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PlecFan

"Cleaning" gambusia for feeding

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Hi everyone, just found a creek only 100meters from my back door completely swamped with gambusia. Since they are a pest I don't mind doing my part for the environment 😉

so got them home, about 50% are pregnant females, popped them in a two footer with some gravel, plants and filter....what should I do/use to "clean" them before giving to my fronts? They all look healthy and strong to the eye but one can never be too cautious. Any advice would be helpful. I have fungonex on hand but am hesitating treating them since the most likely disease they would carry would be internal...??

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Technically taking a pest species outside of the riparian zone (the couple of meters from the water edge) alive can still land you in big trouble. Personally I wouldn't use live feeders if possible, and never ones collected from the wild. There are so many parasites and diseases that once you treat them for everything, you may have well just bought a good quality food that hasn't been chemical bombed.

Edited by DeBree420
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Use swordtails and or platys they are not classed as noxious. Use up the Gambusia or euthanise them. The fine for possession of noxious fish is huge.

Don't use natives fish for feeders.

I think technically you are not allowed to use live vertebrates of any description as food for fish or reptile. Live inverts are ok or dead vertebrates, hence why some hopes sell frozen rats and pinkies.

In theory Aquariums and pets shops should not be selling feeder fish for this very reason. It doesn't seem to be enforced though. If you want healthy feeder fish, why not breed Platys or swords or convict cichlids.

To be honest with you I don't think feeder fish are very good nutritionally anyway, your better off feeding insects or insect larvae that you can fatten up quickly, grow fast, reproduce fast and are packed with protein. If you do so in the comfort of your own home you can also control the risk of disease and parasites.

Most importantly don't throw any fish you have kept in your aquariums back into the wild, regardless of it being native or feral. As you can introduce pathogens into the environment from your tank. Please try not to be tempted to use native fish as feeders. For the reason above and the fact that they have a hard enough time in the wild competing with the ferals.

Natives should only be taken from the wild to be used as breeders not feeders.

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You know what ur absolutely right! There is a law against collecting these even for feeding to your own fish. I just called them and lucky for me they are not going to fine me as I called and admitted I had them. They are coming to collect the ones I've got to be destroyed and I'm going to show them where the infestation is so they can do something about it....WELL I guess I said I wanted to do my part!! .....but still have no feeders for the fronts :(

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The fronts (along with all my fish) have a varied diet. Including hikari gold pellets, frozen cichlid mix, frozen brine shrimp and previously cichlid flakes but I stopped the flakes due to the mess involved. Feeders were more a stimulative feed then anything else.

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Its all a mental really. You would think they would want people out there catching them for what ever reason. Surely a dead feral is better than a live one. Creek down road from me has only 5 fish species that I can tell. Eels, carp, tilapia, gambusia and swordtails. At the point where we may as well just consider them natives and move on.

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Yep. Seems silly really imagine how quick the problem would be brought back under control if they just created a register for people to join who could put them to good use....perhaps though that's how the problem started.... Anyways I feel better that I'm not going to be getting a fine...honesty pays these days that's for sure!

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Yep. Seems silly really imagine how quick the problem would be brought back under control if they just created a register for people to join who could put them to good use....perhaps though that's how the problem started.... Anyways I feel better that I'm not going to be getting a fine...honesty pays these days that's for sure!

Trouble is give them a use or an economic value and people will soon spread them to other bodies of water to harvest in the future for profit. That is how Tilapia gets spread. I am amazed that you can buy Tilapia as a food fish in a lot of fishmongers. How do they know these are imported and not grown in some market garden pond in Pilara or 8 Mile plains ?

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It wouldn't surprise me if they are farmed here, there's more than a few people breeding plecos in dug out ponds.

I have wondered if they started releasing large natives if they would deal with gambusia and small talapia.

I heard about some trials of putting carp that can't reproduce into the Murray to see if it would drop the numbers, never heard of how it went.

