in keeping them separate. Nothobranchius kafuensis comes from Zambia, and in the wild inhabits pools that dry up for several months of the year. The adult fish soon go along with the pool, but their eggs remain buried in the substrate, waiting for the following rains.
Nothos in general do not differ too much in care requirements, except for a few odd species. Warm water, lots of good quality food (frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, blackworms, etc.), and enough space is about all they need as adults. Breeders keep groups of several males and females together in bare bottomed tanks with a container of peat to spawn in. The fish will enter the container of peat to spawn. After a week or two of spawning the peat is collected and squeezed out, fluffed, and bagged. It can at this point be sent to another hobbyist. Stored at 24°C, the incubation time is usually around 5 months in this species, but be sure to inspect the eggs regularly in case they develop early. Once you see the embryos' eyes looking back at you, you can wet the peat. Killi keepers have all kinds of ways of doing this (and everything...so research is very important) but a common method is to put the peat into a container such as a sweater box and add well aged water to the peat (some recommend mixing in some distilled water if your water is hard). In a few hours, fry begin to hatch. If all goes as planned, they will soon be swimming in the water column and can take baby brine shrimp, later graduating to things such as daphnia, frozen bloodworms, blackworms, and adult brine shrimp. Growth is incredibly rapid and they can usually be sexed within a month or less.
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