Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia Holbrooki)

Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia Holbrooki)

Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia Holbrooki)

Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia Holbrooki)

Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki)– Here we have a case of a truly beautiful fish that is abundant in nature, is easy to keep, and breeds faster than a guppy in captivity. The only thing that keeps this hardy little livebearer out of our fishtanks is thae fact that they have terrible personalities. The one in the picture is a naturally occuring color variation. Many mosquitofish you find look remarkably like uncolored female guppies. However, a good number of them exhibit melanistic characteristics giving them lighter bodies and numerous black spots. These spots can be so numerous that some individuals can appear almost entirely black. It would seem that there would be opportunities for a dedicated breeder to create a wide variety of color/pattern strains. But small fish that are not peaceful are often a hard sell. In addition, mosquitofish have a bad reputation for two other reasons. The first is from an aquaists point of view. More than a century ago, when aquariums were becoming popular in the west, people began to look for fish that could survive in their unheated bowls and tanks besides goldfish. Paradisefish and guppies were early favorites. Mosquitofish seemed like a good idea too, but once settled into a tank, they would quickly shread the fins of their tankmates. The other reason for their reputation is because they are an invasive species. This is especially true of the Western Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) which was introduced around the world to control mosquitos. The Eastern Mosquitofish was introduced in other countries as well and have established populations in Europe. Unfortunately they don’t just eat mosquitos and are devasting to local fish populations. If you want to keep them, no one will stop you from removing them from local waterways! However, they breed quickly so be sure you have a method of dealing with excess offspring that does not incluse rereleasing them in the wild. A group can be kept in a tank as small as 10 gallons/ 20 liters.
Origin: Eastern USA from New Jersey to Florida.
Size: males 4cm/ 1.5 inches; females 7cm/ 3inches
Temperature: They can survive in a wide variety of temps from tropical to near freezing, so room temperature is fine.
Diet: Anything. Treat them like you would any commonly available livebearer.
Habitat: Substrate is unimportant. They like a lot of plants, especially floating plants. Do not keep with other fish and expect some fighting if you have more than one male.
Breeding: They are livebearers, breeding like guppies but more frequently and in larger numbers. Gestation is about 4 weeks and batches of 100 are not uncommon with adult females. Adults will eat any young they can catch so use floating plants to protect them if you want to keep the babies.

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