Factsheet 20

Pseudomugil tenellus. Taylor 1964.

Why I find the ‘blue eyes’ irresistible, I have no ideas but, if they are available, I always succumb to temptation. These small ‘blue eyes’ have a metallic silver colour and a row of iridescent scales along the lateral line. Caudal, anal and Dorsal fins of the male fish, are orange with a black edging. The ventral fins are orange. Male fish also have white tips to the caudal fin. The males probably reach no more than 25mm S.L with the females somewhat smaller. On female fish, the fins are colourless. These were purchased from ‘Fishey Business’ in Southend in early December 2004, and had literally just come in from Holland. They were quite small and in need of some peace and quiet after their journey. They were installed in a small 10 x 8 x 8 inch tank with two large woollen mops to provide cover. A large portion of newly hatched brine shrimp was added as a ‘tempter’ to eat and it did the trick. Few small fish can resist brine shrimp. After a few days, they were given chopped tubifex and a variety of dried foods. Initially, they were not too keen on taking the dried food but eventually developed a taste for it. After a week or so, they were settling in nicely and the females were starting to produce roe.

At two weeks, the first eggs appeared. These were removed from the mops and placed in a separate container. The eggs are quite small and take about twelve days to hatch. The fry were fed on ZM 000 grade food and as they were with some Bedotia geayi and Pseudomugil reticulatus fry, newly hatched brine shrimp was also added. As with all species of Pseudomugil, the fry grow quite slowly. Water changes were undertaken after the first week and continue on an (almost) daily basis. It will probably be at least six months before the fry reach a size where they are capable of spawning.

This species of Pseudomugil is rarely seen in the UK but if you do happen to spot it, it is well worth the effort to keep and breed them. Another one for the species tank.

© Pete Cottle, 2005. This fact sheet may not be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author.