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Australian Fish Species - Recommendations

GobyMaster11276

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Hi all, it’s been a while. I’m interested in setting up a freshwater Australian fish tank, and need some species suggestions. My current tank is 61.5cm long, 38cm tall and 31cm wide, so holds about 72 litres in total. The local water hardness is around 15-20mg/L, and I think the pH is a tad acidic, though I will have to test in the morning to get the exact value. Any recommendations are much appreciated.
 

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Hi all, it’s been a while. I’m interested in setting up a freshwater Australian fish tank, and need some species suggestions. My current tank is 61.5cm long, 38cm tall and 31cm wide, so holds about 72 litres in total. The local water hardness is around 15-20mg/L, and I think the pH is a tad acidic, though I will have to test in the morning to get the exact value. Any recommendations are much appreciated.
You do exist!! :eek:

I’m just kidding, I have read several of your species indexes and I have greatly enjoyed them. ;)

Ask @Colin_T / @Byron, our 2 TFF mentors! :)
 

Colin_T

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The following link has information about rainbowfishes from Australia and New Guinea.

Due to the size of your tank you will be looking at Pseudomugil gertrudae or Iriatherina werneri. Some varieties of Pseudomugil signifier will be fine but others need hard water (your water is very soft).

Peacock gudeons (Tateurndina ocellicauda) are from New Guinea but will be fine in your tank with the above listed fishes.

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If you want cold water fishes from Australia, pymgy perch or Galaxiella species. You usually have to catch these because they aren't normally available in shops.

Which part of Australia do you live in?
If you are on the east coast, you will be able to find heaps of rainbowfish (although most will be too big for your tank), and in the south east you find pygmy perch, Galaxias and Galaxiellas. Galaxias get too big for your tank.
 
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GobyMaster11276

GobyMaster11276

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The following link has information about rainbowfishes from Australia and New Guinea.

Due to the size of your tank you will be looking at Pseudomugil gertrudae or Iriatherina werneri. Some varieties of Pseudomugil signifier will be fine but others need hard water (your water is very soft).

Peacock gudeons (Tateurndina ocellicauda) are from New Guinea but will be fine in your tank with the above listed fishes.

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If you want cold water fishes from Australia, pymgy perch or Galaxiella species. You usually have to catch these because they aren't normally available in shops.

Which part of Australia do you live in?
If you are on the east coast, you will be able to find heaps of rainbowfish (although most will be too big for your tank), and in the south east you find pygmy perch, Galaxias and Galaxiellas. Galaxias get too big for your tank.
Thanks for the suggestions! I’m in Melbourne, so I might be able to find some of them. With the pygmy perch, are they compatible with galaxiellas? If not, are there any other species (fish or invertebrate) that can live with them? Or are they best suited to a species tank?
 

Colin_T

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Galaxiellas are normally kept in a single species tank but they do live in the same rivers as pygmy perch and they can live together in an aquarium. If you want to breed the Galaxiellas then have them in a single species tank without any other fish, shrimp or snails.

The following link is from another forum and has WA pygmy perch and Galaxiellas living together.
http://www.aquariumlife.com.au/showthread.php/68918-The-Forest-Stream

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There are pygmpy perch and Galaxiellas in Victoria. Just head out of town and find a clean freshwater creek or stream and put some bait traps in the water. You can buy folded bait traps from BigW or any fishing store, or online (Ebay). Just check with your department of fisheries about using bait traps because most require you to have a tag on the trap, which has your name and phone number on.

If you do catch some, put them in a bucket of river water and have an airstone bubbling away in the bucket. You can buy battery powered air pumps and these are great for collecting fish. You can also add salt to the bucket of water with the fish in and for the first few weeks they are in the tank.
Use 1 heaped tablespoon of rock salt per 20 litres of water.

Here's a couple more links about collecting native fishes using bait traps.
http://www.aquariumlife.com.au/show...ey-local-collection?highlight=collecting+fish

http://www.aquariumlife.com.au/show...tives-in-Bait-Traps?highlight=collecting+fish

http://www.aquariumlife.com.au/showthread.php/68182-Broome-WA?highlight=collecting+fish

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There is an organisation called ANGFA (Australian New Guinea Fishes Association) and they have a branch in Victoria. ANGFA specialises in the care and keeping of freshwater fishes form Australia and New Guinea. They do field outings and collecting days, as well as having monthly meetings where they talk about fish. You can go to the meetings and see what they are like. More info is available at the following link.
https://www.angfa.org.au/
 
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GobyMaster11276

GobyMaster11276

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Thanks for the links! I had a quick look and they seem pretty useful.

Out of interest, would you happen to know anything about breeding pygmy perch? And if I went with the galaxiellas and perch, would shrimp be able to survive, or would they be eaten?
 

Colin_T

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Pygmy perch will breed right through spring and summer when the water warms up. The males get darker and have a bit of colour when displaying. The females produce a few eggs each day, which get laid among the plants. The babies are small when they hatch but can grow up with the parents if the tank has lots of plants and the adults are well fed.

Yes you can keep small species of shrimp (up to an inch long) with Galaxiellas and pygmy perch.
 
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GobyMaster11276

GobyMaster11276

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Awesome! So fry would be safe with galaxiellas as well?

On a different note, do you know what type of water current pygmy perch and galaxiellas like?
 

Colin_T

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Pygmy perch and Galaxiellas come from soft water which usually has a slightly acid pH but they can also be found in soft water a with a neutral pH (7.0). If you are collecting them you should test the GH and pH at the collecting site, or bring back enough water to keep them in for a few weeks and test it at home.

Galaxiellas will eat newly hatched fish fry from most species. If you have lots of plants and feed the adults really well, they will be less likely to eat them. But if they get hungry and the tank has no cover for the fry, they get eaten.
 
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GobyMaster11276

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For the tank, what substrate would you recommend? I was thinking dirt/sand or something along those lines to be more natural, but I’m not sure how practical that is in terms of maintenance. Also, what plants (if you know) might be found in their natural habitat? How strong should the water flow be?
 

Colin_T

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Sand or gravel is fine. The Galaxiellas live in the top half of the tank so don't care about substrate. The pygmy perch hang around the bottom half and are fine with sand or gravel.

Any plants will be fine. I can't give you names on what is found over east but the fish don't care about species of plant, as long as there is some.

Galaxiellas and Pygmy perch are found in streams with a reasonable flow of water, as well as calm pools and everything in between. Quite often they will live among grasses and plants next to the bank in faster flowing water, and the perch regularly hang out in in the open in deeper pools where there is wood and rocks but no plants. When threatened they hide among rocks or wood or plants.

In an aquarium they don't need that much water movement. A normal power filter will be heaps or even an airstone and air operated filter will provide sufficient water movement.
 
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GobyMaster11276

GobyMaster11276

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Hi Colin, sorry this reply is so late. Life has been hectic and I’ve finally started to get my tank together. With the pygmy perch, how many could I house in the tank (if it was just them)? And how large should the group be ideally (ignoring tank size)? Thanks for everything thus far.
 

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