Gambusia affinis holbrooki
Gambusia patruelis holbrooki
Origin: Southeastern United States
Females are significantly larger than males and have a rounded belly.
50 L / 11 imp gal / 13 US gal
T°: 12 to 35°C or 54 to 95°F
pH: 6 to 8.5
Hardness: 5 to 30°dGH
3 to 6cm (1.2 to 2.4")
2 to 3 years
Middle and top
How to feed the Eastern Mosquitofish?
To feed this species well in captivity, vary the meals as often as possible. Mosquito larvae are of course very popular, as are tubifex and bloodworms. Conventional commercial foods will also be well accepted.
To respect the life cycle of this fish as much as possible, feed it once in the morning and once in the late afternoon, but in small quantities. In any case, the food should not stay in the water for more than two minutes. If it does not, reduce the amount fed.
What kind of behavior does the Eastern Mosquitofish have?
Quite aggressive, this species is not cold-blooded! The males between them are quite belligerent, but this behaviour can sometimes be observed towards other species as well.
Because of a developed gregarious instinct, the Gambusie prefers to live in shoal. Set up one or more groups consisting of 3 females for 1 male. Indeed, the latter relentlessly hunt females in order to reproduce. If a female is alone with a male, she risks at best exhaustion, at worst death. Having several females for every male spreads its energy over several individuals. Beautiful vegetation also allows females to hide.
Who can live with the Eastern Mosquitofish?
Because of its strong temperament, it is best to keep this small fish in a specific aquarium.
If you wish to keep it in a communal aquarium, it is better to add robust species that are not too shy.
Finally, pay attention to the risks of predation with large species.
How to breed the Eastern Mosquitofish?
Very easy, the reproduction of this species is quite feasible.
The breeding season is from April to October, with a peak in summer.
The males hunt the females and then fertilise them with their gonopods. Like all Poecilia, this gambusia is an ovoviviparous species, which means that the eggs develop in the female's body. Thus, there are no eggs as such, but the young are born already formed. This period lasts between 3 and 4 weeks.
A single female can give birth to 5 to 100 fry, and have up to 9 litters per year. It seems that a high temperature encourages the fertility of the females.
There is a very strong predation of adults who do not hesitate to exterminate their offspring to the last one. Unfortunately, the vegetation will not be enough to take away the young fish from their parents' appetite. If you wish to keep young, you must isolate them. To do this, you can either isolate the pregnant females in a small aquarium and reintroduce them into the main tank after birth, or you can collect the young fry very soon after birth to isolate them. Only put the young fish back into the main aquarium when they are large enough not to be eaten by the adults.
Feed the fry: infusers, artemia nauplias, microwaves and powdered flakes.
Which aquarium for the Eastern Mosquitofish?
Very robust and adaptable, this fish can live in aquariums as well as in outdoor ponds.
This fish is not very fond of eddies. Avoid strong currents in the aquarium. You can do this by, for example, directing the discharge from the filter system towards a wall to break the force of the current.
He will also appreciate the presence of plants.
Apart from that, he is not very observant about his environment.
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Very robust, this small fish is ideal for aquarium beginners.
If you find a fake guppy look in him, it's normal! Indeed, the Gambusia is a cousin of the famous guppy (Poecilia reticulata). It is much stronger than its colourful parent, but it is much less colourful. Note the possible hybridization with the Guppy.
Some selections give melanic individuals, which however remains quite rare in nature :
Not to be confused with its close cousin Gambusia affinis (eastern mosquito fish). They can be distinguished from each other by a slight difference in size, a different gonopod (first serrated ray for G.holbrooki), a different number of rays on the dorsal fin (7 rays for G. holbrooki compared to 6 for G.affinis) as well as the presence of larger dark spots in G.holbrooki than in G.affinis.
This species should not be released into the wild. Indeed it is very robust and settles wherever it is introduced. This can cause a lot of harm to the existing ecosystem, especially because of the strong food competition that this species can exert on other fish.
In the wild, this formidable survivor can change its diet if the need arises. For example, it can switch to eating plankton or algae.
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