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Pseudomugil tenellus - Delicate Blue-eye


  • Pseudomugil tenellus - Delicate Blue-eye

    Photo thanks to Dave Wilson, Aquagreen

    Delicate Blue-eye

    Pseudomugil tenellus

    General information: It is a small fish but one of the largest Blue-eyes, definitely the largest one in the NT. It varies through its distribution but the form from a small billabong near the Daly River is a very attractive form with a dark bronze colour with much darker bronze fins with white flecks. In its natural habitat it is mostly found in still shallow backwaters of floodplain creeks and billabongs among or close to aquatic vegetation. The average water quality measurements for the collections from the ANGFA database are pH 8.3, Temperature 26.4 deg C, hardness 110, alkalinity or carbonate hardness 110 ppm. The natural diet is unknown but is believed to be small aquatic and terrestrial insects, small crustaceans and other aquatic invertebrates. The Delicate blue-eye males select an area and display to nearby females, they lay a few eggs each day all year when conditions are good. The eggs take about two weeks to hatch, the fry are quite large when compared with other small forage fishes. The specimens cultured at Aquagreen were collected in a small roadside billabong near the Daly River.

    Cultivation notes: Delicate blue-eye are best kept in a group of half a dozen or more and set up in a small aquarium about 30 cm, larger is of course better, well planted with darker gravel will bring out the best colour. Place the aquarium where it will receive some morning sunlight and you will be rewarded with a magnificent display when the fishes are illuminated by natural light. Water quality at the place where they are cultured is generally temp 27 deg C, pH 7.0, hardness 50ppm, alkalinity or carbonate hardness about 60ppm. Captive diet - can be fed most prepared foods but will not thrive on dry flake foods, it needs a portion of live foods once or twice a week such as daphnia or mosquito wrigglers. Size - grows to 6.0 cm in captivity. Breeding occurs most days where females are attracted to a suitable spawning site by displaying males where they lay two or three eggs which take about 14 days to hatch. The fry can be raised on commercial fry starters and are quite large so accept new hatched brine shrimp within a few days of hatching.

    Distribution: Recorded from western side of Cape York in North Queensland, across the top of the Northern Territory and in Southern New Guinea.

    Reference: Allen G.R., Midgley S.H. and Allen M. (2002) "Freshwater Fishes of Australia". ANGFA database -

    Photo thanks to Dave Wilson, Aquagreen

    Photo thanks to Dave Wilson, Aquagreen

    Photo thanks to Dave Wilson, Aquagreen

    Article thanks to & with permission of Dave Green, Aquagreen

    • DiscusEden
      DiscusEden commented
      Editing a comment
      Pseudomugil tenellus are NOT legal imports to Australia as of 20/10/2013:
      however, as Australian natives, they can legally be purchased from Australian stock.

      The IUCN Red List reports Pseudomugil tenellus as a species which has not yet been assessed at 20/10/2013:

      It is very important not to release any aquarium specimens into our waterways. Any that are not sold or re-homed/ given away, can often be re-sold to aquarium stores. If they are homed in ponds, care should be taken that they cannot escape in run-off into our waterways. Even if fish are native & local they should not be moved from one waterway to another, as this can transfer disease. If they are not local fish, they can both spread disease and either out-compete or eat local fish, shrimp & plants, causing their demise.

    • DiscusEden
      DiscusEden commented
      Editing a comment
      Occurs with in native habitat & won't interbreed with P. tenellus:
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