Eastern Mosquito Fish
Posted 03 August 2008 - 07:38 PM
Scientific Name - Gambusia holbrooki
* All of this information is from my own experiences with these fish. You might have different experiences, and please feel free to add any comments you have on these. Also, my mosquito fish are wild-caught, so they probably act differently than those that are raised in aquariums.
Identification: You can identify them by the teardrop marking on under their eyes. Males are smaller than females, about 1 inch, and they have a gonopodium. Females are about 1.5 inches, and often have a gravid spot.
Habitat: They prefer to be kept in an unheated or outside tank, as long as it doesn't get less than 32 F. There should be plenty of surface vegetation, especially around the edges of the tank. The current from a filter will be good for them. Make sure that there are hiding places for them. If you get them from the wild, mimic te environment you got them from.
Tankmate: Keep them with other similar sized fish that can hold their own. Keep them in groups in the same ratio as other livebearers. 10 fish would be a good sized group, with 3 males and 7 females. Do NOT put any long finned fish in with them, such as fancy guppies or bettas. I have found that they will interact fairly well with feeder guppies.
Breeding: If you have a female, chances are, she is already pregnant. Breeding them is just like breeding guppies, except that you probably won't cull as many fry. Females give brith about once every 1.5 months. Raise the fry just as you would other livebearing fry. They are a little bigger than guppy fry, but not quite as big as swordtails.
Posted 03 August 2008 - 08:10 PM
Sometimes in schools or shoals of these fish a melanistic male will show up. They are the same size and body shape as normal males. However, they're coloration is black and white mottled, looking very much like Dalmation Mollies. This gene is recessive and cannot be bred true in most cases. These males make very attractive "wild" fish and react the same as every other gambusia.
Females can actually be quite large, sometimes nearing 2.5-3 inches and traveling in packs. These larger females can have broods up to 50 at a time depending on water parameters.
This fish is not fussy about pH or hardness, and seem to be tolerant (as well as a small fish could be) of dirtier water. They are often found not only in large bodies of water (lakes, ponds, rivers, etc...) but also in run off ditches, small streams, brooks, and temporary (a few months) water holes. Also found in swampier areas and sometimes brackish water as well.
Feeding is not an issue, they will greedily accept most commercial foods from the start and are very much like their fancier counterparts. The females however, do tend to prey on young if not well fed, as do most livebearers. Feeding lightly around 4-6 times a day insures that most of the fry will survive if one chooses to leave the brood in the tank with the parents.
As mentioned before temperature is not an issue, they have been found (by me) in shallow water ranging from upper 50's/lower 60's up to the mid 80's with no seemingly ill effect other than being thinner in colder water.
They can be aggressive at times and have seen them with moderately sized semi-aggressive fish with no problem, however, in the same token they can be frightened by loud noises near the tank or heavy vibrations (as do most fish). A 10 gallon tank is sufficient to house a small breeding population given that fry are either taken out or the parents fed more as to cut down on the predation by the parents and other fish.
As stated it is imperative that they are not kept with fish whom possess long flowing or elaborate fins, as they can be as viscious as tiger barbs in that respect. However, as long as the other fish are not big enough to eat them they seem to do well with koi and goldfish in garden ponds. They don't get their nickname "Skeeter Fish" for nothing as they do effectively cut down on the population of mosquito larva.
Plants are always appreciated and they also seem to enjoy caves of some type by which to hide in or near for safety...
The "tear drop" falling under their eye can either be a black line or a black "stripe" that starts right above the eye and continues down the face. Some others have black tinged scales near the tail, giving the impression of "dots". Yet some others also have a slight irridescence to their scales which gives them a sliver or bluish depending on the locality of the fish...
Well thats about all I can think of right now, most of this comes from either my personal experiences with the fish or info that I have researched in the past, as I think of more I will post but for right now I cannot think of anymore that hasn't been said. So here's my info to add to the above post...
Posted 21 June 2010 - 09:06 AM
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