Tadpole friendly fish for Victoria

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caladia
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Tadpole friendly fish for Victoria

Postby caladia » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:42 pm

I need to pick some brains out there!! :wink: I am in the process of converting an old dam in east Gippsland ( near Bairnsdale) to a wetlands . Water quality seems fine and now adding grasses, reeds, habitat logs etc. The ecosystem is beginning and a local frog or 2 has found it (from where?? and amazing!!) . The only problem is that in order to keep mosquitoes under control I feel I need to introduce some native small fish. My reading has led me to Pacific Blue Eyes and Gudgeon or Smelt. Are these, or perhaps something better, suitable/appropriate for the area and does anyone know where I can buy them? Thanks for a wonderful forum!!
Cheers

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Postby Andree » Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:28 pm

Hi there
this site has a topic on ponds, and lots of other useful info, based in Cairns

http://www.fdrproject.org.au/

Some info from the site:

"In the tropics, it is essential that mosquitoes are controlled. However, putting just any fish in the pond may completely negate the frogs' ability to breed there. Fish should be added but only use native fish which have a small mouth. Many species are suitable such as the smaller species of rainbowfish, Fly-speckled Hardyhead, Empire Gudgeon and any of the Blue-eyes. Only add two or three fish, preferably all the same sex - just enough to keep the mozzie larvae out or you'll create a food/droppings problem in the pond."
Sounds like you are on the right track
Your local aquarium may be worth a visit

enjoy your frogs
Andree

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Aaron
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Postby Aaron » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:03 pm

Hi,

Sounds like you are creating a great environment for frogs. Its always best to use fish which are local to your area in case there are any escapees during floods etc - but often the problem is finding somewhere to buy them as a lot of aquariums dont stock native fish! Smelt and blue eyes are probably the best natives for mosquito control, I find blue eyes a bit more hardy than smelt. However I am uncertain whether they occur in Victoria. As for where to buy them, you might need to find a more dedicated aquarium/pet shop that has native fish or even some nurseries etc stock native fish for use in ponds.

Hope that helps,

Aaron

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Postby Nephrurus » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:15 pm

Blue Eyes probably won't tolerate the Bairnsdale temperatures and Smelt have some requirement that stops them being being transported from the river to my fishtank (see below, probably direct contact with a net). i like red tailed gudgeons (called carp gudgeons as well) for native pond fish. I'm not sure about native fish of the SE Vic. I'm sure there are a few websites on the topic.

http://www.nativefish.asn.au/ says this on smelt:

In the aquarium
Once established in an aquarium this species can be kept without much trouble and is an attractive, small silvery fish. Best when fed on live food such as Tubifex worms and mosquito larvae, but can be trained to dried food. Not suitable for use in a community tank, it does best when kept in small groups in single species tanks.

When handled, especially from the wild, it often suffers from high rates of stress-induced mortality, particularly if being netted, also the scales are very easily lost and this injury reportedly often results in death. Best handled when being transferred by using a plastic bag filled with water so that the fish are not directly handled at all.

This species is reported to be "frog friendly" and is therefore a good choice for a pond which also contains tadpoles. An excellent mosquito predator. Probably somewhat vulnerable to predation by birds unless provided with suitable cover such as water lilies and other aquatic vegetation.

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Herpetology
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Postby Herpetology » Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:40 pm

I ahve to write a thing for Nathan on this subject so this is a very interesting set of posts

Any info will do I will put any little bit of info in the refrence part!
Jack

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Nathan Litjens
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Postby Nathan Litjens » Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:08 pm

It's not for me Jack, it's for you and the public.

As for Victorian fish for your area Caladia:

The Pacific Blue Eye reaches the limits of its distribution at Tathra, NSW- not too far away. It is sensitive to cold, it is not a strict freshwater fish and will travel via saltwater to new areas, so the reason it is not in Vic is the environment will not support it.

Smelt are very common in your area though and can be easily caught at night. Set a strong torch up on the water's edge, usually out of the current in a stream, smelt become attracted to the light and you can scoop them up with a bucket fairly easily. DO NOT NET THEM as they will lose scales and die.

I strongly doubt the Flatheaded Gudgeons (Philypnodon spp) eat tadpoles, they are commonly seen in shallow water at night and are great in dams.

Galaxias species (common, spotted, mountain, climbing) apparently do not touch tadpoles at all, but the spotted is protected by law. None will spawn in a garden pond, but they are very attractive fish. The Common is often seen in aquarium shops.

Pigmy Perch are available in aquarium shops at times, and if well fed should leave tadpoles well alone.

The PERFECT fish for you is critically endangered due to mosquito fish, it's the Dwarf Galaxias (Galaxiella puscilla.) A tiny little fish, it can survive drying up by using yabby burrows. Extinct through much of its range, it is a shame as it is a fantastic fish and a great one for your wetland.

caladia
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Postby caladia » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:50 pm

Thank you all for your responses!!! - this is a wonderful forum and with the info provided I am confident of achieving a balanced, frog friendly ecosystem that may improve the diminishing environment in the area. thnx again!!

neetz
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smelt are the go

Postby neetz » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:27 am

if you google where you get smelt from... the Melbourne museum have found some although they might be a long way from you however they are Victorian native frog friendly although i have read they can reach 10cm long but are more commonly found to be about 7.5cm dunno how accurate my sources of google are.... I too am trying to figure out what fish is best suited and im leaning very much towards smelts


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