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Australian Smelt (Retropinna semoni)

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Just wondering whether anyone here has caught and kept this species.

Caught an adult one yesterday and it really stood out with its flashes of gold, silver with blue hues, so I decided to keep it to see how it would go with my other natives.

So far its a very active/jittery fish but definitely stands out with its colouring.

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Have kept them a few times, great mixes of silver and gold colouration between individuals.

Had a few disasters that I believe were due to sudden temp or pH change during water changes. So my advice is to keep changes small where possible.

Certainly not as tough a rainbows, danios or rasbora.

But definitely interesting and that whole mercury belly is very pretty especially with a school of them.

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Truly lovely fish. Excellent water movement is essential - preferred natural habitat is often near / under waterfalls so that level of vigourous water movement is desirable. Require HIGHLY oxygenated water which again goes back to the first point. I consider airstones absolutely essential for this fish. Jumpers so lids essential. Some plants desirable as they browse on the leaves - Elodea type plants. They prefer cooler water than average tropical tanks. MUST MUST MUST be kept as a school!! Cheers

P.S Hi Donny - possibility your losses during / after water changes were caused by O2 depletion. The oxygen level required by this species is at the upper end of the requirement of native species. Sudden drop in O2 when filters are turned of can be enough to lead to rapid decline / sudden death with this species. This is magnified when kept in warmer than optimal conditions. If the above is combined with other stressors the results are very quick decline.

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Truly lovely fish. Excellent water movement is essential - preferred natural habitat is often near / under waterfalls so that level of vigourous water movement is desirable. Require HIGHLY oxygenated water which again goes back to the first point. I consider airstones absolutely essential for this fish. Jumpers so lids essential. Some plants desirable as they browse on the leaves - Elodea type plants. They prefer cooler water than average tropical tanks. MUST MUST MUST be kept as a school!! Cheers

P.S Hi Donny - possibility your losses during / after water changes were caused by O2 depletion. The oxygen level required by this species is at the upper end of the requirement of native species. Sudden drop in O2 when filters are turned of can be enough to lead to rapid decline / sudden death with this species. This is magnified when kept in warmer than optimal conditions. If the above is combined with other stressors the results are very quick decline.

Same with M. Gracilis, lives in the rapids in the Kimberley. Likes heavily oxygenated water. I lost two a couple of years back when the Temperature hit 40 degrees and the oxygen saturation dropped. Totally my own fault the filter outflow was below the surface and no alternative aeration. Anyway M.Gracilis are a very similar shape to these guys. Makes sense.

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When you find them they are normally in large numbers.

Yes they are normally found in the faster flowing, highly oxygenated water. And yes it's often cold.

They can be quite a sensitive fish.

On occasions I've had them dying in the net before I can release them (a matter of seconds).

But once you have them conditioned to your tank they seem to do quite well if you maintain stable conditions.

So high flow, large tanks, and stable conditions seem to be the key.

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