Cheers mick

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Trouble is give them a use or an economic value and people will soon spread them to other bodies of water to harvest in the future for profit. That is how Tilapia gets spread. I am amazed that you can buy Tilapia as a food fish in a lot of fishmongers. How do they know these are imported and not grown in some market garden pond in Pilara or 8 Mile plains ?

they don't

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It wouldn't surprise me if they are farmed here, there's more than a few people breeding plecos in dug out ponds.

I have wondered if they started releasing large natives if they would deal with gambusia and small talapia.

I heard about some trials of putting carp that can't reproduce into the Murray to see if it would drop the numbers, never heard of how it went.

Cheers mick

Gambusia eat the eggs of the large natives..... eventually they win the numbers game.

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I have wondered if they started releasing large natives if they would deal with gambusia and small talapia.

What about the small and medium natives? It amazes me that the idiotic powers that be give approvals for huge numbers of fingerlings to be stocked in places guaranteed to severely deplete - or wipe out endemic smaller natives.

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I'm going to show them where the infestation is so they can do something about it(

They won't do anything about it. Gambusia are found throughout the vast majority the state (and much of Australia). They've been here nearly 100 years. They are as bad or worse than cane toads but as they are not seen by the general public they are largely unknown outside of aquarium circles.

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What about the small and medium natives? It amazes me that the idiotic powers that be give approvals for huge numbers of fingerlings to be stocked in places guaranteed to severely deplete - or wipe out endemic smaller natives.

Everywhere I've seen gambusia and talapia the smaller natives have already been wiped out.

The local creek used to have crimson spot rainbows until a flood a few years ago washed all the elodea away, now all I find is gambusia and platys. The rainbows got washed into the logan river and probably wiped out from the feral species that live there.

Not sure what department it was but there used to be a boat that would electro shock the water and all the ferals would be scooped out but I haven't seen that around for nearly 2 years so they probably gave up.

Cheers mick

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Trouble is give them a use or an economic value and people will soon spread them to other bodies of water to harvest in the future for profit. That is how Tilapia gets spread. I am amazed that you can buy Tilapia as a food fish in a lot of fishmongers. How do they know these are imported and not grown in some market garden pond in Pilara or 8 Mile plains ?

Even if you could grow tilapia for free, the cost of catching, killing and transporting tilapia in Australia is far more expensive than the cost of importing legal frozen tilapia.

Tilapia are a prized food resource in almost every country and a lot of money and research goes into this overseas. One could argue it is invaluable since so many developing countries rely on tilapia and the planet is over populated.

There are always two sides (and sometimes more) to every argument. If frozen tilapia were not legal to be imported and sold, some culturally biased people might resort to releasing some in waterways so they could get them.

On a more philosophical note, if gambusia and cane toads are still around in a thousand years time, they will be classed as native species. Look at the dingo for example.

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There is a family of crows that hang around the Redcliffe Duck pond ( Humpybong ck ) that seek out cane toads - then rip them apart and only eat a small portion of them , leaving the rest for the ants .

They nearly always pick the toad up by a hind leg - drop them on the road or concrete from a fair height then put them on their back and rip their belly open and have a dig around .

Crows can be really interesting to watch !

Anyway a dead cane toad is a good cane toad .

Just wish something would rip up the Gambusia !

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I have cane toad proofed my garden as we now have a new puppy. Dead easy at my place, 800 sq metre garden, but fully fenced right to the ground. The only weak spots were the side gate were the cats created a track under the gate to get in and out and around the side where we share a fence with a neighbour that is partially on retaining wall sleepers. Toads could get through those gaps only, so I used rodent wire sized metal fireproof gutter guard from bunnings and button screws to plug the gaps. Under the gate I cut a piece of polycarbonate corrugated roofing to size and using roofing screws blocked under the fence (cats not happy).

Then went round every night for a week with the old detoll method mix spray and a plastic bag, hunting trapped toads. Result has been no more toads, after a week of checking the garden with a torch where we would get maybe 10 a night, nothing for 7 days. Toads stopped. you can see them sitting behind the wire on the neighbours side queuing up to get it. Not anymore. I expect a toad explosion in the neighbours yard as before when they got into my yard they got sprayed. Now that they cannot get through, they don't die so they will stay next door and breed up. Going to show the neighbour what I did so they don't have the same issue.

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