Male Fundulopanchax walkeri Photo by Darrell Ullisch
Walkers’ Killiefish, Fundulopanchax walkeri, can be spawned in a mop with water incubation or in soil where the peat moss is kept semi-dry for about 2 months. It is from Ghana, Africa and reaches about 2 ½ inches. It is found in costal rainforest swamps, pools, and small streams. Soft water with a PH of 6-7 seems to be best. Cooler temperatures of 68-73 degrees suit them well. They are a surface dwelling fish and prefer dense vegetation and a dark substrate. Males can be somewhat rough on females, so floating plants or cover is recommended. Males can be highly variable in color. The strain I had was from Karl Doering and labeled as Katunse GH-2. They had red vertical bars on the body and red edging and spotting of the fins, all with an iridescent blue background, a very beautiful fish. The females are slightly smaller and have a brown or olive colored body and shorter fins. Increased temperature seems to decrease the vividness of the color and make them more susceptible to disease, so cooler temperatures are recommended.
Walkers Killiefish will eat many kinds of food, including some dry food, but live and frozen foods are recommended. Daphnia and black worms seemed to be their favorites. They also will eat any fish small enough to get into their mouth, so watch who they are put with. A species tank seems to work out best with 2 females to a male a good ratio. Always cover these fish, as they are expert jumpers!
Breeding Walkers Killiefish is not difficult. They will lay eggs in a nylon spawning mop or peat moss on the bottom. The eggs can be picked from the mop and hatched in water with an incubation time of about 3-5 weeks, but many seemed to fungus in that time, resulting in a lower yield of fry. The better hatch rate results from incubating the eggs in semi-dry peat moss for about 2 months. There is a greater size difference when they are hatched in water and more cannibalism because they hatch at different times. Lots of cover for the fry seems to reduce that. I hatched the eggs in water, but in the future would probably use peat moss. The fry eat well and grow steadily.