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Hey all!

Against all odds, I’ve managed to snag myself a group of 4 captive bred honey blue eyes (pseudomugil mellis), an endangered and very rare blue eye endemic to Australia (for those unaware). 

These fish are illegal to collect in the wild due to their endangered IUCN status, so the only ones in the hobby are captive bred, and captive breeding is therefore only way to grow their populations in the hobby. There may also come a time some years in the future where it would be helpful to reintroduce some captive bred specimens to the wild population, so it’s important for breeders to be able to maintain and grow healthy colonies. I believe I’ve heard of a few in the US, perhaps exported when they were more common or less was known of them, but they cannot be exported at this time so they are almost solely within Australia. I’m picking them up locally once I get back from an overseas trip, so I’ll have another post once that’s all done, but I thought I’d set up this thread so I can ask questions, share findings (particularly for other breeders and aspiring breeders) and simply document my experiences with this fish. They shouldn’t be too dissimilar in keeping and breeding to other pseudomugils, so anyone with experience on that front would be a huge help.

The group is 2m2f so I’ll start them off in a cycled 5 gallon, which at the moment is just scaped with sand and some inert natural rocks collected from a river bed, so I’ll be chucking in a bunch of plants and maybe an Indian almond leaf or two in order to give them a cosy little breeding environment. In terms of the actual breeding, I think I’ll be using a couple small mops on one side of the tank (one floating, one sitting), and pulling daily for a week or so, perhaps even just a few days the first time so I can work with a smaller group. I’ll be getting some brine shrimp eggs (what are your recommendations for cheapish eggs that are good quality and have a good hatching rate?) for both the parents and the fry, once the fry are large enough. What are your recommendations for a first food for the fry? So far I’ve still not succeeded once with an infusoria culture, despite following a variety of different methods. 

I’ve been wondering about shrimp as well. Would they eat the eggs? If not, I’ll go for a native species. A bit of a biotype setup would be pretty fun.

The main thing I’m debating is whether to breed them in a tank or give them a go outdoors. Outdoors seems riskier but potentially more fruitful and a tad easier (because it’s natural), whereas the tank seems much much safer but I’m just not sure how easy it’ll be to get them breeding. I’m in Victoria, Aus, so I could only keep them outdoors from mid-Spring to late Summer, and there would be a period during the peak of summer where the temperature is potentially too high (weeks of high 30°s and the occasional low 40° celsius), which may make for complications. Anyways, I’ll see how they go in the tank and reassess later on. I’ll be asking plenty of questions to the guy when I pick them up as well, so I think it’ll all work out. I’m very excited to be joining the captive breeding conservation effort for this beautiful fish, it’s honestly been a bit of a dream of mine ever since I heard of the species, and I’ll be pulling out all the stops to make sure this opportunity doesn’t go to waste. I look forward to sharing many exciting posts with these cute little honeys. 

Cheers, Crabs. 

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On 7/10/2022 at 11:51 AM, Patrick_G said:

Let see some pics! 

As soon as I have them I’ll post a bunch! If you look them up, the males are the pretty, bright yellow ones, and the females are a full creamy brown.

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