mudskippers? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-20-2012, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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mudskippers?

I have a 29 gallon tank and was thinking of converting it to a species tank for a single mudskipper. Unfortunately, I have limited knowledge about brackish water, so could someone please fill me in on brackish water and where to get mudskippers? I heard that also sometimes petco and petsmart have special orders for mudskippers is this true? Thanks!

By the way, I do my fair share of research, it's just that online there are not many websites that fully encompass mudskipper care, nor are there any books at my local library. Please don't judge me to be an irresponsible owner. Thanks again!

29 gallon freshwater tank - b/n catfish, neon tetras, and 4 gouramis

60 gallon Lake Malawi tank - under construction
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-20-2012, 06:41 PM
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hello
Mud skippers are gobies that have become adapted to an amphibious lifestyle. They are common on tidal mudflats throughout tropical Africa, Asia and Australasia where they crawl about out of water feeding on small animals and algae.Although hardy, it does require very specialised quarters to do well.A mudskipper tank needs to have both a shallow water area and some gently sloping sand or rocks on which the mudskippers can climb out and feed. The ideal tank would be quite long and tall. The basic terrain can be made using water worn, smooth pebbles and driftwood. A mix of fine gravel and silver sand can be used to fill in the spaces. A bank or island area is essential. The depth of water need only be about 10 to 15 cms (4 to 6 inches).

The tank must have a close fitting lid sufficient to prevent the fish escaping and also to keep the air within the aquarium warm and humid. Some ventilation must be provided though, such as by making small holes in the lid, to prevent mould.

Although an regular tank heater can be used, it is advisable to place a mesh "heater guard" around it to stop the mudskipper climbing onto it. Alternatively, use a canister filter with a built in heater or use the undertank heaters sold for reptile and amphibian vivaria.

Filtration should be by an electric canister filter, either internal or external. Because the quantity of water is quite small, and only a small part of the substrate is shallow enough to support aerobic bacteria, an undergravel filter is not viable.

The water should be alkaline (pH over 8) and very hard. Incorporate some calcareous material in the filter, and decorate the fish tank liberally with sea shells. The exact salinity varies for the various species. None will thrive in freshwater, but not all require full strength sea water. They will do well in water with a specific gravity of 1.005 to 1.015. The water current should be quite strong but not turbulent.


They feed on chunky live foods like bloodworms, tubifex worms and crickets.

Hope this helps



"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." -By Jacques Cousteau
/\ /\ /\
So Darn true
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-21-2012, 06:28 PM
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Very good information, thanks Timothy.

I had a mudskipper back in the 1980's, in a tank set up much as Timothy described. I had a chunk of bogwood that extended above the water on one side and I always fed the mudskipper there. It quickly learned that. When I opened the tank lid to feed it, it would charge through the water and hop onto the "feeding station," frequently jumping up and down in anticipation. I remember one evening it was so excited that it jumped out of the tank, and went hopping across the rug and I had to chase after it.

I fed him off my finger, mainly chunks of frozen squid (thawed of course) which is especially nutritious and is available as a frozen fish food. Live tubifex worms once a week, he would scramble over the wood affter these. Frozen plankton and shrimp. I was keeping mealworms then for some amphibians and I would drop in a beetle now and then.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-21-2012, 06:34 PM
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Thanks Byron Hahaha sounds really funny, cool fish you had there


"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." -By Jacques Cousteau
/\ /\ /\
So Darn true
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-21-2012, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy 1998 cremer View Post
hello
Mud skippers are gobies that have become adapted to an amphibious lifestyle. They are common on tidal mudflats throughout tropical Africa, Asia and Australasia where they crawl about out of water feeding on small animals and algae.Although hardy, it does require very specialised quarters to do well.A mudskipper tank needs to have both a shallow water area and some gently sloping sand or rocks on which the mudskippers can climb out and feed. The ideal tank would be quite long and tall. The basic terrain can be made using water worn, smooth pebbles and driftwood. A mix of fine gravel and silver sand can be used to fill in the spaces. A bank or island area is essential. The depth of water need only be about 10 to 15 cms (4 to 6 inches).

The tank must have a close fitting lid sufficient to prevent the fish escaping and also to keep the air within the aquarium warm and humid. Some ventilation must be provided though, such as by making small holes in the lid, to prevent mould.

Although an regular tank heater can be used, it is advisable to place a mesh "heater guard" around it to stop the mudskipper climbing onto it. Alternatively, use a canister filter with a built in heater or use the undertank heaters sold for reptile and amphibian vivaria.

Filtration should be by an electric canister filter, either internal or external. Because the quantity of water is quite small, and only a small part of the substrate is shallow enough to support aerobic bacteria, an undergravel filter is not viable.

The water should be alkaline (pH over 8) and very hard. Incorporate some calcareous material in the filter, and decorate the fish tank liberally with sea shells. The exact salinity varies for the various species. None will thrive in freshwater, but not all require full strength sea water. They will do well in water with a specific gravity of 1.005 to 1.015. The water current should be quite strong but not turbulent.


They feed on chunky live foods like bloodworms, tubifex worms and crickets.

Hope this helps
Thanks a LOT tim! It's really nice to get some solid help. I already have an internal canister filter and some gravel, along with a big piece of bogwood. Do I need to add any plants, and if so what can I add? Is it possible for you to tell me where I could get these?

Once again, thanks a lot!

29 gallon freshwater tank - b/n catfish, neon tetras, and 4 gouramis

60 gallon Lake Malawi tank - under construction
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-21-2012, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Also, how do I measure the salinity of the water?

29 gallon freshwater tank - b/n catfish, neon tetras, and 4 gouramis

60 gallon Lake Malawi tank - under construction
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-22-2012, 11:08 AM
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You can buy equipment to measure salinity, but I wouldn't bother. I used one of the marine salts (can't remember which, this was back 25 years ago) and mixed it for a brackish setup according to the instructions on the package.

As for plants, Java Fern usually manages in brackish water.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-22-2012, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Well... I'm all set for my mudskipper tank - except for the mudskipper part. I'm not really sure how i can find the mudskippers. As far as i can tell, there are no online stores and all normal fish stores are at least a few states away.

29 gallon freshwater tank - b/n catfish, neon tetras, and 4 gouramis

60 gallon Lake Malawi tank - under construction
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-22-2012, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krish View Post
Well... I'm all set for my mudskipper tank - except for the mudskipper part. I'm not really sure how i can find the mudskippers. As far as i can tell, there are no online stores and all normal fish stores are at least a few states away.
I see them now and then in some fish stores here, so i imagine it may be similar in California. Some of the members from that state might know of stores likely to carry mudskippers.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-22-2012, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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OK, thanks! but how do i find people from California? I know of one guy who owns an LFS in our city, but I doubt he gets mudskippers. He deals with mostly freshwater tropicals. And other than that, I don't know anyone else who might hold them. How do I ask people if they've seen any being sold?

29 gallon freshwater tank - b/n catfish, neon tetras, and 4 gouramis

60 gallon Lake Malawi tank - under construction
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