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Breeding fundulus cingulatus

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#1 Joshaeus

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 27 October 2017 - 11:33 AM

Hello all! I have 5 fundulus cingulatus - two males and three females - and I want to breed them. One of the females and two of the males spent the summer outside in a heavily planted container pond (for reference...it was 15 gallons and got 4 hours of sun a day, they withstood water temperatures as high as the 80's near the bottom of the water garden without incident...so did my paradise fish and banded sunfish under slightly warmer conditions in nearby container ponds), so that male looks fantastic, with deep orange fins and a bright blue eye; I am going to use him as the stud.


Anyhow, how would one go about successfully spawning these beauties? I previously tried keeping the other pair in a 2 gallon heavily planted tank for two weeks, feeding them frozen food, flakes, and BBS, and failed (going to guess they ate the eggs). My idea this time is to condition the female for a week in this same 2 gallon, put a male in the tank in the evening, and remove the pair the next evening. Any thoughts? Thank you :) The photoperiod is about 16 hrs, temps are in the mid to high 60's f, going to do daily WC's

#2 Doug_Dame

  • NANFA Member

Posted 27 October 2017 - 08:53 PM

Goldstein et al say to use a mop. (They are killies, after all !) 


I'd add that cingulatus is very typically found in water that is 1" deep and 80+ degrees. One of the best sites I know is a roadside ditch, with a seep of water that's barely deep enough to cover the fish. And lots of little fishies. 


Bob McDonnell wrote an article "Fundulus cingulatus", which was published in American Currents in September 1986. The article describes successful breeding of the fish and raising fry. 


American Currents is the journal of the North American Native Fish Association, which is an organization dedicated to the appreciation and support of (surprise!) North American native fish. They run a website which includes a user forum where amateurs and pros engage in dialogue regarding native fish issues. It's an excellent resource. Memberships in NANFA are very reasonably priced. The article is here

Doug Dame

Floridian now back in Florida

#3 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 27 October 2017 - 09:44 PM

Doug -- your link to the nanfa.org articles reminded me of how much i LOVE our old NANFA Email List Archive, from 1999 to 2006.

Boy is there a ton of great information and thoughtful idea exchange in there.  I could browse it for days ...



Gerald Pottern
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel

#4 Joshaeus

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 28 October 2017 - 12:16 PM


#5 lilyea

  • NANFA Member
  • Peace River Watershed, Central Florida, USA

Posted 28 October 2017 - 05:44 PM

I have not breed Fundulus cingulatus yet, but I have breed several other similar Florida native killifish (lucania and fundulus).  One approach would be to add all 5 fish to a 10g with two green yarn spawning mops.  Add a sponge filter, no plants, and maybe some hard aquascape (clay pot, small driftwood, or something to break up the sightline) - the reason for no other plants is to encourage all of the eggs to be laid in the mops.  Also make sure the tank is not in a high traffic area.  Feed 2+ times a day with live or frozen foods and check the mops for eggs every 2-3 days.  It is possible to damp incubate the eggs, but I have found that the best way to incubate Florida killies is by water incubating the eggs in a small glass bowl and changing the water daily.  Good luck!

#6 swampfish

  • NANFA Member

Posted 30 October 2017 - 09:10 AM

I agree with Lilyea on tank breeding. I have kept the same line of Fundulus cingulatus since collecting some on the Tate's Hell, Florida trip in October 2005. They like acidic water; I keep mine in collected rainwater with a pH ranging from 5.0 to 5.5. I have not tried to tank-breed them. I put them in a 160 gallon pre-formed plastic bog pond filled with rainwater each summer where I get a few young surviving the adults' predation. I obtain additional fry by moving water hyacinth and yarn mops from the bog pond to a 100 gallon hatching and grow-out stock tank through the summer.  


Phil Nixon


#7 Joshaeus

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 02 November 2017 - 11:08 AM

Well...I put a pair in a 2 gallon HEAVILY planted tank for a couple days and fed 1/8th teaspoon baby brine shrimp daily; the tank received daily water changes. By the end of it the female was visibly less plump and I had repeatedly seen the male chase her vigorously (which he was not doing at my normal 60's maintenance temp)...they are back in their ten gallon community now, but do you think they spawned?

#8 don212

  • NANFA Member

Posted 03 November 2017 - 03:55 PM

use mops ,and make a couple of sets , then you don't have to pick out the eggs, just switch out the mops

#9 Doug_Dame

  • NANFA Member

Posted 03 November 2017 - 07:29 PM


Doug Dame

Floridian now back in Florida

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